The reason why you started – Kikkake ー AIUEO Blog

きっかけ (Kikkake) – The reason for starting something / “the story behind it”


can be defined as “a reason or incentive for why you started doing something”.
For a personal example, I am a huge fan of soccer and my reason (Kikkake) for becoming such a big fan originated during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
I watched Hidetoshi Nakata, one of the Japanese National Football team’s stars, miss a penalty kick causing the team to lose to the United States. It was a huge moment for me that made a lasting impression.
I at first felt bitter towards Nakata for losing the match, but before long, I came to understand that what happened that day is actually very common in soccer. A player can have a fantastic match for 90 minutes, leading the team to a potential victory – but in a single moment, they can become the main character in a terrible tragedy.
Learning this about the drama and excitement of a soccer match brought me to love soccer deeply.
As demonstrated above, describing a reason or incentive gives the story eloquence and depth. The word “kikkake” is a valuable communication tool that opens up conversation.
Now then, lets explain the sentence pattern for using “Kikkake”:

Sentence Pattern 1

ACTION I started doing because of NOUN


(Bun) yō ni natta kikkake wa, (meishi) desu.


私がサッカーを見るようになったきっかけは、2000年のシドニーオリンピックです。Watashi ga sakkā o miru yō ni natta kikkake wa, nisen-nen no shidonī orinpikku desu.

The reason (kikkake) I started watching soccer was the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Sentence Pattern 2

NOUN is the reason ACTION started.


(Meishi) ga kikkake de, (bun) yō ni narimashita.


2000年のシドニーオリンピックがきっかけで、サッカーを見るようになりました。Nisen-nen no shidonī orinpikku ga kikkake de, sakkā o miru yō ni narimashita.
Because of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, I started watching soccer.

Try using these patterns with different vocabulary to create opportunities for further discussions in your conversations with Japanese friends.
Here are several examples of what the usage of kikkake looks like in natural speech.

Example Conversations

Case 1 (Conversation between friends)

A: Yoshi and I are dating.
Yoshi-kun to tsukiau koto ni natta.
B: Really? You were saying before that he’s not your type at all. What happened? What’s the reason (kikkake)?
E? Zenzen taipu janaitte ittetanoni. Nande? Kikkake wa nani?
A: We ran into each other at a concert the other day. Turns out we have the same taste in music.
Konomae itta raibu de gūzen atte. Ongaku no shumi ga issho datte wakattanda.
B: I see.
Case 2 (Conversation between new acquaintances)

A: What made you decide to come to Japan? What was the reason (kikkake)?
B-santte, dōshite Nihon ni kitan desu ka? Kikkake wa?
B: The reason (kikkake) was Miyazaki movies. I first became interested in Japan after watching “My Neighbor Totoro”.
Kikkake wa Miyazaki anime desu. `Tonari no Totoro’ o mita no ga kikkake   de, Nihon ni kyōmi o motsu yō ni narimashita.

If your conversation partner says something that piques your interest, try asking them their reason by asking “What was the reason (kikkake)?“. You are sure to get an interesting story.

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