Why is Japan usually Nihon but Nippon for sports?

It’s Nippon (an alternative pronunciation of the same kanji as Nihon, 日本- the source of the sun) for uyoku rightwingers as well, but there might be no connection… It could just he that the /p/ sound is more impactful and so easier to chant than the /h/ sound, kind of like the“Ingerland ingerland ingerlaaaaand” of my fellow British football hooligans, with its mysterious extra syllable. I’ve read that the Nippon version is more masculine sounding, but I would have to understand what that means before I could agree or disagree.


Why does the word karaage have the kanji for China in it?

The kanji being 唐揚げ (Chinese fry). Couldn’t the Japanese invent fried chicken on their own? It’s possible, I suppose, seeing as traditional Japanese cooking uses little oil and fried chicken with mayo gets named after Southern Barbarians, i.e. gaijin (南蛮チッケン- nanban chicken).

Why do they often write the single word “hifu” with one kanji and one katakana character?

The full kanji version 皮膚 (skin) has a second kanji that is no longer in the official list of 2000 or so that are learnt at school, so it is often written 皮フ outside doctor's etc. Why they don't just have done with it and switch to all katakana or hiragana I'm not sure.

I think I've seen a few more similiar examples, but I can't remember what they were and this is by far the most noticeable

Why is Isuzu spelt いすゞ and not いすず?

That last little sqiggle in the name is not normal hiragana, unlike the rest of the name. And it’s not just the truck company either, dentists and suchlike with the same (family) name always have the same last syllable. Could it be a kanji??? Totally stumped on this one, so any help gratefully received.

What your belly really means- Japanese idioms quiz

Japanese- hara o tateru (腹を立てる)
Literal translation- make your belly stand up
Guess the meaning:
a) To get sculpted stomach muscles
b)to be full/stuffed
c)to get angry

Meaning- Read the rest of this entry »

Why is baka (馬鹿- stupid) written with the kanji for horse plus deer?

“legend having it a foolish king of the ancient Chinese Qin dynasty, upon seeing a deer, fatuously said ba instead of ka, and was the first to have earned himself the nickname baka” Read the rest of this entry »

Why do Japanese TV and newspapers usually show the pronunciation as well as the kanji of Korean names but only the kanji of Chinese names?

Famous historic Chinese figures etc are usually known by the Japanese pronunciation of their names, so showing the names’ Chinese pron would only confuse people. There is also the fact that Chinese names have various pronunciations for the same kanji depending on whether you are speaking Cantonese, Mandarin etc, which is not a problem in Korean

Why are adults quite happy to been seen in public reading manga comics?

First of all, the vast majority of Japanese adults would in fact be highly embarrassed to be caught reading a manga, let alone a pornographic one, in public. The salarymen you seeing reading dodgy comics and magazines on trains are the same who slurp their pasta, spit on the ground etc. in ways that well mannered Japanese never would. Manga does remain more popular amongst adults than in other countries, though. Amongst the salaryman population, this is because they hardly have the energy to read anything more demanding, especially as reading difficult kanji can put a strain on even strong readers. There is also no social pressure to spend your free time productively and an acceptance of reading manga etc. for nostalgic reasons.