When I studied Japanese this morning, I found this word 皮切り in my dictionary:
Example sentence: それを皮切りとして欧州の詩や文学を多数紹介するようになりました。
Translation: With that as a start many European poems and much literature came to be introduced.
From the example sentence, I don't find the usage 'sensitive'.
However, after some research, I find this to be interesting:
Opinion of user1
Basically it's from the two Kanji used that give the feeling of "cut skin".
My guess: This word is related to a circumcision, thus labelled as 'sensitive'.
Opinion of user2
I have never thought of 皮切り as a sensitive word. I use it, people use it.
It seems that some publisher put this word on their list of sensitive words at some time because they thought it might remind the readers of circumcision, and therefore might sound vulgar.
In my opinion, it's far-fetched. Again, people use the word.
Opinion of user3
There are lots of words to do with cutting, leather, flesh, and butchery which might have connotations that moderns no longer feel.
Note that Entertainers were even below them, considered non-human, whereas Burakumin were cast out, but still considered human. It gives more context to "The Izu Dancer", that.
In JMDICT history: This word seems to be included in 放送禁止用語 or banned words in TV. It's on the NHK list of things to be avoided or used carefully. It seems it can be confused with circumcision.
1.Are their opinions correct? I mean that the reason of the word being sensitive? Why do you think so?
2.What do you feel when using the word i.e.: 皮切り, is it truly sensitive to your native ear?
3.One of the meaning is 'beginning with/starting with' and I think it's pretty neutral. Is this correct?
Thank you very much!