Are litotes and similar understatement typically used in Japanese?

The Japanese Wikipedia entry on litotes is no War and Peace, which makes me suspect they don't use them very often.

  • 3
    I'm not sure the length of the Wikipedia article is a super useful metric; Japanese is fairly compact as a language to begin with, and the English article is kind of all over the place. Jun 19, 2015 at 13:11
  • It depends on what counts as a litotes. With the definition and examples the article gave, something like 高くない would be one, meaning "it's not expensive/tall" (negative of "it is cheap/short"), and that is certainly possibly to say.
    – Blavius
    Jun 19, 2015 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


Well, I don't think the use of litotes is language(or country?)-specific.

Some people are fond of rhetorics, while others prefer direct expressions. That's all, I guess.

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