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The other day on the train I saw this advertisement for some tabloid, with headlines all over it, as they do:

シ●ブ愛人

I'm trying to figure out what シ●ブ愛人{あいじん} is. 忍{しのぶ}愛人{あいじん}? "Sneaky lover"? Assuming 忍{しのぶ} to be something like the "clandestine" definition used in 忍者{にんじゃ}, and not the species of fern. Though, "fern lover" would be kind of interesting.

What is a シ●ブ愛人? And why is it censored?

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    This is definitely シャブ愛人 (there are lots of Google hits for that that also have "ASKA"), but I have no idea what that means. Notice that the dot is too small to be a full-size kana (plus, it's off-center).
    – senshin
    May 27, 2014 at 3:57
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    Apparently one meaning of シャブ is "stimulant", so perhaps this ASKA person was arrested for some sort of drug crime? That might explain the censorship - perhaps シャブ is a particularly vulgar way of referring to drugs or something.
    – senshin
    May 27, 2014 at 4:01
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    シャブ is slang for 覚醒剤.
    – user1016
    May 27, 2014 at 4:04
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    @senshin Yes... ASKA is a famous singer... he was arrested for using 覚醒剤 with this woman...
    – user1016
    May 27, 2014 at 4:18
  • All these comments are helpful, but really they should be answers. Also, still missing is the rationale behind censoring the word.
    – Questioner
    May 27, 2014 at 4:19

1 Answer 1

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シャブ is common slang for crystal methamphetamine.

Regular newspapers usually use the more politically-correct 覚醒剤【かくせいざい】, which literally means "stimulant drug", but nearly always refer to methamphetamine or cocaine. This being a tabloid (and perhaps because the term is a little more specific), they went with the stronger word シャブ, but out of that typical faux-coyness about "loaded" terms in Japanese media (*), opted to censor it.

As for the wider context, it's a bit off-topic, but:

Famous 80s artist ASKA was recently arrested for possession and use of said stimulants. The 恋人 愛人 part probably refers to the "friend"/"girlfriend" (didn't follow the details too closely) that was charged alongside him (and whose house would have apparently been used to store and consume the narcotics).

*: Apparently, it's really bad if kids get to see a slang term for drug spelt out on a subway ad, but totally fine if they get their fill of half-naked, boob-cupping, barely-legal models on the same ad.

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    「恋人」じゃなくて「愛人」って書いてあるんで、たぶん、ニュアンスとしては「不倫関係」みたいな・・・。(一応、ASKAさん、結婚してはるんで。。。)
    – user1016
    May 27, 2014 at 5:47
  • ああ、しまった。やっぱり愛人と書いてった。治してくれてありがとう!
    – Dave
    May 27, 2014 at 10:42
  • Apparently, it's really bad if kids get to see a slang term for drug spelt out on a subway ad, but totally fine if they get their fill of half-naked, boob-cupping, barely-legal models on the same ad. This. And not just for Japan.
    – istrasci
    May 27, 2014 at 16:20

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