The TohokuRegionalAccent is spoken in the northeast region of the Japanese island of Honshu, mainly in Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures. Not as often heard as the Kanto or {{Kansai|RegionalAccent}} dialects in anime and manga, when it does show up you can be sure the character in question is a hick from the boonies and will not likely be taken seriously. The accent also carries the stereotype of laziness or clumsiness, as Tohoku speakers are known for slurring and not opening their mouths very much. The rather negative nickname for the dialect is ''zuuzuu-ben'', "zuuzuu" being the sound that a Kanto speaker hears when a Tohoku speaker neutralizes and drags their vowels. Because of the negative stereotypes, when speaking with Tokyo-ites, Tohoku speakers tend to hide their accents and speak in Tokyo dialect. The accent only shows up when talking to family or when stressed. However, ever since the smash-hit daily NHK drama ''Ama-Chan'' aired in 2013, appreciation has grown for Tohoku culture in Japan; so much that "jye-jye-jye", roughly the equivalent of "whoa!" in English, has become a RealLife MemeticMutation.

When a Tokoku accent is [[AccentAdaptation translated]], expect to hear something like a hillbilly drawl remniscent of [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel]].[[note]]Oddly enough, in the Japanese-dubbed version, he doesn't speak in Tohoku-ben (or any local dialect) and he speaks using the stereotypical Japanese anime tough guy-style of voice instead.[[/note]]

Most prominent features of the dialect include:

* 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 "Ibara''g''i".

To an English speaker, these vowel and consonant mutations make it sound somewhat like Tohoku-ben speakers are talking through a bad cold. It must be those harsh winters up north.

On top of these features, individual dialects are also prone to preserving certain traits of old Japanese that are no longer present in the Standard language, for example:
* 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 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.

Though no two versions of Tohoku-ben have the exact same combinations of slurred sounds and archaic features, they are generally lumped together on the basis of the defining characterstics that make them "zuuzuu-ben" in the eyes of Tokyo speakers. And, since TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse and only a KansaiRegionalAccent gets any attention in media, who's to care if a pastiche gets used instead of a specific local brogue? (Kansai-ben is often abused the same way--using Osaka speech for ''anywhere'' in the region, apart from Kyoto--but people in Kansai [[TheIdiotFromOsaka complain]]. [[TheIdiotFromOsaka Loudly]].)

See also: KansaiRegionalAccent. Compare "Rural" in BritishAccents, "Hillbilly" in AmericanAccents.
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!!Examples

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The protagonist of ''{{Manga/Homunculus}}'' slips into his Tohoku accent when he's stressed or talking to himself.
* Ogiue from ''{{Manga/Genshiken}}'' is also prone to slipping into her accent when she panicks.
* Goku from ''Manga/DragonBall'' 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.
* Yume from ''SomedaysDreamers'' slips into her native Tohoku accent when she gets excited.
* Interestingly, in the ''Manga/YoureUnderArrest'' this brogue gets assigned not to the hick character, but to TheAce. Visiting [[TheMinnesotaFats Minnesota Fats]] ([[spoiler:and Natsumi's LoveInterest]]) Shouji Tokairin is from Akita and doesn't even try to hide it -- he's cool enough to not to care.
* ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia''
** Sweden sp'ks in a Tohoku dialect, despite being quite sophisticated. (Creator/HidekazHimaruya 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 Nordic Norway speaks in the Tsugaru dialect. His accent is rather thick, but the English translations don't show it.
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'': Major Armstrong, being a huge burly tough guy, speaks with a Tohoku accent. His accent has been [[MemeticMutation PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG LINE FOR GENERATIONS!]]
* Mousse in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' speaks in Tohoku, despite being from China.
* Jin from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' 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 ''Manga/OnePiece'' also slips into this accent when he gets mad. The scanlations translated it as an odd semi-southern accent. Some fans are hoping it gets translated as a [[FourKidsEntertainment Brooklyn]] [[TakeThat accent]] in the {{FUNimation}} dub, because of who he resembles.
* A chapter of ''{{Manga/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 ''[[Anime/RoninWarriors 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 ''{{Manga/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 ''{{Franchise/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 ''OnlyYesterday'', since most of the film takes place in Yamagata. The old ladies have particularly strong ones.
* Asuka in ''KimiNoIruMachi'' 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 ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' has this accent, as he hails from rural Tohoku.
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[[folder:Music]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3SH6rNWcsM "Ora Tokyo sa iguda" ("I'm going to Tokyo")]] by Yoshi Ikuzo. And it's hilarious.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The snowy village of Norqueen in ''{{VideoGame/Tales of Hearts}}''. Possibly because the residents have been [[HiddenElfVillage hiding from the rest of the world]].
* Itsuki, the young peasant girl from ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' 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 ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' 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]]which may be either an attempt to add some archaic patterns, or a surprising example of Capcom having done its homework; very deep Appalachian English does have some Scots and Irish English archaicisms[[/note]].
* Hagakure in ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa.'' He's a CloudCuckooLander who can be extremely gullible.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Many of the characters Japanese VA Takeshi Endo voiced in the original dub of [[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas & Friends]] have this accent. Best examples were the various drivers, firemen, workmen, and Douglas.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* ShioriMikami comes from Aomori in the northernmost part of Honshu and [[http://www.nicotwitter.com/watch/sm20300692 speaks native Tsugaru dialect]], although she uses standard Tokyo dialect in public.
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