I am wondering if there is a way to describe this concept in Japanese, or an equivalent phrase.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_faith it is a mostly western concept (if you believe wikipedia anyway).

I am asking in relation to the definition in the first paragraph, not in the religious sense.

This phrase relates to “deciding whether to make (or being forced to make) a choice that goes against ones most basic beliefs.

And in the process, either retain that belief, or drop it in favor of another one. It is this situation that causes the internal conflict.

I do not believe it is directly related to simple inability to make a decision, not knowing what to believe, nor the process of self-discovery in general.”

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    It might be helpful to explain a bit more in detail what you are looking for. A native speaker might be able to give you the closest phrase/idea, but if they don't know what you're really looking for to begin with... Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 23:30
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    What about 信念の危機?
    – istrasci
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 3:13
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    – user1016
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 8:41
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    Depending on the context, maybe you could say something like 何を信じればいいのか迷っている "I'm not sure what I should believe (in)" (?)
    – cypher
    Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 10:38
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    I could be wrong, but regarding your edit I think it's likely there isn't something which directly translates to what you're looking for. Could you use a phrase with "internal conflict" in it's place? Space ALC has a number of examples, including 心の葛藤 and 精神的葛藤 etc (I think some sort of phrase with 葛藤 might be close though)
    – cypher
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


There are a few phrases that are commonly used.

  • 「分からなくなってきた」(e.g. 何を信じればいいのか分からなくなってきた、自分の気持ちが 分からなくなってきた、あなたのことが分からなくなってきた)

  • 「自分探し」 (e.g. やりたい事が見つからないので、自分探しにいってきます)

You could also use 葛藤、e.g.「自分がやってきたことが正しかったのか、すごく葛藤した時期」、「どちらの道に進むべきか分からず、葛藤し続けた」

  • じゃあ。。「迷い」みたいな感じかな・・
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 10:36

Depending on the context, you might also be able to use 疑心暗鬼(ぎしんあんき), meaning doubt begets doubt, which is commonly used to express a sort of negative momentum in one's thinking.

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