Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today's Word

アメコミ amekomi
American (super hero) comics

The Japanese name for comics 漫画 manga (漫 funny + picture 画) has become an international word, but we still use a foreign word to refer to foreign things.

アメコミ amekomi is short for American Comic アメリカンコミックス(amerikankomikkusu)

Japan is sometimes very conscious of the split between occidental and oriental.

We say 邦画 houga for Japanese and east Asian films, and 洋語 youga for western/European films.

Although many Japanese children grow up with a view of the world that it is made of two countries 日本 Japan and 外国 foreign land(s), we are actually very sensitive about where things come from.


  1. Bonus Material
    欧米か! oubei ka

    This is an old joke that was popular a few years ago, it means "What are you, some sort of European or American?"

    Even though it's a joke, 欧米 is a very important vocabulary word!
    欧 ou is from 欧州 which means Europe
    米 bei is from 南米・北米 nanbei hokubei S. N. America
    欧米 oubei combined therefore means "western society"

  2. Interesting information. I guess Japan just has an island-mentality. Nothing wrong with that :).

  3. you would say the joke to a fellow japanese then or what?

  4. Yes, they are only Japanese people in Japan ;-; (99.8%)

    But you will sound lame if you tell this joke now, it's old.