Disclaimer: This relates to prose, I would never consider being intentionally rude in real life.

I'm currently writing a short-story, and in it there's a scene in a Japanese restaurant. It calls for one of the characters (female) to call the waiter over and request a bottle of Sake (nihonshu?), as per the chef's recommendation.

My own—slow but ongoing—study of Japanese, is of little help, because text-books has an awful tendency to mangle the politeness in these matters. From what I understand of the politeness customs in Japan, a customer would probably not be more polite toward the staff, than the staff toward the customer.

So, how would one, as a woman, in conversational Japanese, bordering on being downright rude, order a bottle of the house's recommended rice-wine?

My own best guess would be "Oi, nihonshu kudasai!", but that doesn't sound right to me…

  • 4
    Who taught you to use おい like that? That is out of the question! It is far worse than "bordering on being downright rude". Nov 5 '13 at 20:41
  • 3
    おい, which is commonly romanized as "oi", is rude, not bordering on it. Also, it seems a bit odd to combine it with "kudasai", which is polite. My best take on "bordering on rude" would be to just use non-polite language, e.g. "osusume no nihonshu mottekite!" or "osusume no nihonshu chōdai!".
    – dainichi
    Nov 5 '13 at 23:13
  • @TokyoNagoya It's been so long I can't even remember. And yes I'm aware just how rude it is, but for the character it actually rather fits. She's a deceptively crude lady, if that makes sense.
    – xles
    Nov 6 '13 at 0:32
  • 2
    @xles, I agree. There are definitely situations where your combination is possible, e.g. if "kudasai" is said in a very sarcastic tone, or the speaker said the sentence previously without the "oi" and is sorta quoting themself: "Please bring me sake.... HEY!!! (I said) PLEASE BRING ME SAKE!!!". But the situations are a bit special, and I just wanted to make sure people were aware of that.
    – dainichi
    Nov 6 '13 at 5:43
  • 1
    Maybe ちょっと、日本酒ちょうだい。 or ちょっと。熱燗/一本つけて。???
    – user1016
    Nov 6 '13 at 16:25

As @dainichi has suggested in his comment I think you could use


etc. in a Japanese restaurant. If in [居酒屋]{いざかや} you would say


etc., depending on what (type/brand) you want / how (hot/iced/warm/room temperature) you want it.


Simply: お酒を一本下さい。

Be careful, though, it means you want one bottle of rice wine.

PS. It's just a deduction I came to personally, but the tidbit you wrote makes me recall all the situations I stumbled upon when drunken people, outsiders of course, kept on insulting the Japanese. It sounds like "Bring me some booze, would ya!?". Just be careful when they're getting "edgy" with their opinions on gaijins, because on many occasions, they have a reason to.

  • Duly noted, and that does sound like it might be exactly what I want here. I should probably put a disclaimer in the question that I personally has more common sense than that, and would never be this rude in person... But that's why we have prose, to escape reality and do things we wouldn't do in real life. (Love the username by the way, fooo!)
    – xles
    Nov 7 '13 at 1:24
  • I believe this is what you're looking for, though. You can alternatively try お酒を一本頂戴, but that's as far as you can get with being humble. I also think 頂戴 is the more feminine word. You mustn't use keigo words to describe your own actions. For future reference, please try these: ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%94%B7%E6%80%A7%E8%AA%9E - Masculine language ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E8%AA%9E - Feminine language
    – razorramon
    Nov 7 '13 at 1:48

Say "ano" or "chotto" to get attention at beginning, both is polite.(Oi is really rude) And the rest is just fine.

  • 2
    I wouldn't say that あの or ちょっと is particularly polite.
    – Earthliŋ
    Nov 7 '13 at 15:06

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