Trying to learn Japanese with the DuoLingo app, I recently stumbled over the term "Jポップ" for J-Pop.

I'm curious why the term "J-Pop" is written as "Jポップ" in the app. So, is it normal to use the latin "J" within this word? Is this maybe just for marketing?

Looking at the English Wikipedia, I couldn't find "Jポップ" but instead on, for example, the German Wikipedia.


2 Answers 2


The use of "J" in katakana terms is common when it signifies "Japan". Consider Jリーグ (J-League). In its written form, Jリーグ is much more common than ジェイリーグ and ジェーリーグ. In fact, "J" might have gotten popular in part as a convenient way to avoid the ジェイ vs ジェー variations, because it makes it easier to be consistent in branding.

The term "J-pop" is attributed to J-WAVE, a radio station started airing in 1988. The article says the use of "J" to signify Japan in "J-pop" follows naming conventions of JR (railway), JT (tabacco company), JA (farmer cooperative) and J-League (football league) - all named roughly at the same time in around 1990.


when a Latin letter is being used for its name, like a J pronounced ジェー instead of it just making the sound it makes in jump, usually it'll be written using the Latin letter in Japanese. you will usually see this with acronyms, like [CD]{シーディー} or [DNA]{ディーエヌエー}, or even acronyms formed from Japanese words, like the broadcasting corporation [NHK]{エヌエイチケー} (short for [日]{にっ}[本]{ぽん}[放]{ほう}[送]{そう}[協]{きょう}[会]{かい}) or the slang word [KY]{ケーワイ} (short for [空]{くう}[気]{き}が[読]{よ}めない 'can't read the room'). [J]{ジェー}ポップ is yet another case of this, hence why it's often spelled like that. it's also often spelled JPOP or J-POP in all-caps Latin (and you see the same variation for the word [K]{ケー}ポップ, by the way), but the Jポップ mixed Latin-katakana spelling is very much used as well.

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