Japanese Netizen Explains the Netouyo Phenomenon on Twitter

A twitter thread suggests that the netouyo are not unhappy with China and Korea but are rather unhappy with the state of Japan.

One of the recently popular threads on the Japanese tweet compilation site Togetter.com was a series of tweets by a Japanese blogger called Jiragyo, who commented on who the netouyo are really angry at.

The term ‘netouyo’ itself is used frequently in the Japanese media, by Japanese netizens, and also crops up a lot on japanCRUSH. Jiragyo’s tweets give an interesting perspective on the issue, suggesting that the real problem is domestic. Jiragyo’s tweets are translated in full below, along with netizen comments on the netouyo.

From Togetter.com:

Who do the netouyo want to get back at?

The Twitter profile of the Japanese blogger Jiragyo.

The Twitter profile of the Japanese blogger Jiragyo.


I want to say something about the older generation who make fun of the cries of ‘Long live Japan!’ and the lack of consideration for other countries from young netouyos. At the very least, the generation who became adults during the bubble era ransacked the culture of other countries with their money, seeing ‘Japan as number one’, and saying ‘There’s nothing we can learn from the world’, so they’re in no position to criticize.


The netouyo, and those bastards from the bubble era themselves, are basically made of the same stuff, I mean, in the end, there’s not much difference between the generations (笑)


What’s more, well, the bakumatsu [late Edo period] and postwar Japan [as periods of foreign influence] were exceptional, but at times when it’s seemed like Japan is going to be engulfed by the civilisation and culture of a foreign country, Japan rolls up its sleeves, saying ‘Who cares about your country, you’re no big deal’ — even if forced. And I think that’s necessary, actually, since it’s easy for a country to be engulfed by another culture and then bend to suit them. Even with China and Korea, we have to have power.


In a recession, because economists and sociologists always carry on about ‘globalisation, globalisation’, and incite us to continue losing our identities, there’s bound to be a reaction against that. I think that fundamentally the netouyo’s attitudes are strongly rooted in disbelief and opposition to this, rather than opposition to China and Korea.


And so, when the economic climate improves and employment is stable, I suppose that everyone will just make families and get buried in their work as usual, but because far from helping with economic recovery, economists, sociologists and the media are just hindering it, I think that it will get to the point where people are saying ‘Death to the intelligentsia, and down with China and Korea, the nations they praised!’


I think that the people the netouyo really want to kill are not Chinese or Koreans, but the ‘the kind of Japanese who pretend to be intellectuals’ (笑) And the spears are already pointing at them.


Perhaps, if we asked the people we call netouyo, then they’d almost certainly say the same thing. That they ‘despise the traitorous media, scholars, and politicians rather than Chinese and Koreans’. And that’s how it is. We can say that for sure (笑)


But I think that the media really would prefer that the netouyo attacked China and Korea rather than them (笑)


Contrary to what you’d expect, the more that Abe incites them by talking about reconciliation policies with Korea, the reason the netouyo don’t respond is that already they want to destroy newspapers, television channels, and municipal groups, rather than China and Korea, that’s just completely obvious.

Comments from Twitter:


I see, it’s like domestic trouble, rather than foreign threat.


Yup, I completely agree with this.


I strongly agree. They’re fed up of having the self-satisfied ideals of intellectuals imposed on them, and of being labelled as people who object to it.


I think I might be able to understand it if it was a reaction to left-wing thought, but I didn’t quite see it simply as an objection to the media and the intelligentsia.


It’s because they’re a generation who don’t know about the bubble era( ・∀・)つ〃∩ ヘェーヘェーヘェー So it seems as netouyo, they despise the media. They’ve realised that politicians (LDP) are not as insincere as they were said to be by the media, so they’ve lost momentum. The DPJ is fiction.


So, what the hell is this netizen treating people as enemies for, saying ‘those bastards from the bubble generation themselves’. Are they trying to start a war between the generations? Fine, give it a try.


Everybody wants to be accepted by someone. And if you can’t be accepted for doing something good, then you want them to accept you for doing something bad. If you can be accepted by being conspicuous, then you’re going to stick with that. It’s just that in reality there are a lot of people who were accepted by their family and are now accepted by 2ch. So there’s no philosophy to it, it’s just a distorted way of wanting to be liked.

sicilian_ 3:

I think that the main trend is still hating Korea and hating China, though. The funny thing is that they don’t attack the US. Although people get pissed if a trend of hatred becomes only slightly popular, they’re not concerned about becoming a vassal state (although the US supplies us with troops, they also budget for it thoughtfully).


This kind of content is appearing all the time, but all of them are saying different things. I think of it very simply, and not in defence of the netouyo. On one hand, you have ‘Anti-Korea anti-China’ netouyo. On the other hand, you have ‘Anti-Japan media, hate traitorous Diet members’ netouyo. Then you also have ‘Pro-US’ netouyo. Isn’t the word ‘netouyo’ itself now meaningless?


So reading this far, all I’ve understood is that the word ‘netouyo’ is confirmed as a derogatory word, a swear word, and a discriminatory word.


A netouyo is someone who reacts the most quickly to news about China and Korea, and in spite of hating them, understands the languages and cultures of China and Korea really well, and even when they’re asleep dreams of China and Korea.


It’s just that the voices who say, ‘Japan can’t just stay as the country that lost the war’ — to borrow from Kurayama Mitsuru’s speech — have grown louder. A reaction against the masochistic view of history that was prevalent, will continue for a while.


There are some things that I agreed with, but we can’t have a struggle between the generations. Our common enemy are the old intellectual class and the media.


To me, the sound of the word ‘netouyo’ and ‘netizen’ are kind of the same.


Maybe by the word ‘netouyo’, we can’t really express things properly, and the struggle between generations is also not a complete generalization. I’m not sure, but there must be a better word to express this.


These comments are full of phrases like ‘I think’ and ‘maybe’, aren’t they…?

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  • You didn’t translate the last sentence in France_syoin’s comment. I think it’s kind of important: “There’s no ideology in this, just a warped sense of self-pity(?)” [not entirely sure if that’s what 自分可愛さ means].

    • besudesu

      Oh, thanks for that. I didn’t realise I’d missed that out. So 自分可愛さ kind of means that you want to be the cute one, it’s not pity (maybe you’re thinking of 可哀想?), my impression is that it’s more wanting to be liked. But you’re right it is an important part of the comment.

      • Justin_kBANG


      • I’m aware of the difference between 可愛さ and 可哀想, it just sorta seemed to make more sense to me that way when I wrote that, and googling the phrase didn’t help much. I thought it might be some sort of cheeky wordplay, but your interpretation seems to work better.

      • Cleo

        “keeping up appearances” a la marrying David Byrne, pretending to like Sean Lennon – that’s what that phrase means

        That is a weapon utilized in Japan in their bid to appeal to the West above other Asians as well as their weakness. They can’t have it both ways, you know.

        The confusion sets in because of the cultural misuse of Ke ai aka kawaii – not just to scream at pieces of pink plastic for sale but because it is definitely not supposed to be “Cute” in the original Chinese – cute is ‘duk yi” – ke ai has a moral component – there’s no integrity in surface beauty or a Sanrio product – ke ai is easy to love, deserving of love/positive reception and that is why it is being used in this context – kawaii is about their wanting to be popular and continue to be praised in foreign media for being so clean, socially responsible, so hip and so ENGLISH in their reaction to 3-11.

        I bet that pisses off the English especially after Uchimura’s nonhandstand at the London Olympics.

  • ChuckRamone

    I’m pretty sure a lot of netuyo are anti-China and Korea. It would be very roundabout and inefficient for netuyo to criticize domestic Japanese elements by lashing out at mainland East Asians. That logic doesn’t add up. I don’t think Japanese are that afraid of confrontation.

    Unless this tweeter is saying these netuyo don’t even realize they’re angry at certain Japanese people, and are venting by attacking China and Korea, like some kind of psychological ailment. Still doesn’t really make sense. I don’t think these netuyo are that unaware of themselves.

  • Cleo

    net- you? that sounds so awkward in Chinese/Cantonese because it sounds like netfriend which is far more common – the other glossary terms using Chinese characters are straight up Cantonese vernacular by the way

    praising Korea and China because you feel insecure and more and more frightened that they are very likely going to make permanent gains on Japan will neither buy you any sympathy from Korea and China nor will it actually make your days go by any easier

    • ChuckRamone

      uyo, not you. from “右翼”

      • Yup, that’s right. Maybe I wrote ‘you’ somewhere, instead of ‘uyo’…typos kill, people.

      • Cleo

        homonym – the Chinese are wary of making puns like Aiko sounds like Aids and Ryukyu looks like Kowloon backwards i.e. Dragon Nine vs. Nine Dragons – it’s not as difficult as Cockney Rhyming Slang.

        • linette lee

          …………Ryukyu looks like Kowloon……

          hahaha…lol you are too much. Chill cleo, I was born in Kowloon HK.

          • Cleo

            Linette – look at it in ENGLISH – do you see – someone played a game – it’s Ryu (dragon) Kyu (nine) and then you would HAVE to be a Cantonese speaker or familiar with HK to see KOW LOON. There are a lot of games in Japanese probably by those Chinese scholars the Japanese requested expertise and approval for things like Aiko and Hisahito’s Chinese character names.

          • Cleo

            and remember who the ninth dragon was in Kowloon – that was the case in the ancient kingdom of Ryukyu before the Japanese took it by force
            that’s why they eat so much foo gwah in Okinawa

          • linette lee

            Really? Kowloon 九龍 means nine dragon. I was born in 九龍 on the island of Hong kong. So Ryukyu is part of 九龍 then..hahaha.lol…..or the people from Ryukyu were the same people from 九龍 the island of Hong kong. Darn those Japs are sneaky stealing diaoyu from Taiwan and ryukyu from Hk. lol.

          • Cleo

            Hong Kong has a Tonkin Street 😉

      • Cleo

        its a mispronunciation of Cantonese like “yow” from friend and “yow” with a different intonation from righthandside so if you insist on using the Chinese character for it, you are liable for correction and disdain.

        I looked at that glossary provided for terms including netyou and the first two already are very unJapanese influenced common conversational Cantonese: Chiu is surpassing and extreme in Cantonese and Gek is Cantonese for aggravation or high pressurization.

        You will find MORE Japanese who are aficionados of Cantonese in Hong Kong and even in Chinatowns picking up how to sound naturally Cantonese than you will find awkward Chinese youngsters taking Japanese lessons because they want to buy Japanese video games.


        • besudesu

          Cleo, surely it’s no surprise to you that the Japanese language uses Chinese characters as part of its lexicon! But I don’t think that ‘yow’ is a mispronunciation of anything Cantonese…what exactly do you mean?

          • linette lee

            Cleo is saying the Japanese use 漢語. Which still used only by the Cantonese in Hong kong. It’s a traditional writing. The oldest form of chinese writing. The Japs use them but they pronounce them wrong. I think she mentioned something like 友(friend) and 右(right). They are are pronounced yao in cantonese but in different tone.

          • ChuckRamone

            in Japanese kanji that would be ‘yuu’ (friend) and ‘ooh’ (right). and, like you said, even in Cantonese they have different tones. I’m not sure what Cleo is talking about.

          • Cleo

            because they can’t handle subtleties without dense training the way those fluent Cantonese speaking Japanese operatives working for the Foreign Ministry are capable of

          • linette lee

            Other Asian language is deprived from 漢字, the traditional chinese writing.

          • Cleo

            and by the surviving pre-Communist Cantonese worldwide including the overseas newspapers – I pray for a return not only of Traditional character dominance once China can afford it but I pray that the Cantonese language willl once again flourish with its clever precision and the young people of Hong Kong will no longer sound like the Cantonese version of Austrian Rachel Khoo when she speaks English.

          • linette lee

            I think 漢語 is a very beautiful ancient language. It’s hard to master. I know it’s easier to write simplified Chinese. But it lost its beauty.

            漢語looks like a drawing.

            Love爱 in simplified Chinese, Love愛 in traditional chinese漢語.

            In 漢語, there is a heart 心 in the word love 愛.

          • besudesu

            Yeah I agree….I like traditional Chinese characters more than the simplified ones….(maybe because I can’t read the simplified ones…!)

          • Cleo

            they didn’t abscond with the character for “right” and then attach their original NATIVE pronunciation of the concept – I’m pretty sure they had no differentiation of two sides at all – only this hand and that hand – they took the concept of left and right from us.

            and you can tell from Japanese and Korean vocab that they took a Cantonese word and then tried to pronounce it their way similar to the romanization they employ which of course the Japanese term is “romanji”

            they also employ too freely our limited use of honorifics like when they ad “o” in front of something like ohashi so that is where the U-yo is from from you, get it?

            I once had a Japanese teacher try to school me on the different “counting methods” of different methods – I know all of them in the original Cantonese but I was busy looking at him and marveling at how the translation into Japanese manifested and he thought that I like the other American students were totally baffled. That’s MY language – I know it when I hear it and I know when someone is explaining something that doesn’t come from his blood and soul.

          • besudesu

            Actually, Japanese has two (or more sets of readings) for most characters. One is always a native Japanese reading, which is unrelated to Chinese dialects, and one will be a Chinese-derived reading, usually used in kanji compounds. So yes, the u of u-yoku is from Chinese. But the Japanese word for right is ‘migi’. Nowadays education is widespread, but when it wasn’t, people essentially spoke (and definitely wrote) different languages. So yes, the Japanese did differentiate between left and right, like most nations (or east-west, etc) but since the use of written Chinese in Japan predates the creation of Japanese script, there would have been no way to write it without Chinese. Japanese, like Korean, also has a dual counting system, one of which is derived from Chinese, and the other of which is native.

          • Cleo

            migi no (opposite of left) – that doesn’t convince me that the Japanese knew their left from their right!

  • Cleo

    “It’s just that the voices who say, ‘Japan can’t just stay as the country that lost the war’ — to borrow from Kurayama Mitsuru’s speech — have grown louder. A reaction against the masochistic view of history that was prevalent, will continue for a while.”

    the only thing that Japan still kept from the postwar is not the money but this newfound seeming popularity and they think they have enough of that to survive a military decloaking? You want a NEW Meiji era and you think you can keep the fabricated goodwill the Allies especially America has constructed for you?

    Don’t you want to know that those National Geographic photos of children deformed by Chernobyl are real and that it totally does NOT make sense that everyone is mild mannered in their coverage of Fukushima? Don’t you SMELL that your elite are jumping ship and reported in detail by CHINESE media when they issue articles about Chinese corrupt officials looking for foreign citizenship? How do you not SEE what is happening over there?

    We all know you hate Chinese and Koreans who haven’t wronged you – this is in your ordinary population not just in the main profiteers of invading China and Korea, not just your drug dealing, sex enslaving yakuza. It’s in all of you but you don’t want to expend any personal cost at hurting Chinese and Koreans – you just want a good life and to feel that everyone else thinks of you as superior.

    Rome is burning.

    • Master of Unlocking

      No, it’s more like the Chinese and Koreans hate Japanese who haven’t wronged them. The war happened not only before you were born, but before your parents were born. Get over it.

      But who are we kidding. The dictatorship that runs China uses Japan as a convenient scapegoat for their people to hate, and gullible Chinese like you fall for it all the time.

      • An-Nusantarani

        Peace will never happen in Asia when one country still tries to rule all of it.
        In the current era, it is the 23rd dynasty.

  • Cleo

    If the Japanese had any Chineseness in them, they would have been suspicious when Chinese news made so much about the blazing popularity of Japanese porn stars with Chinese consumers. That was a tell, stupid. How did you not realize it?

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  • Sean

    Jiraygyo sounds nothing short of a right-wing apologist, like Bill O’Reilly screaming “liberal media! liberal media!” The netouyo are not misrepresented by some global media conspiracy set out to bury Japanese national identity. They speak for themselves on the Internet for everyone to see their ideas, and nothing in their works suggest that they are actually fueled by some domestic frustration. They’re nothing more than far-right nationalists who really do see China and Korea as inferior.

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