Saw this on twitter:

MC挟んでいいなら♪( ´▽`)RT @miri_sid: @mao_sid マオくんは全曲連続で歌えますか?(^-^)

Can't find the Japanese definition of MC anywhere. What does that say?

3 Answers 3


MC in Japanese nowadays most commonly means a talk (by a singer) in between songs at a (pop) concert. It is a 和製英語 (wasei-eigo) under this meaning. It seems to have derived from the phrase 'master of ceremony'. In a broader context, it simply means a talk at some event.

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    MC is not 和製英語. It's been around for quite a while in English. wordswarm.net/dictionary/emcee.html
    – istrasci
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 1:35
  • I think it's also the title given to the singer of a rap/hip-hop band. The MC has the mic, as opposed to the DJ who has the turntables (or computer, nowadays).
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 1:43
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    It's 和製英語 in the sense that Sawa is describing it, since no native English speaker would describe between-song banter as MC'ing.
    – moai-kun
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 2:31
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    @moai-kun - MC is still used native English but its usage depends upon where you are, in some native English speaking countries it has fallen out of use were as in others is of limited use to concert performances.
    – user51
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 13:56
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    I'm with @moai-kun here. I have both used MC and heard MC being used before in Japan in both it's English meaning and 和製英語 meaning. It has been used in both the US and Australia at the least in my experience, but to MC an event (something I have done here in Japan as an MC - the same meaning as the English word) is the normal use I have seen in Japan. However, in terms of live, one band concerts though, the MC is usually the band and the banter they do in most cases could be considered 和製英語-fied MC-ing. At my company business meetings, the announcer is called the MC (the same as English) also. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 0:47

In hip hop or dubstep events, the MC is the person rapping using the microphone, besides the DJ. I have used the term only in Japan, but it seems to exist in other countries as well:

In the 1970s and 1980s, the term MC (short for Master of Ceremonies, and sometimes misrendered emcee) was generally associated with what is now called rapping in hip hop music. MC has also sometimes been reported to stand for Microphone Controller, but this appears to be a backronym. This uncertainty over the letters' expansion may however be evidence to the ubiquitousness of the acronym: the full Master of Ceremonies is very rarely (if ever) used in the rap scene.

There are a lot of small parties in Tokyo with open MC where anybody can take the microphone and rap in accordance with the DJ.

  • That's right. There is a famous rapper called MC Hammer.
    – user458
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 2:51
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    As pointed out in the comments to @sawa's answer, "MC" is a well-established English word that predates its rap/hip-hop meaning by a good margin (the same way DJs used to be primarily people who would put on discs and introduce the next part of a radio program)... Its Japanese meaning is, until proven otherwise, roughly identical...
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 21:30

In English, MC means "Master of Ceremony" -- not just a person talking, but the MAIN person doing the talking to the audience at any live event, not just musical. The MC is kind of like the "announcer" for an event but an MC is typically someone the live audience can see whereas an announcer may just be a voice over a loudspeaker. Also the MC does not just announce the performances but does other talking like interviewing performers, generating crowd excitement, and giving the audience additional information related to the performance. There can be more than one MC at an event if two or more people are fulfilling that role. The MC is not typically performing in the event. The MC typically has a certain notoriety and brings some of their own personality to the event.

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    The question asks what MC means in Japanese. The point of the question is that it has a different meaning from what it means in English! Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 0:32
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    I think this answer was submitted as a response to the rather remarkable level of confusion over the MC term in the comment thread under sawa's answer. I agree it doesn't actually talk about the the Japanese adaptation of the word, but it does actually explain the word's origins.
    – jkerian
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 18:54
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    @jkerian: If that is the intent of this post, it should be clearly stated that this is not an answer to the question being asked. Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 23:15

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