Questions tagged [culture]

文化. Where the linguistic aspects of Japanese culture and the cultural aspects of the Japanese language overlap.

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12
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1answer
174 views

Did the Japanese have a concept of “Asia” apart from the Eurocentric definition?

Japan had contact with China, India and the Mongols, among others. Is there a term they used for Asia (in the sense of "land mass where China is" or such) before "アジア"?
2
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1answer
142 views

Honorifics in Japan

I learnt alot of korean and also the fact that a younger girl would call an older girl 'eonni' or and older boy 'oppa'. Also a younger boy would say Noona (older girl) or hyung (older boy). Do ...
2
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1answer
366 views

Understanding censorship in the game “Vivid Army”

Recently I played a game which is call Vivid Army and there's a little conversation between me and this guy but I found that there's some word is censored. 7873 is me. As you can see I have written "...
-6
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1answer
159 views

What Japanese term would be used to describe the image that Japanese see when they look at the moon? [closed]

What do Japanese see when they look at the moon? In America, we see the face of a man. Is it the same in Japan? A fellow Japanese learner asked me this question online.
3
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2answers
139 views

Translation struggles - Kuroshio Current being mentioned in a patriotic song

I'm trying to make sense of an old Japanese patriotic song 五・一五事件 昭和維新行進曲 陸軍の歌, and there's a line that contains a reference to the Kuroshio Current. The event this song was written about (the so-...
0
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0answers
144 views

What are the special coins and notes used that honor the Olympics and the new Emperor called? [duplicate]

I understand that some new Olympic and Imperial coins/notes are being introduced into general circulation. I just want to know what these special Olympic and new Emperor coin/notes would be called.
2
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1answer
137 views

What are the social implications of being too polite lingustically?

Reviewing some basic keigo forms, I was wondering what happens if you express yourself too polite... I heared that is not uncommon for (elder) couples to use keigo to express their uttermost respect ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Difference between the words kakemono and kakejiku

Does anyone reading this site know of any nuance(s) differentiating these two words? Numerous online sites say that kakejiku is more commonly used, but I have found no information about whether the ...
2
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1answer
88 views

圧が強い what's the meaning?

What exactly means to describe someone saying "圧が強い" (atsu ga tsuyoi) . I know that's something related with "the person has a strong pressure" or "the pressure in that person is strong" but I was ...
0
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2answers
89 views

Word games in Japanese (similar to Newspaper games in English?)

I am a big fan of what I would call "word games" that are often found in English newspapers like crosswords, cryptograms, scrambled word games, etc. Usually games like these somehow involve ...
6
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1answer
329 views

How would you express the sentiment of “Happy New Era” [duplicate]

Something like 良いお時代を。? Or would you specifically say 令和? If not that, what would be a literal English translation?
3
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1answer
120 views

Is しかたない a characteristically Japanese response to a question?

It has been suggested in a comment here: How is しかたない an opinion about a product feature? that しかたない might be a characteristically Japanese response to a question (that a Western person might never ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why is ostracism called 村八分【むらはちぶ】?

While doing some reading of old questions, I stumbled upon the term 村八分【むらはちぶ】, which is apparently means ostracism. I'm curious what the 8 parts (八分) are and how this relates to ostracism.
11
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3answers
440 views

What are the stereotypical qualities of a gaijin trying to speak/write Japanese to a Japanese person?

There are plenty of stereotypical qualities of a Japanese speaking person trying to speak English, so, would I be correct in assuming the reverse is also the case, and if so, what would the most ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Why are Japanese fonts different to Chinese?

I’ve noticed that Japanese and Chinese writing tends to use different fonts. Japanese fonts tend use wider lines and more curves. Chinese fonts tend to use narrow angular lines and there are ...
1
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1answer
180 views

How to express that somebody apologized on behalf of somebody else

To help describe my issue, let's imagine following situation: A foreigner comes to Japan. He is in the company of a native Japanese person. Suppose they are friends. During the day, the foreigner ...
0
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1answer
179 views

What do you say when you want to reject a gift without offending anyone?

If you are offered something that you don't want, what do you say to reject it politely?
5
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2answers
417 views

How do Japanese people think/talk about socioeconomic classes?

Every society has its own way of talking about socioeconomic class. In America/Canada, people talk about the "poor", "(lower/upper) middle class", and "upper class", as well as the "1%" and ".1%"; ...
5
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1answer
108 views

Appropriate terms for indigenous people

I'm often asked about my home country by Japanese people and wish to discuss the unique polynesian culture of the indigenous people there. How do I describe them in Japanese? I understand that this is ...
4
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3answers
2k views

How do you say “hello” properly in Kyoto?

Rosetta Stone, which I use for learning, uses konnichiwa (こんにちは?) as a generic "hello". But when visiting Kyoto and places around there, I have never heard anyone actually saying it, not even a single ...
8
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1answer
293 views

Saying “I have no need for 'that'” ('that = insert any phrase') in three different circumstances and in various degree of politeness

Situation1: My close friends offer me 'something' that of no use for me. So I want to reject it by saying 'I have no need for 'that'. (Situation 1-1: I want to sound really rude to my close friend as ...
5
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2answers
164 views

Why do people use the word “くそ”? [duplicate]

I don't know if it's written in hiragana but I have knowledge that kuso means "shit". Why do kids use that term so much? Isn't it offensive or considered a bad word? I am asking this because it's not ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Can i use 戻りました or 帰って来ました after being offline for a long period to say i'm back online?

What do i say when i want to say i'm back online after being offline during a long period of time? Can i use 戻りました and/or 帰って来ました?
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1answer
108 views

How to answer to 精一杯頑張ってきます?

I was talking with my japanese penpal and he wrote to me 精一杯頑張ってきますよ! after I wrote him おはようございます!お仕事頑張ってきてね! because he told me he was going to work. I don't know if there's an answer or not. In ...
5
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1answer
233 views

Does a bear sh*t in the woods? Rhetorical affirmations in Japanese. Is there any?

I could not find anything on this website nor with a (quick I admit) search on Google. Does Japanese have any "yes phrase" (or more technically rhetorical affirmation) used to answer questions whose ...
24
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2answers
5k views

Why are police boxes labeled Koban (in roman letters) in Japan?

I understand that the word for police box is Koban or 交番 in kanji, but why is the signage always in roman letters - Koban. My guess would be to make it easier for foreigners to read, but wouldn't ...
1
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1answer
191 views

Correct spelling of “Gemu Otaku”

In studies on contemporary Japanese culture, they use "Gemu Otaku" in the sense of "video game nerd", "game freak". Is this an academic term only or do people actually use this term in Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
284 views

What is the term used for a baby's age at birth?

Is a babies age determined by date of conception or date of birth? What is the term used for determining the age? A Japanese friend told me that a pregnancy is 10 months. I have always used tanjoubi ...
2
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2answers
121 views

What are the equivalents of millionnaire, multimillionaire and billionaire in Japanese?

I'm talking about the "cultural" ones, because with the yen currency the scale is completely different (millionnaire with yen is only about having approximately 10 000 usd so I don't think it's the ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Formality when talking to ex girlfriend

I am a 32 year old American male. I dated a Japanese female from Kobe for three years. She is now 35 years old, married with a baby. I met her in Kobe, where I lived as well. We haven't spoken in ...
2
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2answers
197 views

Implications of ヒロイン (Heroine) in stories

I've read that ヒロイン , meaning 'heroine', can also imply a romantic interest to the hero pretty much by default culturally in Japan's stories. I can't seem to find any definitive source for this from ...
0
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1answer
99 views

Is it strange to say おはようございます to family members at home?

My teacher said that it is strange to say おはようございます to parents, brothers and sisters at home. Is it true?
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3answers
20k views

What does rubbing a finger under one's nose mean?

Ash Ketchum sometimes does this: I'm sure this macro is simply ignorant of some Japanese body language he's using. Another example is here: I can't recall any other anime character who does ...
3
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2answers
499 views

Appropriate Honorifics for Fan Letter

I wrote a fan letter to Japanese actors that I admire. It was compulsory to write his name on the envelope, so I just simply put Xさん However, I later noticed that everyone seems to address him as ...
0
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1answer
740 views

When you introduce yourself to someone, do you say your first name first, or your last name first?

title says all basically if someone (i'll use the name bob smith as an example) were to introduce themselves, would they call themselves "smith bob" or just "bob smith"
3
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1answer
214 views

Naming things after people

European languages seem to name things after people (or people-like things) on a very regular basis. We have everything from 'Mount Everest' and 'Washington, DC' to 'Robert A Welch Hall'. Places named ...
7
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2answers
718 views

Respect for the Aged Greeting

Sorry if this is off topic, but today is respect for the aged day in Japan, and I'm unsure how to greet elderly individuals, if at all. What would be the proper greeting? Would one greet individuals ...
5
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2answers
3k views

How to express “being sorry” as a sympathetic feeling?

I'm surprised this question hasn't been asked already so in case I just missed it in my searches please point me to it. Is there a general way to express "being sorry" not when apologizing of course, ...
-1
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1answer
669 views

“weather today fine but high waves” - what is the Japanese for this?

This is a famous phrase from the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese war. It is used in modern times such as by Shinzo Abe after he called a snap election a couple of years ago. You can research ...
5
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1answer
974 views

How do you tell your parents and siblings you love them?

In English we describe the affection you have for your parents and siblings as "love", however this is vary different from the feelings of romantic love, things like limerence and sexual arousal, ...
1
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1answer
1k views

What are the most common words for “to attack”? [closed]

The concept of "attacking" is a vary broad one, with a lot of nuance to it. What are the most common/practical words used to describe attacking in Japanese; and what are the nuances to each? Also, I'...
5
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3answers
341 views

What exactly is a 生徒? [duplicate]

The word 生徒(せいと) means "pupil", but what exactly is/was a 生徒 in Japanese culture? And how is a 生徒 different from a 学生? And in what context would you use the word?
4
votes
2answers
309 views

How does 十中八九 break down to mean 9 times out of 10 when there is 八 in the phrase?

十中八九 is one of my favorite phrases. I don't use it that much, but it is still one of my favorites all the same. Almost every dictionary I have used translates it as "nine times out of ten," which I ...
5
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2answers
354 views

Other than はじめまして, what can we say in our introduction?

Other than はじめまして, what else can we say at the beginning of our introduction when meeting someone for the first time? Also, what else do we need to say when introducing ourselves other than our name ...
7
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3answers
2k views

A formal/informal way to say I don't want anything

I was told that is ok to use 何でもないが欲しいです。 in an informal setting for "I don't want anything." Is this correct? And what is an expression I can use in a formal situation?
1
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1answer
97 views

Does ピッとGo mean anything?

Probably it is more cultural question than the language one, but I can't figure out if ピッとGo is just a name for the Times Car point program and does not mean anything or is a some kind of play of ...
0
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0answers
92 views

来年受験 - What does taking an exam in the coming year mean in this context?

In this doujin that I'm reading, a character - Hinata - comes to his new friend's volleyball practice. When an excited Hinata asks if he could join in their practice, the club members crowd around him,...
8
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3answers
918 views

How to respond to a compliment by a boss?

I have learnt a few ways to humbly accept or decline a compliment, including え、まあ...... (with the hand gesture), まだまだです and そんなことはありません. However when the compliment comes from a boss, I am afraid that ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

What should I say when a senior colleague is leaving before me?

When leaving before a senior colleague does, people say お先に失礼します, and the senior employee responds お疲れ様でした or ご苦労様でした. お疲れ様でした is also usually said when a colleague of the same seniority is leaving. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a word to express “the rain of sakura petals”?

I think it's a good question given the season. I was watching the petals of cherry flowers falling down in the typical "pink shower" after the full bloom and wondered: is there a word that expresses ...