CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiProverbUncorrected

Shichiten Battō (七転八倒 – Writhing in Pain)

  • Shichiten Battō


    The concept of writhing or struggling in pain is described as shichiten battō (七転八倒).

    Since shichi (七) means “seven,” ten (転) means “to roll,” ba/hachi (八) means “eight,” and (倒) means “to fall down,” the literal meaning of shichiten battō is “to roll seven times and fall down eight times.”
    「七」は “seven”、「転」は “to roll”、「八」は “eight”、「倒」は “to fall down” を意味するので、「七転八倒」の文字どおりの意味は “to roll seven times and fall down eight times” となります。

    In this context, both “seven” and “eight” are used as a metaphor for large numbers.

    In other words, this four-character idiom describes a situation where one is so distressed that they roll and fall down repeatedly.

    Original sentence