I was reading the wikia of an anime and I found this,

Red Riot Unbreakable 烈怒頼雄斗安無嶺過武瑠 (レッドライオットアンブレイカブル) (Reddo Raiotto Anbureikaburu)

The name of a technique "Reddo Raiotto Anbureikaburu" based in the english words "Red Riot Unbreakable" are written with the kanjis 烈怒頼雄斗安無嶺過武瑠. I thought foreign words were always written with katakana but this isnt the case. When are foreign language words written into japanese using kanjis?


2 Answers 2


This is something that can be called a 暴走族風当て字, which is explained in this question: Origin of 夜露死苦?

You can see more examples here:

They often wore coats full of difficult kanji like this. This type of creative ateji is basically unique to the 暴走族/ヤンキー culture in the Showa era. Today, almost no young people do this seriously any more, but you may still see this type of ateji in fiction. The user of 安無嶺過武瑠 is not directly related to 暴走族, but this ateji seems to symbolize his rough but mannish and upright character.


That is Ateji. Foreign words are usually written with katakana, but sometimes are written with phonetic equivalent kanjis.

Names of foreign countries are often written with kanjis in newspaper. For example, the phonetic equivalent of アメリカ (America) is 亜米利加 (A-mei-ri-ka). When newspapers are writing about America, they just take the second letter and write 米国 (米-country) or just 米 when there is no worry about confusion with 米(rice). You can see similar expressions in the headlines of Yahoo! news (https://news.yahoo.co.jp/list/?c=world).

Let's go on to the given example 烈怒頼雄斗安無嶺過武瑠. "Red Riot Unbreakable" is almost always written with katakana. However, this is written with kanjis because this looks cooler and stronger. Many of the kanjis used in this word is not only phonetic equivalents but also has meanings related with strength. 烈 means intense, 怒 means angry, 雄 means brave, and so on. Another example is 夜露死苦 (yoroshiku) which literally means night-dew-death-suffer but the meaning of よろしく is just "Nice to meet you".

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    亜米利加 - When newspapers are writing about America, they just take the second letter and write 米国. That's not the reason 米国 is used for America...In the Edo period America was called 米利堅 メリケン ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – By137
    Aug 15, 2018 at 4:50
  • Oh, that's right. In 日米和親条約 America was called so. Thank you.
    – legogo
    Aug 15, 2018 at 5:21
  • I didn't know line breaks couldn't be used in comments, so perhaps my first comment was unclear. I was saying that newspapers are not taking the second letter of 亜米利加 when they write 米国 but they are using the kanji word 米国 that means America, which came from the word 米利堅.
    – By137
    Aug 15, 2018 at 6:05

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