Wasabi Stories vol.51: “The Mosquito Sound Effect in Japan”


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“The Mosquito Sound Effect in Japan”

Today’s story teller is a writer, Megumi Fukumitsu.

The topic was “Mosquito sound”.

It’s unfamiliar word but before explaining what it is, she started her story with humorous protest.


“It’s been a long time since I started to be called ‘obasan (older lady)’ but calling my self ‘obasan’ and being called ‘obasan’ are different. Especially I am very offended when a man older than me calls me ‘obasan’. I call that ‘obasan harrasment’ and I will firmly denounce it.”

Ok young lady…(lol) Let’s see what this Mosquito sound is.

According to Fukumitsu, Mosquito alarm refers “high frequency sound that only young people can hear”.

Generally, human can hear up to 20 kHz, and this Mosquito sound is 17 kHz, which is heard only by young people who we in early 20s.

There are some examples of using this effect.

For example, at school. If students set this Mosquito sound as their ringtones, when they got phone calls, teachers can’t hear.

Actually such use got popular among students all over the world.

Fukumitsu said she tried to hear Mosquito sound but even she turned the volume up, she couldn’t hear it.

A youth who can hear the sound says it’s like “screech”, extremely horrible noise.

Another example from different aspect.

In Adachi ward, Tokyo, they put Mosquito sound device at a park prevent young people from hanging around.


Fukumitsu concluded the article saying that not hearing the sound is like “the solid evidence of aging” but tries to think it’s good because her youth when she could hear this annoying sound passed in a matter of seconds.

The NIKKEI Jun/6/2009 by Megumi Fukumitsu (writer)


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