What would be the Japanese equivalent of the word operation, in the sense of a project or task?

Some examples would be:

  • Operation Infiltrate-the-Castle
  • Operation Human Shield (from South Park)
  • Operation random cool name

In English this usage obviously comes from a military background, but what is the corresponding Japanese term? And more importantly, would you use this in the same tongue-in-cheek manner as in English, to glorify some task or project and make it sound exciting?

1 Answer 1


It is easiest to give a familiar example

Operation Desert Shield|砂漠の盾作戦

ie place the name of the operation in front of 作戦 (さくせん)

I think you could get away with using katakana words for foreign activties.

  • Thanks! Do you know whether this is also used out of the military context in Japanese? Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 12:18
  • 2
    You can use 大作戦{だいさくせん} as well - as in 京都大作戦 (a music festival) or プロポーズ大作戦 (name of a drama). Further on the slangy side, nicodic lists "パンツ大作戦" (not as dirty as it sounds!)
    – nkjt
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 7:30
  • If you browse Space Alc you will see that most of the time it is used for military campaigns but not exclusively.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 22:42

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