How would I write "red pill" or "red pilled" in Japanese? I'm having a conversation with a friend overseas about different weird current stuff in US politics on youtube and I was just wondering how this would be written because I don't know if I'm coming across clearly with them or not with the written form of it.

I don't really know Japanese and I tried google translate and it gave me "赤い丸薬" but I'm wondering if that's correct? Thanks!

  • Probably レッドピル or something like that. It's a concept that I think doesn't really exist in Japanese politics, so even then you're still going to have to define it for them anyway.
    – Blavius
    May 30, 2017 at 21:44
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    i'm a native english speaker and i have no clue what the OP means by red pill(ed).
    – A.Ellett
    May 31, 2017 at 1:16
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    If you mean this, this metaphor is not widely recognized by Japanese people in the first place, and you'll have to explain its connotation in some way or another, no matter how you translate it. That can be far more difficult than literally translating red pill, though. If you don't know much about Japanese, probably it's wise to give up using this word altogether.
    – naruto
    May 31, 2017 at 3:19
  • I agree with Naruto. If you make a casual allusion to pop culture in Japanese but this is not readily understood, then you have to go back and explain this allusion and show how it fits with your original sentence. Your pithy sentence ends up being bloated and ineffective. Take it from an English teacher who has had to explain a lot of idioms and jokes to his Japanese students.
    – Robert
    May 31, 2017 at 3:31
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    On the other hand, the phrases will be well understood if properly explained, as the Matrix is also popular in Japan.
    – Yosh
    May 31, 2017 at 4:04

4 Answers 4


I'm Japanese native. I look for the meaning of "red pill" in Eng-Jpn dictionary.

I think there is no word or idiom for "red pill" in Japanese. But if I translate, it would be sentence like this.

幻想を破る - overcome the illusion or 現実を受け入れる - accept reality


How would I write "red pill" or "red pilled" in Japanese?

"赤い錠剤" or "赤いカプセル" is good. "Pill" is translated to [錠剤]{じょうざい} or カプセル, and ピル (pill, piru) means an oral contraceptive pill in Japan.

[丸薬]{がんやく} is an old wording; it means a type of kneaded and round shaped pill. In old times, most pills were made by conventional methods, not by modern scientific methods. So it's weird to call a modern pill 丸薬.

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    While this translates what a red pill is in Japanese, "red pill" is an idiom with a different meaning than this.
    – virmaior
    May 31, 2017 at 3:31

I would go with this:


but maybe a native speaker can correct this and tell me whether that would explain it in a concise way.

Maybe even based 現実 , 真理 or something like that.


I would recommend:

目覚めた{めざめた} mezameta

Even as an American I have not heard that Matrix referenced used in that way before. Although I think you want to convey the sense of someone waking up to reality, like Neo taking the red pill in the movie and becoming aware of the real world.

目覚める means to wake up, or more literally that your eyes are open. I think this fits well with the question since it seems you want to say that "your eyes have been opened" or that you have woken up to a new consciousness of reality.

I'd recommend using 目覚める over mentioning anything about a literal "red pill" unless you know that your friend has seen The Matrix and would get that reference. If they have seen the movie, you could even reference the scene directly by saying something like:


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