Useful Notes: Kotobagari
Kotobagari ("word hunting") refers to the censorship of words considered politically incorrect in the Japanese Language. It often conveys negative connotations that sarcastically criticize the excess persistence in political correctness. Words such as...
- gaijin ("outsider")
- A ruder way of saying gaijin is to reverse the syllables, resulting in jingai, which roughly means "barbarity/inhumanity". These days, gaijin isn't always an insult. Jingai is. The most neutral word for "foreigner" is gaikokujin, which means "foreign country person".
- rai ("leper")
- mekura ("blind")
- tsunbo ("deaf")
- oshi ("deaf-mute")
- kichigai ("insane")
- tosatsujou ("slaughter house")
- hakuchi ("moron/retard")
- pokopen ("Chinese person")
- katawa ("crippled")
Examples:Anime & Manga
- In the original manga of Keroro Gunsou, the aliens called Earth "Pokopen," which was a derogatory word that the Japanese used for China during the Sino-Japanese Wars. (Yes, it's a deliberate Take That.) However, Japanese broadcast authorities won't let people use the word, so we get "Pekopon" instead. Some dubs change it back to "Pokopen".
- The Blue Hearts' first single, Owaranai Uta (An Endless Song) includes the word "kichigai" (lunatic) in its lyrics. This caused a bit of a stir, resulting in the word being excluded from official lyric writeups and obscured by a harsh guitar riff in the actual recording.
- Generally, explicit references to drugs other than alcohol or tobacco by name or explicitly describing how to use them are prohibited. Visual Kei bands, whose lyrics often reference drugs, have come up with a variety of strategies ranging from Refuge in Audacity to being the Rules Lawyer, to use said lyrics or song titles. A couple of famous examples are Buck Tick's Speed, originally named Acid, but changed around so it could technically refer to "speed" in the sense of motion as opposed to the drug speed, with the line about popping a pill being censored in the official lyrics and only mouthed by Atsushi as he sings it, and Dir en grey's Egnirys Cimredopyh (read it backwards...).
- Legend of the Five Rings, set in a fantasy-world take on feudal Japan crossbred with warring-states China, has the lowest social class as "eta". One wonders how they would handle that in a Japanese printing.
- Vampire: The Requiem has the Burakumin bloodline - and lately, the word "burakumin" has been deemed offensive as well, at least according to The Other Wiki. The bloodline originated within the mortal burakumin, and their bloodline weakness is that it's much harder for them to gain respect (the Status Merit, no matter what it's status in, is twice as expensive).
- The Simpsons — sort of inverted and Played for Laughs. When they go to Japan Bart uses the neutral "gaikokujin", but in the subtitles it's translated "foreign devils" note .