Some say that, despite Japan’s economic might, its people are pretty simple. To say “my ears hurt,” when words of criticism are hurled one’s way, is direct and disarming. It’s a way of saying “you got me.” Implicit in the phrase is the recognition of wrongdoing.
A: Isogashii, isogashii tte iinagara, muda banashi bakari shiteiru kara shigoto ga zenzen susumanai n da yo.
B: Iyaa, sono toori. Mimi ga itai na.
A: You say you’re busy, but you waste your time chit chatting. That’s why you can’t get your work done.
B: You’re right. You got me!