Nihongo Pop Culture Lesson #1: Detective Conan




Shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu!

There is only one truth!

Have you been starting to learn Japanese? Japanese language lessons are awesome, don’t get me wrong, and are necessary to learn a language most of the time unless you are good at self-teaching. Sometimes though, it’s fun to supplement your learning while still having fun with it! I will break this sentence down for you so that no matter what level you are in Japanese, you can take something away from it! This lesson is from the most popular saying that comes out of the anime 名探偵コナン Detective Conan.


真実(しんじつ)shinjitsu: truth

は wa: topic marker particle

何時も(いつも)itsumo: always

一つ(ひとつ)hitotsu: one (counter. not to be confused with the #1)


Listen to the very end of this video for the correct pronunciation of this sentence:

Grammar 101

This is about as close to English as you can get as far as the breakdown of the grammar.

-Shinjitsu is first as it is the noun and the subject of the sentence.

-Wa follows it up as a topic marker, showing that you talking about the truth as the subject of the conversation.

-Itsumo hitotsu is pretty self-explanatory in that it follows exactly how English would work only it ends up really meaning ‘always one’.

-Formality: This sentence is informal in that it has no verb but here the verb would be ‘desu’ which means ‘to be’ and would be the ‘is’. Instead, this verb is implied. Whenever you drop desu, it automatically brings the level of formality down in a sentence. The formal version of this sentence would be ‘shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu desu’.

The literal translation of this sentence is ‘the truth is always one’ though after a noun, hitotsu can also mean ‘only’ since it excludes any others.

Other Examples:

You can pretty much replace the word ‘shinjitsu’ with anything of your choosing. For instance, ‘genjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu’ would instead mean ‘there is only one reality’. You could also say something like ‘shinjitsu wa itsumo hidoi,’ hidoi meaning cruel. The truth is always cruel! Itsumo is just modifying an adjective, hidoi, here instead of a noun.


Now you can act dramatic, sweep your hand over your face and point at the screen before shouting in your best Detective tone of voice that SHINJITSU WA ITSUMO HITOTSU.


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