Context: a man has just declared his love for a woman in a really sentimental way. Two of his male friends comment as it follows:

Friend A: なんつーベタな...
Friend B: 昭和

I think it could be translated like: "How mawkish" "Yeah, old-fashioned". Do you agree? In general, is the Shōwa period considered as a time when things were more sentimental? Thanks for your help!

EDIT: More context here: https://i.stack.imgur.com/9DM21.jpg

  • I don't think they said ベタ and 昭和 just because he was sentimental. ベタ does not mean mawkish nor sentimental. Perhaps the man said something that reminds native speakers of the Showa era (for example, a famous line in a song of the '70s). Could you post that part, too?
    – naruto
    Sep 16, 2016 at 7:20
  • I added a link for more context. If it's not "mawkish", what does ベタ mean here?
    – Marco
    Sep 16, 2016 at 7:39
  • 3
    ベタ means conventional, as in cliche. Overused in fiction, not unique, not innovative.
    – marasai
    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:32
  • It doesn't mean that Showa is always used at negative situation. Also, Showa period has a nuance of the good old days. Sep 16, 2016 at 19:06

4 Answers 4


Being 27 years since 昭和 was gone, it's safe to say that the word comes to be a synonym of "good old days" to the most of people. Actually, I never witnessed the real 昭和 because it was already 平成 when I was born 🙃.

Technically 昭和 encompasses a quite long duration December 25, 1926—January 7, 1989, what people nowadays imagine through this word is the atmosphere of 60s to 80s; i.e. roughly when your mom and dad were young.

In general, is the Shōwa period considered as a time when things were more sentimental?

Not particularly. In fact, I can't name what specifically Friend B describes to be 昭和-ish from this context. It may refer to his attitude being so pure-hearted, or this situation is so typical in drama at that time. The only thing I know for sure is the character wants to tell something is "anachronistic" or "so rarely seen these years".


As already pointed out, ベタ means "(a pattern or solution is) fixed and repeatedly used", so this 「なんつーベタな…」 should be translated like "What a classic..." or some ways.

  • While 昭和 is a few years ago from I was born, it really sounds like old-fashioned, classic ones. Now it's 令和. 平成 gets classic more and more like 昭和 ♨️ By the way there are other idioms to express classic: [昭和]{しょうわ}[臭]{くさ}い (direct: smells like Showa), 80[年代]{ねんだい} ('80s), ニューウェイブ (new-waves, a widely used word in 70s, to express the new era)
    – puhitaku
    Sep 21, 2019 at 6:51

Yes, I have heard 「昭和が染み付いているのよ」 in さばドル which meant that main heroine is old-fashioned.

You can find more about this meaning of 「昭和」 here: http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1424684554


I agree with your idea. The word 昭和 refers to the Shōwa period 1926–1989. (The name of the current period is 平成 Heisei).

昭和 can also mean "old-fashioned" or "uncool", "unsophisticated". It can be used both in a positive and in a negative sense. The negative sense being "old-fashioned", but the positive referring to "having a historic background".

During the Shōwa period the Japanese experienced 高度経済成長期 (period of high economic growth) and a bubble economy. Even though Japan was defeated in WWII, during the 高度経済成長期 most Japanese say that this period should no longer be termed "post-war".

The economic expansion helped to restore Japanese pride which had been lost during the war. During the bubble economy, people were using money as if it were water. The Japanese always think back to this time and many Japanese middle-aged people might think that "Things were better in the good ol' days".


As I’m ignorant of the original story, I cannot tell what the friend B. exactly meant by the word, “昭和” here.

But I think the word, “昭和” is often taken romantically as a nostalgia to those who think fondly of the era (from 1926 to 1988) today, and sometimes antiquated, and perhaps “mawkish” to those who were born in 平成 era.

Still for many people it would be the analogous sensation to that those who lived Meiji, Taisho, and Showa era embraced to “明治” as Nakamura Kusatao (1901 -1983), a distinguished Haiku poet exquisitely sang in his famous Haiku – 降る雪や 明治は遠くなりにけり – Amidst the snow falling heavily, Meiji has gone far away.

I was born in the year of Showa 8th (1933), I’ve never seen “昭和” mawkishly. It was exactly the time of Sturm und Drang, when we didn’t have a time to be "mawkish" nor passive. We lost the W.W. II. We worked very hard. We recovered to be called “Japan as Number one” as Ezra Vogel described, and we are here as just an ordinary country now .

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