To say something is a 見物, does it have a derogatory nuance like we are making fun of that person / that thing?

If so, is it derogatory to the extent that even if I intended it as a fun joke it seems a bit too much, or is it just a bit derogatory and fine to use in informal situations?

2 Answers 2


It can be. The most common usage of this term is as follows:

A) Hey, I'm going skiing with Jack, together with his brand new girlfriend.
B) Why? He has never been skiing and he sucks at sport.
A) Yeah! It will be a 見物! hahaha

When you say 見物, it implies that you are looking forward and will enjoy seeing how he/she will fail. So you risk to be seen as an asshole. If you are really close with the conversation partner and you fully understand the nuance of this term, you could use it to joke, but my advice is to stay away unless you are really confident.

Usage of 見物 as simply something worth seeing is rather archaic now and is not commonly used.

  • Enno: nice explanation, but just a small niggling: I think it would be even nicer if you could make your example sentences entirely in Japanese (it gives a better idea of how the word is used and makes more sense than a mix, I think). It seems that you are a native (Japanese) speaker, so I am assuming it would be no problem to you (sorry if I'm wrong)...
    – Dave
    Aug 6, 2011 at 3:56
  • @Dave yep :) Added Japanese example sentence... Aug 6, 2011 at 6:34
  • hey thx for the examples too
    – Pacerier
    Aug 6, 2011 at 15:09
  • I think that 新彼女 is a strange way to refer to 新しい彼女 (new girlfriend) unless the prefix 新- became much more productive than before while I was abroad. Aug 6, 2011 at 15:39
  • @Tsuyoshi: Admittedly it's not very common. But IMO you do hear "新カノ" time to time. Aug 6, 2011 at 15:48

I don't think it's derogatory per se. My dictionary defines it as "a sight/attraction/something worth seeing".

But if used sarcastically I guess it would be.

For everything in general, it's not just what you say, but how you say it.

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