In the West, "strong language" (e.g. lots of cussing) will net you a higher rating (e.g. rated M) or even get videos on YouTube demonitized. Is there essentially no such concept in Japan? To be clear, I am excluding "adult themes" and "explicit content" (e.g. talking about sex). To my knowledge, Japanese doesn't really have "cussing", but rather "rude speech". Would talking in a rude enough manner really bump up the rating of something, similar to "Strong Language" in the West? Or is that essentially not a concern in Japan?

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    Based on 2:14 in this Japanese Swearing 101 I think the only things you can't say on TV are discriminatory words. My best bet is there's no strong language. What a great question. I look forward to reading the answers!
    – BCLC
    Jan 3 at 21:00
  • This seems off-topic to me. Like it's more about the entertainment industry than questions about swearing/strong language itself (specific terms, meanings, usage, etc.).
    – istrasci
    Jan 3 at 23:18
  • Since the short answer is no, it may be more appropriate for Manga&Anime SE.
    – sundowner
    Jan 4 at 2:58
  • @sundowner I was thinking about it, but this applies to all Japanese media, including film and TV. Ultimately, it is a matter of the language and culture, hence I posted here.
    – chausies
    Jan 4 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


CERO, the Japanese game rating organization, has the following in its regulation regarding what are banned expressions (禁止表現):


  1. 一般に放送禁止用語・差別用語・不快用語に当たる言葉については、直接並びに間接的な表現や比喩も含み、中傷や蔑称に当たる用語の使用を禁止する。常識の範囲内で、使用する場面及び前後の成り行きにより必要と認められる場合はこの限りではない。

Games that contain such words are subject to "no rating" (i.e., ban of sale) rather than just an increase of rating, so it's a real concern at least on the rules.

That said, I don't know why, but I have a feeling that Japanese people (even outlaws and hip-hop musicians) tend not to use dirty words in their sentences. In foreign games, I sometimes see characters who use words like these in rapid succession and a large part of their conversations is bleeped, but I cannot imagine a similar way of speaking in Japanese. Many game developers have complained that CERO's regulation of violence and sexual content is too strict, but I have never heard of a similar issue with respect to "simply dirty words".

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