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Use of the word 'Jap' - is it offensive?
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bmwracer



Joined: 07 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

^ Through all my years, I can't say I've ever heard anyone use the term "Japa." Sweat
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

TaylorSan wrote:
I am curious...

Do people find the word "Japa" to be offensive?
    Never heard "Japa" but I have heard the term "hapa" which means somebody of mixed race.
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bmwracer



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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:
    Never heard "Japa" but I have heard the term "hapa" which means somebody of mixed race.

That's what I was thinking... But I don't ever recall that term being derogatory...
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compaqmac321



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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i feel every bit of what everybody is saying
someone said and elbow to the nose even if unintentional still hurts just as much
well put...i had no clue this site was called that, since im fairly new, but i also understand that it was just a part of ignorance also, the person had every right to be angry, cuz if i saw a site called niggatv id be pretty damn mad about that (im black)

like when i was in 10th grade we were reading to kill a mockingbird and my teacher would skip all the cus words like damn hell and shit, but when the word nigger came up she had no problem saying it, like what kinda shit is that? its ok for u just to say that word but u can skip the other less harmful words? i didnt get it
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TaylorSan



Joined: 06 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yea it was used like "Japa girls" is conversation. I thought it was kind of cool sounding.
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Stevie



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

useing J** is offensive...My Wife is Japanese and she doesnt like it when its said..


Last edited by Stevie on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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thereisnomail



Joined: 29 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

yes I think so.

also J-whatever makes my ears hurt
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bilal



Joined: 13 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

thereisnomail wrote:
J-whatever makes my ears hurt


lol

I use J-whatever all the time with my Japanese friends, but I do it to be silly (just like how I'll mix plain, polite and keigo Japanese to keep conversations lively), rather than because I think it's cool, and it's almost always for words that really don't need it (stuff like 'listen to your J-heart'). I definitely stay away from words like weeabo, though. In fact, that there is the first and last time I'll ever use it. I'm gonna call it the w-word from now on. It's like the passing of a rare comet Smile



As for the topic at hand, I've never heard of Japa myself either, but I suppose any shortening of a country could be seen as racist if used in a specific tone (like if someone called me a Paki). I do use the word jap but never on public forums on the internet, and only to my Japanese friends either in person or on FB/MSN. They're usually very quick to correct me if I'm saying something wrong or dodgy and no one's kicked up a fuss yet. I know my boundaries, though, so it's not something I do very often and never in public.

At university, I put a two- or three-letter abbreviation in the corner of the page I'm on so I know what course it's for (e.g. SOM = Structure of Matter, M3 = Maths III), and I used to write JAP for my Japanese module. The teacher never said anything (and she would've seen it as it'd be on any handwritten assignments), neither did anyone in the class. The only person that did was a friend of mine who loves Japanese stuff like animes and that. I pointed out that I'm actually learning Japanese, so unless I was doing it to get into and try and destroy the Great Nation of Nippon(TM) from the inside, I most likely wasn't being a racist. He said I should've used JPN but I'd already been doing it without realising there was any problem and so just stuck to it.

I'm of the opinion that your usage of a word plays as much a part in whether it's racist or not as the word itself. For example, if I said I hate these bloody eroge Japanese, that would most likely be racist even though the word itself is the actual accepted word for Japanese people.

But for example, TaylorSan's use of the word 日本人 is quite jarring to me. Not sure if you're using it to emphasise that the person who used the word 'Japa' is a bona-fide Japanese person as though that's some kind of proof, but I keep picturing it being said in a less-than-favourable tone, such as with floating fingers doing the quotation marks or something. I know that's not your intention, but I'm baffled as to its usage, as the effort involved in switching to J-input (lol), then typing 日本人, then switching back to English must surely be more than it takes to just type 'Japanese person', and is made even more curious as it was soon followed by the term 'Japanese people'.

Still, it's always best to err on the side of caution, even if you believe in the freedom to offend. The freedom to say what you like is tied in with the moral obligation to your fellow human being and a responsibility to find out for yourself if a term is offensive or not.

I'm also interested in seeing what happens to the word itself, whether it becomes 'acceptable' or not in the years to come. I'm not fussed either way, as I get on just fine without using it.

I have to say, though, that the site was once called japdrama.com made me giggle a bit.

But just a tiny bit! No offence intended, of course.
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bmwracer



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

bilal wrote:
Still, it's always best to err on the side of caution, even if you believe in the freedom to offend. The freedom to say what you like is tied in with the moral obligation to your fellow human being and a responsibility to find out for yourself if a term is offensive or not.

Well said. Thumbsup

Quote:
I'm also interested in seeing what happens to the word itself, whether it becomes 'acceptable' or not in the years to come. I'm not fussed either way, as I get on just fine without using it.

I suppose the negativity/offensiveness of the term could lessen over time as the younger crowd seems to be more oblivious to its historical beginnings...

But is it better to forget or not to forget? It's a tough call to make. Sweat
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Kijinnmaru



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

bmwracer wrote:

But is it better to forget or not to forget? It's a tough call to make. Sweat

Ultimately it'll depend on the whims of society; the same driving force that made it from a non-offensive term to a derogatory one, and finally to an offensive one.
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bilal



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think it'll be up to the Japanese themselves, rather than society as a whole, to decide when it's ok (if they ever decide that). Take the N-word for example (funny how this thread is 26 pages of 'jap' but I'm still wary about using the N-word, although that's to do with the possibility of it being seen as against forum rules, not a personal wish not to) - some black people turned it on its head all those years ago by using it themselves and that simple act was a hugely powerful move. I'd argue that it's since lost that initial momentum, in that nowadays the only people I hear saying it are black rappers, but even that doesn't matter as the reversal has already served its purpose and I doubt we'll ever go back to the way things were. I suppose it could be argued that, had they not decided to start using the N-word themselves, society would have seen the light sooner or later and realised that all this racism business is wrong. And maybe rap music as we know it would be an entirely different beast?

I do feel it will probably remain as it is now, where some are offended and some aren't, and that's probably the best we can ask for I think. In spite of the reversal of the N-word, there are still many black people who are against its use, even if it's non-racial and used among blacks themselves, as it still carries the history with it.

Wait, maybe that's the issue - the N-word was used by certain people in a position of power (whites) against people they had already subdued (blacks) and so could be seen as another weapon, along with segregation, lynching, etc. As far as I'm aware, the word jap doesn't have that same history. Maybe some soldiers used it, but I think even that startling b&w photo some pages back would have been at a a wartime photo (or maybe just a photo of a really racist woman. Perhaps she had a few signs and swapped them over now and then?).
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Kijinnmaru



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The opposite actually. The subject being offended rarely is the deciding factor on whether a word is offensive. Recall the term "Jap" began as simply an abbreviated way to say Japanese. Whether the Japanese found it offensive was irrelevant. When it became derogatory, it was acceptable to use it as such. It was also questionable if the Japanese found it offensive. While they were raping Asia and chopping heads off prisoners, I doubt they were bothered being called a name that another race, an inferior one in their eyes, considered derogatory. It was only when it became socially unacceptable by society to use a term that was derogatory did it become "wrong".

Kind of like how it's offensive to use ther term "oriental" to describe Asian people, even though the only ones offended by the term are college educated, young white people. Or a better example would be "gaijin", a derogatory term used by the Japanese to describe other races that is considered offensive in their society now, but is used proudly by many non-Japanese fans of the culture to describe themselves. So in the end it really does depend on the whims of society.
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takunbabe92



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm Japanese and in honesty, i don't really care if someone types that word on a forum or chat. In chats or forums, it's really long to type "Japanese" so I understand why they would abbreviate. Also, some people do not know that this word is offensive. Usually, what i do is just say "most japanese people do not like that word so try not to use that." and then I just ignore if they continue to type that word. I think people should be more open to people who don't know that it's offensive instead of just flipping out and people who are lazy to type out the whole word. Just caution them and continue on.

However, I would not like it when people speak that word (which actually never happened yet in my life).
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bmwracer



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

^ I don't see how you can say typing the word is acceptable, but saying it to someone's face is not... That's contradictory. Sweat
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pearl jam



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It may be contradictory, but it also has to do with setting.

On the internet many people use almost any conceivable abbreviation, to the point that some things become almost in decipherable if you aren't familiar with the conventions. Within this setting, the tendency toward reducing any term to a 3 letter code could be seen as not conveying any negative intent without necessarily implying that the same would be true in spoken conversation.
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bmwracer



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

pearl jam wrote:
It may be contradictory, but it also has to do with setting.

On the internet many people use almost any conceivable abbreviation, to the point that some things become almost in decipherable if you aren't familiar with the conventions. Within this setting, the tendency toward reducing any term to a 3 letter code could be seen as not conveying any negative intent without necessarily implying that the same would be true in spoken conversation.

Thus the need to enlighten people when it does happen...
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katsup



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Here's a thought, what about when jap is referred to as a slang term for "jewish american princess" ? Still insulting, but most of the time when i hear jap that's what people are referring to, not japanese people. I've hardly ever heard the word used for japanese people... most people i know just call anyone who looks eastern asian to be "asian" :x
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bmwracer



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

katsup wrote:
Here's a thought, what about when jap is referred to as a slang term for "jewish american princess" ? Still insulting, but most of the time when i hear jap that's what people are referring to, not japanese people. I've hardly ever heard the word used for japanese people... most people i know just call anyone who looks eastern asian to be "asian" :x

I find it rarely used in that way in reference to women... Whereas I still see people who post here and in other forums, etc. use it as an abbreviation for Japanese people. Sad

And some of them take offense when I correct them. Shake Head
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Lollidolly



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

takunbabe92 wrote:
I'm Japanese and in honesty, i don't really care if someone types that word on a forum or chat. In chats or forums, it's really long to type "Japanese" so I understand why they would abbreviate. Also, some people do not know that this word is offensive. Usually, what i do is just say "most japanese people do not like that word so try not to use that." and then I just ignore if they continue to type that word. I think people should be more open to people who don't know that it's offensive instead of just flipping out and people who are lazy to type out the whole word. Just caution them and continue on.

However, I would not like it when people speak that word (which actually never happened yet in my life).


I agree with this chap. I use 'Jap' when typing fast just because having to type out Japanese ALL THE TIME when talking to someone about my studies just seems ridiculous. Yeah I'm aware its offensive, but unless I'm using it offensively, what does it matter? I'm just using it as an abbreviation (and yes, i'm aware i could just type jp or jpn or something but I don't). Really depends on the context imo.
Just my two cents~
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Tu_triky



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

katsup wrote:
Here's a thought, what about when jap is referred to as a slang term for "jewish american princess" ?



That's more of an East Coast thing. I only heard that when I lived in NY but I don't really hear that ish in L.A.
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