What's the best translation of "weeaboo" in Japanese?

I would define a weeaboo as a (generally derogatory term for a) non-Japanese person who is highly interested in manga, anime, Japanese video games, and/or Japanese culture in general.

Otaku (おたく/オタク) is somewhat a synonym of weeaboo in English, but apparently not so in Japanese, where it means nerd/geek more broadly, not necessarily in manga/anime/video games.

I wasn't able to find an entry on Jisho.org or relevant links besides two Reddit posts (link 1, link 2), which suggested the following:

  • ウィアブー/ウィーアブー
  • 日本かぶれ
  • 日本好き for a more neutral term

Which of these terms is most commonly used? What are the connotations of each of these terms, and where might they differ from the English term "weeaboo"? Are they established in any dictionaries? Are there any other terms that might be used?

  • 2
    the Japanese wikitionary page also suggests 日本オタク. ja.wiktionary.org/wiki/weeaboo Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 6:04
  • 1
    I just Googled "weeaboo" and the first hit says "Wapanese", possibly from "wannabe Japanese" or maybe "White Japanese". Another word, "Japanophile" has been around longer, but doesn't necessarily mean negative or derogatory.
    – DXV
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It depends on how you want to use this word.

  • ウィアブー or ウィーアブー is not something an average Japanese speaker would understand, and that's why it's not on jisho.org. It's a transliteration rather than a translation. Still, if you want to write an article about the concept of weeaboo in Japanese, you'll probably want to present the word as ウィアブー first and explain its meaning. (Actually, I first recognized the word weeaboo via one of such articles written in Japanese.)
  • 日本かぶれ and 日本オタク are good if weeaboo is not the main topic of your article. かぶれ is a derogatory suffix similar to "-mania" or "wannabe". These phrases may not fully cover the nuance of weeaboo as you have defined, but you can convey the gist of it. Note that these phrases have no direct connection to anime/manga, so you may still have to explain that part if it's not clear in the context.
  • 日本好き is "Japan fan", a very neutral phrase.
  • Thanks, this was really informative! Could you comment on 日本オタク and whether that would more directly suggest an interest in anime/manga?
    – mic
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 18:59
  • 1
    @MiCl Although unspecified オタク usually refers to manga/anime fans, ○○オタク is not necessarily a term specific to manga/anime fandom. For example one can say 鉄道オタク (railfan). Someone who is into kimono, kabuki and ukiyoe can be called a 日本オタク.
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 0:33

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