I read an article and it had the word "shinimonogurui". And this is how it was explained:



Is this word just "desperation" as we understand it in English or is it a result of Japanese people being pushed by the culture to work so hard it's like live or die?

2 Answers 2


Although that example sentence happens to be about someone's job, the phrase itself is fundamentally irrelevant to the so-called hardworking culture. Nothing in the article you're reading indicates such a connection, right? "Desperate" or "frantic" is usually a safe translation. It can be used in truly life-threatening urgent situations (like a tsunami), but it is also broadly used in situations where someone tries something very hard.


死に物狂い means a question of life and death. It can mean desperation in a "nothing else to lose" or "back to the wall" situation, not a lack of hope and a lost of will to fight. On the contrary, it really is fighting for one's life.

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