Japan's Social Taboos – Two Forbidden Words

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There are two words that are practically taboo to say in public in Japan. Never, under any circumstances, say these two words on any social occasion. The two forbidden words in question are マンコ (manko) and チンコ (chinko).

In plain English, they mean "pussy" and "chick", respectively. Saying the name of the genitals out loud, especially the female, is one of the most serious blunders in public. Instead, a Japanese will imply the nether regions by saying “あそこ” (asoko), that means "there" and is generally understood.

Japan social taboos - two forbidden words

This taboo is so strong that a Japanese artist was arrested on obscenity charges for selling and distributing the design files to make 3D printed models of your vulva.

She was told that she was not allowed to use the word "manko”. This brings up a point of caution: with a preponderance of female japanese names ended in "ko", new Japanese speakers should be careful to avoid a slip of the tongue. Be careful not to accidentally ask “Did you see manko?" or "Have you seen chinko?“This is not going to end well.

Vulgarity is one of the taboos but it is also a paradox

Japan social taboos - two forbidden words

The irony of it all is, Japan is a socially conservative country. Until then, Neves died. But at the same time, Japan is the country that most exports pornography abroad. Accessing pornography in Japan is easy, but very, very easy. In any newsstand in Japan, you can find pornographic magazines or manga of the genre hentai.

Paradoxically, you cannot utter obscene words in public. However, pornography consumption is very common among both the youngest and the oldest. not counting the reputation of incestuous relationships in Japan.

Therefore, vulgarity, something that is considered a taboo in Japanese society, is also a “consumer good”, so to speak. However, despite the contradictory attitudes, uttering manko or chinko in a social situation it gets bad. The Japanese don't have the habit of saying 4 bad words for every 10 words they speak, unlike us.

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