In the latest season (S6) of Boku no Hero Academia, basically a mom was trying to help her kid by giving some advice about not having such a chip on his shoulder. But the edgelord kid reacted with "what do you know!", and then: "啓発本でも読んだのかよ", which is translated as "Did you read a self-help book or something?!"

My question is about 啓発本. 啓発 (keihatsu) is apparently a common word according to jisho.org (though I've never encountered it), and they say it means a wide range of things from "enlightenment" or "edification" to "development". I just am not sure about any of those definitions, especially in the context of how 啓発本 is used in this particular instance.

"Did you read a self-help book or something?!" seems like an excellent translation (given the context of the anime, where the kid is mocking his mom's "plastic" concern), but I'm just completely unfamiliar with the term 啓発本, or 啓発 for that matter. I guess I'm asking for more thorough definitions (in terms of connotation as well) of these terms. Another example or two would be appreciated as well.

1 Answer 1


啓発本, or more fully 自己啓発本 ('self-englightening books') , is a collective name for books that deal with successful career, positive thinking, time management, being happy, or those kinds of things. You can google the term and see lists that should include some translations from English. My impression is that translated books of this genre is mostly American. So self-help book is fine, but could be a bit narrower than 啓発本 as a category.

啓発する is a verb meaning to enlighten, provide insights (a synonym is 啓蒙). It is often used in the passive.

  • この本から大いに啓発された
  • I learned a great deal from this book. (Literally, I was enlightened a lot by this book)

In practice, 啓発される is a strained/affected way to say to learn and I don't think it's used in ordinary conversations. It may be used in book reviews as a compliment.

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