Japanese Words Known in the World

Recent years, Japanese pop culture like manga and anime has been popular in overseas countries.

According to Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of the foreign tourists visited Japan in February 2010 has increased at the growth rate of 62.9 % from the year-earlier month.

Personally, as Japanese, I am very pleased with the fact.

One of the phenomena to symbolize the spread of Japanese culture is the spread of “Japanese words known in the world”.



A linguist at Nagoya University, Ken Machida explained the back ground.

“In most cases, the words are the ones that didn’t exist in other countries. For example, ‘sushi’, ‘judo’ and unexpectedly ‘koban’. The word ‘koban’ has been used in France and some other countries for more than 30 years. In fact, there is no ‘koban’ style police station that officers reside in Europe.”


What other Japanese words used in over seas countries?

“The words for Japanese original systems or customs such as, ‘keiretsu (group of enterprises)’, ‘zangyo (over time work)’ and ‘karoshi (death from overwork)’. Also, the words to refer Japanese sensibilities; for example, ‘mottainai (waste of something)’ which means saving something and with respect to the thing.”


It’s very interesting to know the Japanese words known in overseas countries because they tell what parts of Japanese culture permeate in the world.


Original article: http://r25.yahoo.co.jp/fushigi/wxr_detail/?id=20100510-00002244-r25&vos=nr25msn0000001



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