I'm looking for the Japanese origin of the saying

Normal is the most difficult.

I believe the longhand version would be

Normality in life is the most difficult state/condition to attain/sustain.

Any idea what the original in Japanese may be?

I've heard this sentence in English many times from a Japanese person from Nagasaki area (Kyushu), so I guess it was a translation of a Japanese saying or a proverb. Would be great to know what the original sounds/reads like.

1 Answer 1


I often hear such a phrase like 当たり前のことが一番難しい, which roughly says "Ordinary things are the most difficult (to do)".

I don't know if it is a fixed saying, as I searched Google I found many variations in wording e.g. 「当たり前が~」「~ことをするのが~」「当たり前のことを当たり前にやる(の/こと)が~」「当たり前のことほど~」 and so on. It seems considered to be a witty quote so that is printed on a novelty T-shirt.

Some attribute this to a famous pâtissier, but to be honest I doubt he is the real inventor of this phrase.

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