I have encountered this word a few times whether in games or just spoken in drama/anime. In the game, it just written as しょせい without any kanji while being placed at the beginning of the sentence. I have tried searched every possible kanji but doesn't seems to fit in the context. I don't have the full sentence right now but, from my understanding from the context, the meaning should be near to "anyway, anyhow" Anyone have info on this word please do enlighten me. Thanks :)

  • 1
    It's 所詮 / しょせん .
    – fefe
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 5:26
  • 1
    Do you mean しょせん? Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 5:26
  • 3
    Just curious... What made you ask this question exactly at the moment you "did not have the full sentence"?
    – macraf
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


There are two words that read しょせい in 平仮名 and differently in 漢字.

One is 書生, which means (university or college) students, some of whom served as a servant in dignitaries’ houses on the condition that school tuition, minimum living expenses, and petty cash are born by his master. There were many 書生 in pre-World War Japan, and they are featured quite often in novels and dramas. It wasn't uncommon that a dignitary keeps two to three 書生 on top of several house-maids in his house. But this system is extinct. I think there are no longer 書生 in this country, and the word is now almost obsolete.

The other is 処世, of which verbatim translation is 'to deal with the world,' meaning the way to live wisely and successfully.

I reckon it’s unlikely that two of the above words — one being now almost obsolete and the other a kind of big word — are used in games and アニメ.

I suspect therefore, you took しょせい for しょせん〈所詮), which means "after all" or "anyway" as fefe suggested.

しょせん〈所詮〉can be used in such a way, for examples;

Anyway, it’s an impossible story (offer, proposition) for me.

After all, it’s difficult for an uneducated man like me to understand.

After all, it’ll be something like that.

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