Kiki Ippatsu (危機一髪 – Having a Close Shave)

  • Kiki Ippatsu


    If you want to describe an extremely dangerous situation, you can use ‘kiki ippatsu’ (危機一髪) in Japanese.

    Ki‘ (危) means “danger,” ‘ki‘ (機) means “moment” or “chance,” ‘i/ichi‘ (一) means “one,” and ‘patsu/hatsu‘ (髪) means “hair.”
    「危」は “danger”、「機」は “moment/chance”、「一」は “one”、「髪」は “hair” を意味します。

    That is to say, ‘kiki ippatsu’ implies that a danger moment is approaching to you, and the distance is as long as one hair.

    This idiom is often used to describe the past event, for example, ‘kiki ippatsu de tasukatta‘ (危機一髪で助かった – I had a close shave).

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