mimi ga itai
(of a reprimand) to make one’s ears burn; hit where it hurts
When someone says something that hits on a touchy subject or reminds you of a weakness you have, then your “ears hurt.”
Literally, “ears hurt.” The “hurt” in your ears comes from hearing something you don’t want to hear.
kare no chuukoku o kiku no wa, mimi ga itai.
Hearing his advice really hit a nerve.
忠告 chuukoku—advice; warning
聞く kiku—to hear; to listen