Shichiten Hakki (七転八起 – Never Giving Up)


  • Shichiten Hakki

    七転八起


    If there is a person who tries many times despite repeated failures, his/her behavior can be described as the four-character idiom ‘shichiten hakki‘ (七転八起).
    何度失敗してもめげずに起き上がることを、「七転八起」と言います。

    Shichi‘ (七) means “seven,” ‘ten‘ (転) means “to fall down,” ‘ha/hachi‘ (八) means “eight,” and ‘ki‘ (起) means “to get up,” so the literal meaning of this idiom is “fall down seven times, get up eight times.”
    「七」は “seven”、「転」は “”、「八」は “eight”、「起」は “” を意味するので、「七転八起」の文字どおりの意味は “” となります。

    You might think that the number of getting up must be seven when the number of falling down is seven, but “seven” and “eight” here just imply that the number is large.
    七回転んだら起き上がるのも七回だろうと思うかもしれませんが、ここでの「七」や「八」は単に数が多いことを表しているようです。

    Incidentally, you can say it as ‘nanakorobi yaoki‘ (七転び八起き) by using Japanese readings.
    ちなみに、訓読みで「七転び八起き」と言うこともあります。

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