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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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Does Japanese advertises selling something with full price?

Context: I am reading a manga. The girl is promoting a new kind of cloth hanger. The final part she said "今ならお値段 フルプライス!" which may be "(buy) it now for its full price". Does I ...
Suratraak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Is drawing the の character in the ground a thing? [Konosuba]

In KonoSuba S1 (a comedy gag anime), Darkness (a masochist) wanted this Demon Lord to do unspeakable things to her. But the Demon Lord just nope'd the hell out and left, and Darkness was sulking over ...
chausies's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
304 views

What's a prototypical example of モラハラ (moral harassment)?

I'm not exactly sure what モラハラ is. All I can tell is that it's strongly associated with workplace bullying. But I don't really understand how "moral harassment" might be a thing. Is it kind ...
chausies's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
441 views

What is this sex-related drink supposed to be? [Todome no Kiss]

In the Jdrama Todome no Kiss, there's a male host at a cabaret-style club, and before he goes out to the host floor, he drinks this energy-drink looking thing. What the heck is this supposed to be? ...
chausies's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
230 views

What is Kanchō (カンチョー)? Do boys really do that in Japan?

My friend and I were talking about pranks (upcoming April Fool's Day in Canada) and she taught me a crude prank that apparently some kids in Japan do to each other called a カンチョー ("Kanchō"), ...
Chloe K.'s user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is ツリ目 (slant-eyes) considered offensive at all to native Japanese, or are they basically fine with it?

In Koi wa Ameagari no You ni EP08, a guy in a conversation is trying to reference a girl, and says "前はよく一緒にいたろう。ツリ目の" (You were with them often before. The one with the slant-eyes), further ...
chausies's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

When can 「お前」be endearing?

In modern Japanese「お前」is generally considered to be disrespectful or condescending. But sometimes in colloquial speech it's used between friends or even lovers in a way that conveys they are being ...
Mentalist's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

回{まわ}り as a counter for 12 years?

In Ryuu ga Gotoku 8 (aka Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth), when asked about getting with a younger lady, a character says the line "[彼女{かのじょ}]下手{へた}すりゃふた回{まわ}りも年下{としした}だぞ" ("at worst, [...
chausies's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What sibling terms do twins use towards each other?

If two Japanese siblings are twins, do they still use the standard "older-then or younger-than" sibling terms for each other (お兄さん/弟, お姉さん/妹), basing it on whichever twin came into existence ...
Hikonyan's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
202 views

What exactly is "夢" and why is it used so much?

I think it is rather clear if one listens to enough Japanese songs that "夢" is used all the time; it is in many corporate messages as well from the commercials I recall. As a song example, I ...
BigRigz's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Any reason "Naniwa musume" is used to refer to a girl in modern times (as opposed to "Oosaka musme")?

Naniwa is an antiquated name for what is now referred to as the Oosaka region (It was called Naniwa around the 1500s last, if I'm not mistaken). That being said, In Shinya Shokudo S3E04 (released in ...
chausies's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is ニュー・ハーフ considered a derogatory/offensive term in Japan for a transsexual individual?

Also, as a follow-up, is it used solely to refer to MtF trans individuals? From what I've read online in Japanese, that seems to be the case, but I just wanted to confirm. And if so, what is the most ...
chausies's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
168 views

readings of north, south, east, west?

This sentence appeared here: https://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S15638672.html?iref=comtop_Opinion_05 日本語【にほんご】では東西南北【とうざいなんぼく】だが、中国語【ちゅうごくご】では東南西北【とうなんせいほく】と書【か】く。一方【いっぽう】で、英語【えいご】では北南東西【きたなんとうにし】の順【...
Ned Reif's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
170 views

How to tell someone to call you by a certain name, but they're free to use whatever suffix they please?

Say my name is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but since that name is obviously nuts, they can feel free to call me by my nickname "スーパ". But I don't mean for them to just refer to me as ...
chausies's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
100 views

How should I read 帖合・書店印 and what is it?

帖合・書店印 There are cards in my books called 注文カード and it's written on them. I can't type the first word automatically and I don't know how to read 印 since it has two pronunciations: しるし, いん. ちょうあい・...
Haragurodanshi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
111 views

What is 上寿し and how is it pronounced?

I encountered it here https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/michinoku/20230418-OYT8T50006/ 「上寿し【??】」は800【はっぴゃく】円【えん】、「人生相談【じんせいそうだん】」はゼロ円【えん】 "---" is 800 yen, and "life counseling" ...
Ned Reif's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

啓発本 (keihatsu-bon) = self-help book = a common word? Any insight on this?

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 &...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

When speaking openly with a group of people, is it okay to speak casually with some and formally with others?

Say that I'm having lunch with my buddy outside, and my boss comes over and starts talking to me. Obviously, with my boss, I'll talk with proper keigo and stuff. But in front of my boss, am I allowed ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
2 votes
0 answers
173 views

Where can I find an exhaustive list of Ryūkyūan personal names?

According to Wikipedia, "Okinawan name", speaking about the warabi-naa 童名, the primary personal names of Ryūkyū: A set of warabi-naa appeared in the very beginning of recorded history and ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
  • 2,399
6 votes
1 answer
226 views

When speaking to a family (where they all have the same last name), is it okay to refer to people by their first name?

Say I know a woman named Satou Hanako, whom I would refer to as "Satou-san". If I meet her family (mom, dad, big brother, big sister, etc.), and they introduce themselves by name, how should ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
-1 votes
1 answer
107 views

How would you address a younger step-parent / older step-child?

Like this but way more insane: Younger uncles and aunts (But I believe this sorta happened in House of the Dragon, prequel / spin-off of of Game of Thrones) Let's say widow Viserys Tanaka had ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
0 answers
140 views

Why is cactus ’仙人掌'

It seems like a strange word for cactus, (hermit palm??) Is there a cultural background to this?
大蒜仙人汁's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

What (if anything) does it typically mean when a native speaker switches from casual to keigo with you?

Over the last month, I've been texting daily with someone I met during my recent trip to Japan. We've only used casual language but today, she called me (name) 氏 whereas she has used 君 before. We ...
colevoncole's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
152 views

Is "strong language" a rating criterion in Japanese entertainment/media?

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 ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
3 votes
1 answer
442 views

Common placeholder names in Japanese

In English, when we give an example and it has to contain a person, there are some default names that we resort to, such as John Doe, John Appleseed, or Alice & Bob. I even found this line on ...
dvx2718's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
51 views

Are AI's referred to with いる or ある? [duplicate]

For example, would a chatbot be referred to with いる or ある? If I wanted to ask "You have Siri, right?", would I say "Siriがいるだろう" or "Siriがあるだろう". And what about for the ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do we translate English song titles to Japanese?

I was reading past rankings of Japanese music charts such as Billboard Japan and Oricon, and I noticed that songs that are from Western pop music are generally written in katakana. For example: シェイプ・...
jdk_13's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
726 views

Is it true step-sibling is translated the same as sibling-in-law?

I often see these weird translations sometimes of sibling-in-law (or sister-in-law or brother-in-law) but what they really mean is step-sibling (or step-sister or step-brother). I had the strangest ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is Japan's サラダ油 ("salad oil") roughly equivalent to america's vegetable/olive oil?

I was watching a japanese cooking video for eggplant sauteed with miso (ナスのみそ炒め). And they mentioned they were using サラダ油. My question's are: Is this a common oil used in Japanese cooking (kind of ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,201
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

The Quintessential Quintuplets: You can't address your parents chichi/haha, but can you refer to your parents as oyaji/otou-san/okaa-san?

According to Yuta (whom I heard is apparently not well regarded in the subreddit r/learnjapanese but eh) in How Anya Speaks Japanese (Spy x Family): You can't address your parents as chichi/haha. ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Stubbornly gender-neutral way to address or refer to your older sibling? (Wait a minute...what about non-binary?)

I believe Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog/Filipino/Philippine and English (I'm a monolinguist from HK and the Philippines) don't have this, and so Japanese probably doesn't either, but here goes: Is ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
1 vote
1 answer
335 views

Paired tattoos of the "life" kanji (命)

I was looking into the definition of 命 on jisho, and I got really curious about one of the entries. Other than the usual ones (that I mostly knew about), I found entry number 4 to be quite interesting:...
Jak's user avatar
  • 937
1 vote
1 answer
164 views

How I address a juniour colleague is different from how I refer to the colleague around the colleague's sibling?

From S02E10 of the anime adaptation of the manga The Quintessential Quintuplets: Above, Miku Nakano (left) is a younger identical quintuplet of Yotsuba Nakano (right). Miku and Yotsuba are high ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
1 answer
247 views

Kaguya-sama: Changing the way you address someone without your relationship having changed

Question: Is it common in Japanese to (temporarily? permanently?) change the way you address to someone even if your relationship has not changed because of certain intent say, you want to intimidate ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
2 votes
1 answer
233 views

What is the difference between 上代日本語 & 中古日本語 and 古文

I know 上代/中古日本語 are Old/Early middle Japanese, and that 古文 is Classical Japanese, and I know the latter is exclusively written since it's the literary language, but what are the other differences? ...
緑茶七百九十四年's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
645 views

Translation of 'Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita' is 'Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It'?

This anime/manga called Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita (seemingly an anime/manga version of the Sheldon and Amy parts of The Big Bang Theory) is translated as 'Science Fell in Love, So ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
4 answers
516 views

Importance of stroke order and writing kanji

This got me confused: Various kanji learning sites on the Internet and even books on kanji stress the importance of stroke order while learning new kanji, saying it's highly essential to learn to ...
Tirthankar De's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
251 views

"Struggle to the death" Japanese culture

I read an article and it had the word "shinimonogurui". And this is how it was explained: 「死に物狂い」というのは、「生きるか死ぬかというくらいの覚悟を持って全力で物事に当たるさま」を意味している表現なのです 例えば、「死に物狂いで努力し続けた結果、...
Pam's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
197 views

Don't 不吉, 富士通 sound alike? [closed]

Isn't it an issue that 不吉, 富士通 sound alike? At least for non-Japanese speakers. For Western companies, they would avoid any even slight associations with something negative.
Quora Feans's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
209 views

In which year of education is the 々 symbol taught?

A very similar question was asked here: Does 々 have a kanji grade level? but in the end the main question haven't really been answered, and the best answer was "you don't need to know". Well,...
Erundil's user avatar
  • 63
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

In what unit is the length of Japanese texts measured?

In English, we measure the length of texts in words. 1,000 words for the average college essay, 50,000 for something like a fiction novel. I’m wondering what unit is used to measure Japanese texts. I’...
Summer's user avatar
  • 441
1 vote
0 answers
105 views

Is おたくじじい a proper term to describe an old man who's into anime or is there another slang term for it?

So as the question states, is おたくじじい a proper term to describe an old geezer otaku or is there a better alternative?
Baten's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
758 views

Using nicknames or first name with high school peers

I have a story set in Japan with Japanese high schoolers (around the ages 17-18). One of them is called Kiwatamura (family name) Ryuko (first name). He is Japanese and lived there as a kid but he ...
Esther's user avatar
  • 29
4 votes
1 answer
477 views

When is it overkill to use suffix 先生{せんせい} when addressing someone in Japanese?

When I meet a lawyer (弁護士{べんごし}) or physician (医師{いし}) in Japan, I address them using the (augmentative) suffix 先生{せんせい}. To be clear, I am not a lawyer, physician, or teacher. (I read about how ...
kevinarpe's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
1 answer
150 views

How to write and sing Shigin (Japanese way of chanting poem) properly?

1, Should Shigin be written in Yamato (old Japanese language)? Or an even older version of Japanese? Can I write it in modern Japanese? 2, Are there rules for Shigin? Such as setting rhythms, melodies,...
BlackXIII's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
447 views

Best Bible translation for my Japanese grandmother? [closed]

I will also be posting this in the Christianity site but I don’t feel like it fits very well in either category. If you can think of a better stack exchange site please let me know. Some background: ...
Zachary F's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
1 answer
876 views

Meaning of もったいないお化けがでる

I came across もったいないお化けがでる What does that mean?
Newbie's user avatar
  • 2,141
-1 votes
1 answer
136 views

How should I start learning Japanese as a total beginner and a native English speaker? [closed]

I am thinking of moving to Japan in the future, and I know that I will have to pass JLPT exams in order to get a job. So how should I start learning?
Pratyaksh Saini's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
151 views

Trying to make sense of a sentence in Akutagawa's "Hell Screen"

Towards the end of chapter 10 of Akutagawa's Hell Screen, その度にばさ/\と、凄じく翼を鳴すのが、落葉の匂だか、滝の水沫とも或は又猿酒の饐ゑたいきれだか何やら怪しげなものゝけはひを誘つて、気味の悪さと云つたらございません。 Source which translated to The flattering of wings is ...
bakesensei bakajanai's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a story behind drawing a face with の as eyes, も as a nose and へ as a mouth?

In the first episode of the Zatoichi series there is a scarecrow whose face is drawn using various hiragana. When I seen it it occurred to me that I've seen that done somewhere else before. Is there ...
Kantura's user avatar
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