- Saying waa instead of watashi, and ora instead of ore (the latter even among women)
- Saying kero instead of kudasai/kure
- using da after verbs, considered a mistake in other parts of Japan
- Using be in place of darou or the equivalent verb conjugation (with a variety of particles even farther from the norm in localized areas). The slogan "ganbarou" ("let's hang in there"), ubiquitous since the earthquake on 11 March 2011, is "ganbappe" (or even "keppappe") in the dialect of the disaster area.
- Drawing out vowels, which makes speech sound "lazy" or "slow".
- Pronouncing both /i/ and /u/ as an identical, in-between vowel (/ɨ/) after /s/ and /z/ (and sometimes /t/ and /d/ as well). "Sushi", susu (soot), and shishi (lion) all sound the same.
- Slurring vowel diphthongs together (a feature also common to Shitamachi tough-talkers in Tokyo): /ai/, /ei/, /oi/ and /ae/ come out as a prolonged [eː] (omee instead of omae, wagannee for wakaranai). The speakers themselves are said to be able to hear the difference between /ai/ and /ei/ regardless, but to people from Tokyo, they sound identical.
- Voicing of unvoiced consonants in the middle of words, especially /k/ to /g/ and /t/ to /d/. For example, suki datta (I liked it) becomes sugi dadda. It's also why the name of Ibaraki Prefecture (technically part of Kanto, but on the border with Tohoku) is frequently misspelled as "Ibaragi".
- Being able to distinguish between two types of long /oː/ from the historical /au/ and /ou/ diphthongs (one is /ɔ:/, the other /o:/)
- Preserving the distinction of /ka/ and /kwa/, /ga/ and /gwa/ in Chinese-derived words
- Pronouncing the entire /h/-row of kana as /ɸ/ ("f" with upper and lower lip, not teeth), which is only done for the "fu" syllable in Standard Japanese. This is actually how the /h/-row was historically pronounced in Middle Japanese.
- Pronouncing /e/ as "ye" ([je])
- Distinguishing /o/ and /wo/ (both [o] in Standard)
- Pre-nasalization of voiced consonants, which sounds like inserting an /n/ sound immediately prior to the affected letter. For example, mado (window) becomes mando, and mago (grandchild) sounds like mang-o (the /g/ ends up assimilating, so the <ng> there is like English "sing"). This is somewhat common with /g/ in most Japanese dialects, but in Tohoku it still happens before /b/ and /d/ also.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Megumi Tadakoro from Shokugeki no Soma will slip back into her accent is she's especially flustered enough or angry enough. Souma remarks on it (nevermind he is usually the source of her irritation or flustering).
- The protagonist of Homunculus slips into his Tohoku accent when he's stressed or talking to himself.
- Ogiue from Genshiken is also prone to slipping into her accent when she panicks.
- Goku from Dragon Ball exhibits some of the vowel mutations (particularly the trouble with diphthongs), but none of the other phonological or grammatical changes. Meanwhile, his wife Chi-Chi has some of the grammatical features ("da" after verbs and adjectives, "be" as a particle) but the phonological ones mostly vanish after her first appearance. They both use "ora" as their "I" pronoun. The "hick" connotations are definitely present, because they've spent most of their lives in seclusion, which doesn't really come across in the English versions. Interestingly, their children both speak dictionary-perfect, polite Japanese.
- Yume from Someday's Dreamers slips into her native Tohoku accent when she gets excited.
- Interestingly, in the You're Under Arrest! this brogue gets assigned not to the hick character, but to The Ace. Visiting Minnesota Fats (and Natsumi's Love Interest) Shouji Tokairin is from Akita and doesn't even try to hide it — he's cool enough to not to care.
- Axis Powers Hetalia
- Sweden speaks in a Tohoku dialect, despite being quite sophisticated. (Hidekaz Himaruya himself is from Fukushima) It's probably just because he's tall and intimidating. It's translated in English as some kind of grunt speak. His fellow Nordics Norway and Denmark speak in the Tsugaru and Ibaraki dialects, respectively. While Norway's isn't shown as much in media, Denmark's is heard in both the anime and his character song Letís Enjoy! Letís Get Excited! Cheers!
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Major Armstrong, being a huge burly tough guy, speaks with a Tohoku accent. His accent has been PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG LINE FOR GENERATIONS!
- Mousse in Ranma Ĺ speaks in Tohoku, despite being from China.
- Jin from YuYu Hakusho speaks with the Tohoku accent (this somehow became an Irish accent in the dub), which is kind of a subversion of the stereotype, seeing as he kicks ass.
- Duval from One Piece also slips into this accent when he gets mad. The scanlations translated it as an odd semi-southern accent. It was translated into a redneck accent provided by David Vincent
- A chapter of Rookies has a female student who's so shy she almost never speaks. When super-teacher Kawato tries to get her to come out of her shell, he discovers it's because she's so ashamed of her Tohoku accent. He gets her to help out with the baseball team a bit, and it turns out her fears of mockery are entirely unfounded — the guys end up falling all over themselves over how cute her accent is.
- Averted in Yoroiden Samurai Troopers as Seiji (Sage), the only one from Tohoku, does not speak with the accent and is arguably the smartest character. In the CD Drama Tenkuu Den, he and Touma (Rowan) banter back and forth about airports as Touma is from Osaka in a Northern Hillbilly vs. Southern Hillbilly sort of way.
- Haruo Hattori and her fellow Akita denizens from Club 9 are portrayed talking with extremely thick "country yokel" accents in the English translation. Her accent is commented on numerous times by people in Tokyo where she moves. While she is told to "watch the accent", Haruo always is portrayed talking in a thick accent.
- Mutsuko of Sunset on Third Street (Sanchoume no Yuuhi) talks this way, especially at the beginning where, newly arrived in Tokyo from Aomori, she expects to become a secretary at Suzuki Motor Corporation. Turns out, out she's been hired as a mechanic at Suzuki Auto Repair.
- Kamameshidon in Anpanman. To emphasise not moving his mouth as much, his mouth is always shown just as moving teeth rarely being opened. His attire also emphasizes a lower class. A few other characters also have a Tohoku accent, like Tanuki-Oni and Uncle Negi (who drops it as Naganegiman).
- The villagers in Only Yesterday, since most of the film takes place in Yamagata. The old ladies have particularly strong ones.
- Asuka in Kimi no Iru Machi moved to Tokyo from Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. She hardly talked to anyone during her first year because she was so ashamed of her dialect, and she still slips into it when angry.
- Youhei Sunohara from CLANNAD has this accent, as he hails from rural Tohoku.
Films — Live-Action
- All the characters in the popular comedy film Swing Girls speak in the distinctive brogue of their native Yamagata prefecture, adding a distinctive Tohoku feel to the movie. Likely one of the more popular examples of the dialect in pop culture.
- "Ora Tokyo sa iguda" ("I'm going to Tokyo") by Yoshi Ikuzo. And it's hilarious.
- The snowy village of Norqueen in Tales of Hearts. Possibly because the residents have been hiding from the rest of the world.
- Itsuki, the young peasant girl from Sengoku Basara speaks this way, being from a small, rural village in the far north of Japan.
- The entirety of the village of Sonne, and particularly Mami, from Breath of Fire IV speaks in this — largely because, again, Sonne is a small, isolated rural village up in the mountains. Localised in English as a deep Appalachian accent with occasional Scots phrases like "dinnae" and "ye ken"note .
- Hagakure in Dangan Ronpa. He's a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who can be extremely gullible.
- As he is from Aizu of Fukushima Prefecture, Eiji Shinjo of Battle Arena Toshinden speaks it fluidly. An example can be made; his victory quote "Icho Agari!!" (lit. "I did it!!") eliminates the emphasized vocalization of the o and makes a hard stop after the inital "gh-" pronunciation, resulting it heard roughly as "Ichari!!". There is truth in this particular accent; Aizu was once a han famous for its professional samurai and martial arts culture and the "Aizu Spirit", which was a more refined and virtue rooted form of Japanese Spirit that emphasized standing up in the sake of those who you cared and honored, never giving up, and to get back up when you fall on hard times no matter what, showing that Eiji hails from a hardy yet prestigious heritage worthy of warrior legend.
- Many of the characters Japanese VA Takeshi Endo voiced in the original dub of Thomas & Friends have this accent. Best examples were the various drivers, firemen, workmen, and Douglas.
- Shiori Mikami comes from Aomori in the northernmost part of Honshu and speaks native Tsugaru dialect, although she uses standard Tokyo dialect in public.
- Daniel Kahl is a German American from California, but he was transferred Yamagata to teach English and became famous as a multilingual foreigner who can speak English, standard Japanese and Yamagata dialect.