What is the meaning of kyoushuku (恐縮) in Japanese?

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word kyoushuku, including its Japanese definition and translation, example sentences, related expressions and more!

What does kyoushuku mean?

Kyoushuku is a polite word in Japanese that means sorry to trouble you. Alternatively, it can also mean thank you. The difference in meaning is usually obvious from the context.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how to use it.

To make it easier for you, I have written each sentence in full Japanese kanji in the first line, followed by roman letters (romaji), and hiragana, with the English meaning coming last.

The meaning of kyoushuku is an expression of gratitude or an apology for troubling someone.

Making a request

To apologize for inconveniencing someone when making a request, add desu ga after kyoushuku.

Kyoushuku desu ga, ashita made ni gohenshin wo onegaishimasu.
Sorry to trouble you, but please reply by tomorrow.

Kyoushuku desu ga, go kakunin kudasai.
Sorry to bother you, but please kindly confirm.

As you can see, kyoushuku tends to be used in business or other situations that call for a certain amount of politeness. Adding taihen to the beginning of the sentence makes it even more polite!

Taihen kyoushuku desu ga, gotaiou wo onegaishimasu.
I am really sorry to trouble you, but could you please handle this?

Saying thank you

Next, let’s turn to the second meaning of expressing gratitude or saying thank you.

Oisogashii tokoro, odenwa wo itadaki kyoushuku desu.
I’m sure you are busy, so thank you so much for calling.

Kore wa kyoushuku desu.
I really appreciate you doing this.

Other ways of expressing gratitude

Arigatou gozaimasu.
Thank you.

The most straightforward way to say thank you in Japanese is, of course, arigatou gozaimasu (or just arigatou in more casual settings). Kyoshuku expresses deeper gratitude than arigatou.

Check out some examples below for other ways to say thank you.

The meaning of kyoushuku is an expression of gratitude or an apology for troubling someone.

Arigatou. Tasukatta!
Thanks. That was a big help!

Domo arigatou.
Thank you very much.

You can also use domo on its own. In this case, its meaning is something close to cheers in British English.


As in English, you can also use an apology as a way of thanking someone. This is very commonly used in Japanese.

Otesuu wo okakeshite sumimasen.
Sorry for troubling you (polite)

Mendou wo kakete gomen ne.
Sorry for putting you through that (casual).

It probably comes as no surprise that Japanese is a polite language with many ways of expressing gratitude and making requests. Kyoushuku is a useful word to know, especially if you plan on working in Japan. Try to remember it!