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ARUKORIZUMU \ alcohol rhythm \ アルコリズム  

Nuanced contraction of the English words "ALCOhol" and RHYTHM, playing on the word "Alcoholism".  Describes one's predictable drunken demeanor; drunken behavior characteristic to a person.  

BIJUARU KEI \ visual kei (type) \ ビジュアル系  

In music, a style approximation of "glam rock"; male band members wearing fashionably elaborate outfits, hairstyles and  makeup.  

DORAMA \ drama \ ドラマ \  

Daytime drama television programs; Soap opera.     

​GARAKĒ \ Galapagos keitai \ ガラケー  

Conjunction of abbreviated forms of the English "GALApagos" and the Japanese KEITAI (cellphone) describing the original flip-type cellphones as compared to the now ubiquitous, "evolved" Smart Phone (*see SUMAHON).  Metaphorically references Darwin's theories of evolution tied to the Galapagos islands.

GŌRUDENTAIMU \ golden time \ ゴールデンタイム \  
Prime time television.     

GYARA \ guarentee \ ギャラ  

Nuanced usage of the abbreviated English word GUAREntee, denoting a contracted payment.     

IRASUTO \ illustration \ イラスト \  

Abbreviated form of the English word; ILLUSTration.     

JETTOKŌSUTĀ \ jet coaster \ ジェットコースター   

Roller coaster.     

KOMPE \ competition \ コンペ   

Transliteration corresponding to the word's English definition. Sometimes fully KOMPETISHON \ コンペティション

japanglish dictionary listing continues below       ©

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Straightforward Transliterations 

Commonly used and understood by Japanese people, albeit as pronounced with a Japanese accent when spoken and spelled out phonetically using Japanese Katakana when written (Katakana spelling is provided). Their definitions correspond to that of the English word. *A separate list explaining nuanced usages and/or abbreviations follows.

ARUKŌRU \ alcohol \ アルコール  (SAKE\ 酒) 

BARĒballet \ バレー  

BĪRU \ beer \ ビール  

DANSU \ dance \ ダンス  

DEZAIN \ design \ デザイン

GĒMUSENTĀ \ game center \ カメラ 

GURŪPU \ group \ グループ
GYARARĪgallery \ ギャラリー 

JAZZU \ jazz \ ジャズ

KONTESUTO \ contest \ コンテスト 
KURABU \ club \ クラブ  

RAJIO \ radio \ ラジオ

SARON \ salonサロン

YOTTO \ yacht \ ヨット  


the meek shall unfortunately inherit continued suppression.
vanishingtokyo  art

Keith Haring; gone but not forgotten? Only barely, it would seem. Pictured is the current sorry state (2013) of the exterior wall of Haring's once-revered Tokyo Pop Shop in Jingumae, Tokyo (closed 1988). Someone apparently took it upon themselves to refurbish the faded artwork. Unsuccessfully, it would seem. Fading away seems the more attractive option. Hear the sound of Keith rolling over in his grave? 

by L. Mace  originally posted Feb. 28, 2014 


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dialogue:  "My stockings; LIP them; LIP my stockings; yes, please, LIP them"  premium fantasy *masseuse to Bob Harris (Bill Murray) in Sofia Coppola's 2003 film "Lost in Translation" [*DERIBARI HERUSU  call girl ]

japanglish leisuresocialartentertainment  DICTIONARY


warudokomento悪道小面当                     world comment

・JST, Tokyo (UTC+09:00)

free clock for website
​​​​​wanpatanterebi CD
one pattern television

Checklist: 10 Necessary Components for a Successful Japanese Variety Show;  Funny but True.

10. Japanese subtitles even though it’s a Japanese program, broadcasting to a Japanese audience, and the whole cast is already speaking Japanese.

9. Comedy Combi. For dim-witted hijinks consisting of high-decibal dissing, fumbling, shoving, and dependable slap-shtick shenanigans (think Laurel & Hardy in the 1920s, the Marx Brothers in the 30s, Abbott & Costello in the 40s, Martin & Lewis in the 50s…).

8. At least one SMAP member; at least once every day of the week.

7. Chubby-but-cute and/or utterly ugly gal, guy, or combi (see: Harisembon (ハリセンボン) and/or Angaaruzu (アンガールズ), whose physical peculiarities become punchlines for the slap-happy or conveniently bypassed by the more polite of fellow guests.

6Ne-sannew-half or drag-queen (twin "sisters" double the entertainment factor). Urbane Japanese put forth a progressive image by sharing the stage with and delighting in the bejeweled and accessorized fellows, annoying as they may often be, furthering the facade of tolerance and inclusivity on Japanese TV.

5. Dolled-up, clueless cutie with corresponding chipmunk voice. For years now this position is often filled by any number of idol group members, the likes of Rola running through her repertoire of recognizable gestures & reactions, Mizusawa ArieSerina or other equivalent.

4. Foreigner du jour or half-breed National. For their involvement in pumping up a program's International Quotient (often that other  IQ as well) by being charmingly entertaining, they are humored as long as they play by The Rules and/or play The Fool. If you're lucky, the gaijin will be LiLiCo. If not, perhaps panda Dave Specter.

3Dai Break Chuu newcomer. Think Becky circa 2000, Suzuki Nana circa 2013, or (insert name here) at the start of their career. Omnipresent on Japanese variety shows when promoting a product, showing up as co-host, panelist, participant or unsuspecting (willing?) victim. Overweight Monomane drag queens get extra credit (see: Matsuko Deluxe).

2. Screen-corner thumbnail view of tarento shown watching the same VTR that viewers at home are watching: lest viewers become lonely? Or a thumb-nosing reminder that tarento get paid  to watch TV?

1. Use every imaginable color, texture, shape and pattern as set decoration. Better when completely clashing, worse when causing seizures in viewers at home. Pink and green checkerboard tiling, star-shaped neon in orange and blue (flashing), chrome hearts, crayon drawings in gaudy renaissance frames. All side by side within camera shot. 

by K. Rie  column originally posted March 7, 2014

japanglish 101 © 2014 Lennie Mace   posted August 25, 2014

#4:    katori senko                 ​ Katori Shingo

japanglish 101   chapter 6:  name games

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MONITARINGU \ monitoring \ モニタリング 

Nuanced usage of the English word. Watching by hidden camera; Candid Camera-like TV programming.      

ŌTOBAI \ auto bike \ オートバイ  

Motorcycle. Nuanced transliteration of the English words. 

PANERISUTO \ panelist \ パネリスト \  

Assembled guest speakers for topical discussions on TV, et al.     

RAIBUHAUSU \ live house \ ライブハウス   

Live music venue; rock club, et al.  


reaction entertainer \ リアクション芸人 \  

Combination of the English reaction with the Japanese geinin (芸人; entertainer). A comedian/tarento employed for their talent of overreacting, emoting for a camera/audience.  

RŌDOSHŌ \ roadshow \ ロードショー   
A film's theatrical run; theatrical release.     

ropeway \ ロープウェー   
Aerial tramway; ski-lift et al.     

celebrity \ セレブ \  
Abbreviated form of the English word; 

suite room \ スイートルーム   
Upscale hotel unit, usually consisting of many rooms. English word transliterated with a Japanese accent.  

Smart Phone \ スマホン  
Abbreviated compound of the English "
SMArt" and "PHOne" describing "i phone" technology.   

tobacco \ タバコ, also たばこ   
The plant and as cigarettes, in a pack or singularly.     

talent \ タレント \  
Rank and file Japanese entertainer, usually television personality; not always possessing any discernible "talent" per se. Origin of this nuanced usage of the English word is tied to entertainment contracts whereby the signee is referred to as "
the talent". 

television \ テレビ \  
Abbreviated form of the English word; 

trump \ トランプ   
Playing cards.     


Academy Award-worthy film-promotion  Japanglish



Actual ''tagline'' used in Japan to describe and promote the

1959 Alfred Hitchcock spy classic North By Northwest.

The 4 English words transliterated with Japanese conjunctions.


Interestingly, these western celebrities of film and music are so unequivocally famous in Japan that Japangli-fications of their names are programmed into computer keyboard functions so that they automatically appear as Katakana options while entering the characters. 

BURAPPI \ Brad Pitt \ ブラッピ​  
Abbreviated contraction of the first and last names.  

BURICHAN \ Brittany Spears \ ブリちゃん​  

Abbreviation of the first name, plus the Japanese CHAN \ ちゃん" (cutesy version of the Japanese honorific "san").  

​JIMIHEN \ Jimi Hendrix \ ジミヘン  

Abbreviated contraction of the first and last names.  

RE'CHIRI \ Red Hot Chili Peppers \ レッチリ   
Abbreviated contraction of the names.     

SHUWACHAN \ Arnold Schwartzenneger \ シュワちゃん   
Unsurprising abbreviation of a very cumbersome name for any language, plus the Japanese CHAN \ ちゃん" (cutesy version of the Japanese honorific "san"). Doing so, in this case, softens an otherwise intimidating figure.     

TSEPPERIN \ Led Zeppelin \ ツェッペリン   
Nuanced pronunciation of the English word; although the ZE sound exists in Japanese it is inexplicably replaced by a TSE sound.     


AKB x MSN  pop culture curiosities further validated via real news

May, 2014: Two young members of Japanese idol group AKB48 were assaulted by a misguided young man wielding a folding saw during a meet-&-greet publicity appearance.  Unsurprisingly, the incident made headline news in Japan for a day or two, relevant points dutifully touched upon with requisite Japanese concern.  Associated Press picked up the story and it went global.  MSN news was among those recounting the story, albeit with only cursory mention as an entertainment sidebar and coverage which read more like a monthly AKB newsletter than news report.  An attack of this nature is  newsworthy, to be sure, but as much for reasons beyond the innocent-young-girls-beset-upon-by-evil, sympathetic slant expounded thus far.  

   At times like this, Japanese television customarily assembles every available standby-specialist to join authority-for-a-day panelists (tarento ) in rehashing every facet, dissecting details with ponderous theorizing and exchanging rhetorical questions, to no avail, while duly lamenting the victims' misfortune.  Expect no official inquiry.  There is  more to the story, but it's more likely that the focus of AKB's kowai  (scary) run-in will be kept on the bad guy; assailant in custody, no more to be seen here, folks, move along please.  In the end, corporate accountability will be conveniently overlooked or ignored by reporters, swept under the rug, kept hushed or suppressed by execs like reports from Fukushima.  This is not just a Japanese idol group, after all; it's big business, and board members sure don't want reporters nosing around any more than necessary.  No-questions-asked means no question unanswered.  

Such an attack not only pokes holes in foreign impressions of a crime-free Japan but also provides legitimate grounds to question the business practices of organized idolatry at an opportune moment, lest its leaders claim being singled out by critics.  The exorbitant cost of bankrolling such entertainment enterprises invites questions of whether the needs of the girls are as much a consideration as where the girls are needed, when, and how long.  Interchangeable, replaceable and disposable, the "talent" are herded and driven like cattle — primped, preened, and perfumed cattle — in service of the corporation.  The number of handlers among whom they're consigned raises questions of safety which only surface when competency is tested, as it was in May.  In this case, the two victims — cute, sweet and popular though they may be were second-string stand-ins for A-list members who have "graduated" or gained seniority and seldom perform the menial functions which keep the operation running.  It is not presumptuous to assume an attacker would never get close enough to the headliners as this perp got to these kōhai  (junior workers).  

   The 2013 pseudo-scandal involving AKB's Minami Minegishi spending a night at a man's apartment climaxed with a bizarre videotaped apology by a shaky, buzz-cut Minegishi that played more like a hostage tape than contrition.  No outcry as to why a young girl (then 20) would punish herself to such extreme for such an understandably human lapse; the outcome outweighed the cause.  Were press conferences even necessary?  Didn't it seem more likely to anyone that the act might've come as punishment by order from The Top, to set an example?  There's a lot riding on these girls' images; reputations, jobs, futures… "Think this is a game? Off with your hair!"  

The glory of AKB has already been on the wane. Post-peak over-saturation now entails myriad junior groups nationally, sister groups throughout Asia and auditions for "adult" members.  A thinly veiled ploy to keep cashing in on teenage fans who are now grown up?  Interest beyond Asian countries continues to be minimal, limiting prospects for an apparatus which only becomes more and more costly to sustain.  Mari Yamaguchi, reporting for AP, presented a sufficient if slightly partial report when the news broke, but used superlatives such as "hugely popular" when she should've written "the ONCE hugely popular..."

   And why, then, is world news further abetting these Japanese corporate constructs anyway?  Ah, yes; real news doesn't attract real readers anymore and pop star tragedy has entertainment value.  US news outlets should know better, though, bearing in mind the unspoken truth that entities such as AKB-Corp — who could use the publicity now more than it did during boom times — stand only to profit by generating sympathy from sorrow. Keep the product's name in the news; free advertising.  Kanye Kardashian marriage minutiae anyone?


Best wishes to young ladies Rina Kawaei (19) and Anna Iriyama (18), who were not seriously injured.

by O. Lebron  posted June 7, 2014