The Sexist Japanese Words

When you don't know what a character means, the general rule is to break it down. Once you see what it's made of, you might be able to figure out what it means even if it's your first time seeing the particular kanji character.

I'm not sure which meaning is scarier...
Probably the fact both of them are written the same.

But the words you'll learn in this article will without a doubt keep you wondering.

Background On Kanji Characters

Let's begin with a quick refresher about kanji characters in general. Kanji are Japanese ideograms adopted from Chinese language, and they make up around 40% of an average Japanese written text. When compared to other Japanese scripts (hiragana and katakana), they look quite complex.
Kanji characters are colored in red
(lyrics taken from Philozophyz by NanosizeMir)
As a fellow Japanese learner, you probably know it's pretty hard to master them, considering that over 2000 of them are used daily and on the first look they all look the same yet so different. Definitely looks like an impossible mission to accomplish.

In this article, however, we'll take a break from the usual learning and spice things up a bit. I made sure to include quite a bit of funny, weird and/or interesting kanji characters and their compounds.

Examples Of Sexist Japanese

Ah, women... It's common knowledge that they used to have problems with their rights. But it looks to me that ancient Chinese folks really hated women and adored themselves as males. I mean, heck, look how they named their proud part down there.

So, what's the deal with the hatred that I metioned? The (most usual) word for woman in Japanese is onna. Nothing special there. But, trust me, things get pretty spiced up when you take a look at other kanji characters that contain the character for woman.

What's that guy doing, with two girls around him? Oh, c'mon, it's just some innocent flirt, not a big deal...

Apparently, when girls flirt that's called teasing, because, well, that whore is teasing the poor men around her, and it's obvious that they don't want anything with her.

And if one of the dudes decides to make a move, the girls will start screaming and get all noisy. Because, you know, that's what women do. They are noisy. And what's worse than a noisy woman? That's right, three of them.

And yes, you read that right, it can also mean rape. Well, she's either gonna scream or they will rape her, or... both, I guess.

Anyhow, one day our heroine gets married. It's symbolic as the day the woman takes her husband's surname, right?

Now that they're married and happily settled at their own house, let's take a peek at their daily lives.

Well, it was expected, right? He's her lord and her master, after all. That's why her husband made sure to come up with appropriate name for her as well...

Because, duh, it's her place to stay there and prepare meals. I mean, she's got to be in the kitchen, right? After all, that's what she's going to become as a grandmother...

...and we all know grandmothers are captured women who are there to prepare dishes for grandchildren anyway.

Of course, they have to get lewd before they make kids, right?

After all, having sex is just women clawing around their king (duh, husband, obviously), I guess. Actually, that middle one can mean "nail" as well but I didn't want to make an unintended pun with nailing... if you know what I mean.

But don't worry, in the meantime she will be accompanying her husband whenever he goes to a business trip. Then, when he introduces her to people of higher rank, he will refer to her as gusai. Doesn't ring a bell until you write it down, I guess.

As a matter of fact, when they're home alone, he will use only the second character to call her. (Japanese language is strongly based on politeness, so words referring to family relationships and personal pronouns have a few different forms which are used depending on a situation.)

Of course, most of these words aren't used in everyday conversation, and those which are still floating around have completely lost their original meaning. It's not like married couples are literally going around calling each other stupid and referring to one other as masters. Not to mention that there is ton of other woman-related kanji characters that aren't negative at all. And some of "explanations" above are worded in a funny way - for example, "grandmother" could be explained as a women who captures one's heart with her amazing cooking skills. It's all a matter of perspective, so don't take these too serious. However, it's a fact that some of the characters and words are a bit sexist, but that has nothing to do specifically with Japan or China.  After all, you could say the same for English - we usually use "he" for an unknown third person, and lots of jobs end with -man, and I'm sure there are numerous similar examples in all languages around the world.

So, which ones did you find the funniest? What's your opinion on words like these? 

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