What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Where in the world is "Jap" considered or not considered offensive?

Do you think "Jap" is offensive?

  • Yes - I am from Japan

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • No - I am from Japan

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes - I am from the US

    Votes: 8 40.0%
  • No- I am from the US

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes - I am not from Japan or the US

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • No - I am not from Japan or the US

    Votes: 3 15.0%

  • Total voters
    20
  • Poll closed .
Joined
6 May 2008
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Hi, I was wondering if people could tell me if they think the word jap is offensive or not, and where you are from? It appears that it depends where you are from as to if you think its offensive or not. ie. in the US it seems to be more offensive than in the UK. Ive asked people from Japan and it seems 50/50? You just have to do a forum search for "jap" to see how many posts have it in them and so it is widely used. Should people be using this word or not?
Thanks!
 
Joined
1 Nov 2005
Messages
402
Reaction score
36
Yes, I think calling a Japanese a "Jap" is offensive. The word was used during World War Two, but it shouldn't be used today.
 

Mikawa Ossan

気づいたらカッパだ
Joined
17 Sep 2005
Messages
4,924
Reaction score
227
I was born and raised in the USA, and it is quite offensive there at least to people of a certain age. I am aware, however, that many people these days do innocently use the term "jap" as an abbreviation for "Japanese".

Although I personally find the term "jap" offensive, I am glad to see that it is starting to lose some of its power as a racial slur.
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,583
Reaction score
1,474
I'm an ol timer from the US.

Jap is considered a slur along with gook,slant-eye,yellowdog,slope, and a few others I can't think of at the moment among my age group.

Uncle Frank

:eek:
 

Guilty41

先輩
Joined
21 May 2007
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
It's offensive I think to Japanese people. Also in my country it's only used to offend them. And it is linked to WWII. It's like calling people from Germany Moffs ( I don't
know if that is a correct word in English, in our language it's moffen). Sorry, I even
don't like writing it.
 

Ryuk

スパ外国人
Joined
25 Dec 2007
Messages
122
Reaction score
1
I'm from the UK and I would say it is considered offensive. Just the sound of it makes it seem slightly hostile/aggressive.

However, in the end it is just an abbreviation of Japanese. If someone called me a Scot I wouldn't even begin to think of it as offensive.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
407
It's offensive to me, and it was long ago even before I met my Japanese wife or came to Japan for the first time.
 

gaijinalways

puzzled gaijin
Joined
15 Jan 2006
Messages
540
Reaction score
20
It's offensive to me, and it was long ago even before I met my Japanese wife or came to Japan for the first time.

Wait Glenski, are you saying that you are a token Japanese?:p

I know, bad joke, and on the tail end of golden week at that.:?

I think knowing its past, it would be considered offensive. Then again, sometimes I consider 'Yankee' for Americans offensive. Depends on when you ask me.
 

Pachipro

JREF Resident Alien
Rest in Peace
Joined
19 Jan 2005
Messages
1,831
Reaction score
225
I consider it offensive because ever since I was a child I have heard it used only in derogatory terms such as, "Those damn Japs", or "Those dirty Japs", or "Stinking Japs" or even used altogether as in "Those dirty, stinking, damn Japs". I never heard the word used in a kind and dear manner and therefore consider it a racial slur ment to demean the race as a whole.

Had WWII never occurred, it may today be considered as an abbreviation for the Japanese race with no ill intent.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,232
There are some words that get misused to such an extent that it takes many generations for the negative meaning to wear off, and that's only if people are willing to forget about it. Jap is one such word.
 

MadamePapillon

Fear my Niftyness
Joined
1 Jul 2007
Messages
506
Reaction score
31
It's offensive because of the context it is used in. Even though it's only a form of the word 'Japanese' it, until recently, was always used in a negative way. You almost never hear someone saying 'I love those Japs' or 'Japs are very polite'....it's always 'those damn Japs'.

Just like you would never hear 'I met the nicest Nigger the other day' or 'My daughters dating that handsome chink down the street'...the context it is historically used in makes the word offensive even if it is used in a polite way. But normally if it was obvious you didn't mean anything by it most people wouldn't give you a hard time, in the end it's your intention that comes across, not the actual word.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,232
I have not come across an example of "Jap" where the word itself wasn't offensive, regardless of its intention. First one that comes to mind would be "I love Jap girls," as I've heard someone actually say this before. Surely, someone who says this doesn't necessarily mean it in a derogatory way, but the word itself is polarizing.
 

Chidoriashi

In imagination land
Joined
2 Feb 2007
Messages
772
Reaction score
62
I think the word is losing its potency as a racial slur. Though it can definitely still have it, depending on how it is used. I guess I have never really asked Japanese people, but it would be my personal assumption that most Japanese are not even familiar with the term. I could be dead wrong though. Honestly... in the rare times I do hear the word.. I feel like it is "grandpa talk". Maybe it is because that is how all the WW2 vets I see interviewed on the Discovery and History Channel use it.
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
18 Jan 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
308
To me it does sound offensive.

I find the word rather often on many forum.
In most cases people simply do not know it can be offensive and thought it is just an abbreviation. I cannot say I'm happy about it but it is a kind of things that could happen.

But I feel most irritated about certain people who say they love Japan/Japanese stuff yet use the word just because they don't want to bother to type "Japanese". (I came across such an excuse not only once but many times...)
:sick:
 

Ashikaga

もちもちした食感
Joined
19 Feb 2008
Messages
2,195
Reaction score
81
Regardless of how I, personally, feel about the term, just the fact that there are many people who are offended by it is enough to make me not want to use the word. I can say the same about a few other words that mean one thing to a certain group of people while considered offensive in others. In the case of "Jap", why take chances? If you have the slightest doubt as to if some word may be taken as an insult, I think it's better to avoid it especially when all you have to is add a few letters -anese.

Hmmmm...that's FIVE letters. Makes me wonder... What if the person was writing an e-mail in an internet cafe and his time was running out. He has to finish writing the e-mail, erase footprints to all the porn sites he has visited AND get dressed and out of the cubicle in a minute and a half? Could he afford to type out "JapANESE" and risk paying extra and possible embarrassment because you KNOW that the cute girl at the front desk will check the computer to see what kind of web-sites you have been looking at. :?
 

SushiShin

後輩
Joined
15 Jan 2007
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
18
I don't live in Japan but I'm from Japan and some people here in Belgium sometimes call me Jap and I think it's very offensive.
 
Top Bottom