I'm currently studying for N4 of the JLPT, and came across this conversation.


In the above example, 田中 said 「日本で作られたもの」Is there a particular reason why the passive form is used here? I have made a few guesses, namely it may mean that it was made by someone else in Japan, or he was just being polite. But I wanted to ask here to get a more experienced opinion just to be sure.

Also, would the sentence be wrong if just 「日本で作ったもの」is used here?

  • Was すてき really written in kanji? That feels like some pretty fancy kanji for N4. Commented Mar 1, 2020 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Your first guess is right. They do not know the creator of the bag. They are just talking about the origin of the bag. So, this 「られた」means passive tone.

If 田中 says 「日本で作ったもの」, it sounds like "Tanaka made this bag in Japan" because no other subjects are mentioned in this conversation. But, it would be logically wrong because 田中 also says 「ハワイに行ったときに、買いました。」.

By the way, 「日本で作られたものですが、ハワイに行ったときに、買いました。」 suggests "A manufacturer produced the bag in Japan, but it may have been exported to Hawai and 田中 bought one in a retail store in Hawai".

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