In English figurative meaning of word usually marked with quotation marks like this:

The motherboard is sometimes considered the "brain" of a computer.

I know that in Japanese quotation marks usually used for emphasis. But do they also used to mark figurative meaning or some other method is used?

2 Answers 2


Yes, Japanese quotation marks (「」) can be used to enclose non-literal or figurative expressions.


Double corner brackets (『』) and Western-style double-quotes (“ ”)are also commonly used for this purpose. This article seems good.

But please don't think take this as a hard rule. As a matter of fact, Japanese people use brackets fairly loosely. Quotation marks are not strongly associated with sarcasm, either. See the following questions.

(By the way, the "brain" of a PC is usually a CPU, isn't it?)


Usually 傍点(ぼうてん) is used.
傍点 are small dots used like furigana, and put above or on the side of the word you want to emphasize.


Frequently they can mean sarcasm.
Unfortunately you cannot 傍点 in text files.
Only on computer files that allow furigana, like Word files.


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