I saw a disclaimer at the bottom of a tourist brochure about ryokans, which in English was "The photo on this page is an image", and in Japanese "掲載の写真はイメージです。" At the end of the brochure, they had "Photos shown in the catalog are images to give an example." and "掲載されている写真はイメージです。"

What is the meaning of イメージ in this context? Saying that a photo is an image is tautological, so does it mean that it's something like an artist's impression, as opposed to something you're guaranteed to get?

  • 1
    Whenever I come across this I always imagine the hidden second part: 掲載の写真はイメージです。(ですので実物/実際とは異なる場合がございます。) Basically it's an oblique way to say what you see is not what you get.
    – goldbrick
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 7:12
  • Good question. I used to have a similar battle all the time with the native Japanese translators I worked with. They always wanted to translate katakana derived from English directly (what I called 和製英語), and I would always try to explain to them that it wasn't always a one-to-one mapping. Also, chocolate, just out of curiosity, how did you get the furigana above the 掲載 kanji in your comment? Thanks.
    – HartleySan
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


Your understanding is correct. For example, in http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/15070/meaning/m0u/ イメージ is explained as


Primary meaning of イメージ is an imaginary figure you'll have in your mind.


Japanese use "イメージ(image)" as "things look just like the real thing."

There are plenty of "イメージ(images)" in Japan. Especially you can find a lots of "イメージ 映像(あるいは写真)" illustrating the effectness of medicine. It uses computer graphics making consumer have good impression or understanding about the products.

Yes, it's just a Japanese-English. A English word being used for commercial illustration use in Japan. Or we Japanese can say "image" of real English.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .