In the manga Dead Tube, the presenter of a gossip video is talking about the adultery committed by a female politician called 山岡. He says that the woman was also the winner of the buzzwords contest (流行語大賞) with the phrase 「ニッポン死ね」, which I would translate as "death to Japan". Then he says:

あのフレーズは… 保育園に落ちてしまった主婦の嘆きを表現したもの。つまりその言葉の受賞式に現れた彼女は… その主婦達の代表だってこと…!

What has the sentence 「ニッポン死ね」 to do with desperate housewives in a nursery school or with adultery? Here is the page where it comes from for more context. Note that this is the first and last time that the presenter talks about this woman, so no other information is provided. Thank you for your help!

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This ニッポン死ね is a reference to this anonymous post titled 保育園落ちた日本死ね!!!, and this 山岡 is obviously a reference to 山尾志桜里, a former member of 民主党. Although this is an anonymous blog post full of dirty words, Yamao used it to attack the current 自民党 government, and mass media covered it for quite some time. She received the buzzword-of-the-year 2016 for this phrase, although she is not the original author. I think many Japanese people still remember it.

In the real world, a housewife who wrote ニッポン死ね on the Internet thread was really really angry at the fact she, actually her chiled, had been rejected by day nurseries without reasons. But, in Japan it is very common for parents to fail to find a day nursery for their child(ren) because most of the day nurseries have many more applicants than the designated number.

Here is a kind of catch 22 situation. Only the mothers who has found a day nursery taking care of their children can have their jobs. But, day nurseries accept only the children whose mothers have their own jobs.

The housewife encountered this unreasonable situation. I guess she wasn't able to figure out who is wrong. So, she might have got angry at whole Japan. Then she wrote ニッポン死ね.

Japanese doesn't have so many offensive words compared to English, I think. This 死ね is one of the worst offensive words to the livings.

I think the death doesn't mean very much in this case. The most important thing is that she used the most offensive word to all people in Japan. In other words, you should choose the most offensive word which you like to use when you encounter this catch 22 situation and get angry at all people and their system.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer! So you mean it could even be translated as "fuck you, Japan"? – Marco Aug 17 at 4:39
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    I think "fuck you, Japan" is much better than "death to Japan". Actually, "death to Japan" sounds too calm to me. – Sakura Aug 17 at 4:55
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    Or "Go to hell, Japan!" – DXV Aug 17 at 5:51
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    I think "Go to hell, Japan!" sounds very good because hell is related to death. – Sakura Aug 17 at 6:00
  • I was thinking... how was the expression included in the 2016 buzzword list even though it was so rude? Wasn't it a problem? – Marco Aug 19 at 4:37

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