Japanese with Anime

And kanji with manga

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Saturday, April 10, 2021


There are many manga and anime about school delinquents, or that feature delinquent characters. For reference, an article about them.

Example of delinquent characters.
Anime: Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou, 魁!!クロマティ高校 (Episode 1)
Friday, April 9, 2021

sukeban スケバン

In Japanese, sukeban スケバン means a "female delinquent," the sort that gets into fights, and is part of gangs.

It's also spelled sukeban 助番, or onna-banchou 女番長 with sukeban as gikun 義訓.

Pauline ポーリン, Reina レーナ, Mavis von Austien メーヴィス・フォン・オースティン, wearing delinquent outfits, example of sukeban スケバン.
Left: Pauline ポーリン
Middle: Reina レーナ
Right: Mavis von Austien メーヴィス・フォン・オースティン
Anime: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! 私、能力は平均値でって言ったよね! (Episode 10, Stitch)
Monday, April 5, 2021

yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り

In Japanese, yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, meaning literally "yankee sitting," translated to "delinquent squat," and also known in English as the "slav squat," refers to a way to sit on the floor: by squatting.

It's also romanized yankee-zuwari.

Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎, Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士, and Hokuto's henchman, example of yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, delinquent squat.
Right: Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎
Middle: Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士
Left: uh... what was his name again... I forgot. Hokuto's henchman.
Anime: Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou, 魁!!クロマティ高校 (Episode 16)
Friday, March 19, 2021

ishidaki 石抱き

In Japanese, ishidaki 石抱き, meaning literally "stone hugging," is a torture method in which someone is made do a seiza 正座, i.e. sit on the knees, on a ridged wood block, and then stone blocks are placed on top of their legs, crushing them.

Wave ウェイブ kneeling on a ridged wood block, Kurome クロメ placing wood stones over his legs, example of ishidaki 石抱き.
Left: Wave, ウェイブ
Right: Kurome クロメ
Anime: Akame ga Kill!, アカメが斬る! (Episode 10)

The word is also spelled ishidaki 石抱, without okurigana. Other names include soroban-zeme 算盤責, "abacus torture," and ishi-zeme 石責, "stone torture."

Thursday, March 18, 2021

seiza 正座

In Japanese, the seiza 正座 is a way to sit: on your knees. Literally, it means "proper sitting," as it's the formal, proper way to sit on the floor, traditionally used in tea ceremonies.

Example of seiza 正座 on a tatami 畳 mat.
Anime: Miru Tights, みるタイツ (Episode 6)

Not to be confused with the homonym seiza 星座, which means "constellation."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

dogeza 土下座

In Japanese, the dogeza 土下座 is a prostrating pose used to thank, apologize or beg, often by grovelling at someone's feet, and originally to show respect to a noble, among other uses.

Literally, the word dogeza means "ground lower seat" for historical reasons.

Four girls doing a dogeza 土下座.
Anime: Joshiraku じょしらく (Episode 7)
Monday, March 1, 2021

nomikai 飲み会

In Japanese, nomikai 飲み会 means literally "drinking meeting," or "drinking party," that is, "to meet," au 会う, in order "to drink," nomu 飲む.

Typically, this term refers to coworkers meeting after-work to drink alcohol in an izakaya 居酒屋, which is a sort of Japanese bar-restaurant.

Example of nomikai 飲み会, drinking party.
Anime: Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii ヲタクに恋は難しい (Episode 4)
Sunday, February 28, 2021

shichi-san-wake 七三分け

In Japanese, shichi-san-wake 七三分け, meaning literally "divided," wakeru 分ける, in 7:3 parts, refers to a hairstyle in which the hair is parted to one side, ideally 70% to one side, 30% to the other side.

It's also pronounced hichi-san-wake ちさんわけ. Which side doesn't matter, 7:3, 3:7, it's all the same thing.

柿とピーナッツの割合は7:3に決まっとるやろーがァァ!! 世の中の事は全てコレ 7:3でピッチリうまく分けられるよーなっとんじゃ!! 7:3が宇宙万物根元の黄金比じゃボケコラカスぅ!!
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (Chapter 105, 柿ピーはあんまり食べ過ぎちゃダメ)

sukebra 透けブラ

In Japanese, suke-bura 透けブラ means a bra that's visible underneath clothes, typically due to a wet shirt. It's also romanized sukebra.

Shidare Hotaru 枝垂ほたる, example of bra seen through clothes, sukebura 透けブラ.
Character: Shidare Hotaru 枝垂ほたる
Anime: Dagashikashi だがしかし (Season 2) (Episode 2, Stitch, Cropped)
Thursday, February 25, 2021


In Japanese, OL means a woman who works an office job, it's an abbreviation of "office lady," and includes anything from pencil-pushers, to managers, CEOs, etc. It's not a specific profession. OL is the female counterpart of salaryman.

Sometimes, OL is translated to English as "secretary" due to stereotypes about working women.

OL is pronounced oo-eru オーエル.

See: katakanized alphabet letters.

Elma, エルマ, example of OL, Office Lady.
Character: Elma, エルマ
Anime: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon, 小林さんちのメイドラゴン (Episode 8, Stitch)
Friday, February 19, 2021

salaryman サラリーマン

In Japanese, a "salaryman" is a white collar office worker employed in any stable corporate slave job; it isn't a specific profession, but more like a pencil-pusher in a desk job kinda thing, typically seen wearing suit, tie, and suitcase. It's katakanized sarariiman サラリーマン,

Sometimes, it's abbreviated to riiman リーマン.

In manga and anime, a salaryman is archetypically a typical, common, average, generic Japanese adult man, who tends to have a non-confrontational personality—non-adventurous, weak-willed and servile, a pushover—often working overtime to the death at some exploitative company, and conforming strictly to the formalities of an extremely vertical organizational hierarchy by respecting the authority of his superiors.

Inuyashiki Ichirou 犬屋敷壱郎, example of salaryman.
Character: Inuyashiki Ichirou 犬屋敷壱郎
Anime: Inuyashiki いぬやしき (Episode 1)

mama まま, ママ

In Japanese, mama まま and mama ママ are two different words with different meanings.

Spelled with hiragana, mama まま means how something continues in a way unchanged. It has several usages. Rarely, it's spelled with kanji, as mama 儘 or mama 随. It's sometimes pronounced manma まんま instead.

Spelled with katakana, mama ママ means "mom," an affectionate way to refer to one's mother, or one's "wife" in some cases.

Not to be confused with maa maa まあまあ, which is an interjection.

Manga: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (Chapter 3, モテないし昔の友達に合う)
Monday, February 1, 2021

papa パパ

In Japanese, papa パパ means "dad," it's a affectionate way to refer to one's "father," and may also refer to one's "husband." It also means "daddy" as in a sugar daddy, an older man who pays a younger woman to date him.

Compared to other words that mean father, like otousan お父さん, papa is particularly common among little children. Older characters that use this word tend to be in amicable terms with their parents or just spoiled.

パパ おかえりー
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 14, ひとりっ子の気持ち)

The female counterpart is mama ママ, "mom."

In many languages, "papa," "mama," "dada," "baba" and so on also mean father and mother, because those words are randomly babbled by babies, and parents simply decide such baby's first words should mean either father or mother.[Mama and papa - en.wikipedia.org, accessed 2021-02-01]

Given this, I'm not sure if the Japanese papa and mama are loan words or native words created through the process above.