What Does Maji Mean in Japanese?

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Have you ever asked the meaning of the expression Maji? Or maybe its variations like Maji Yabai, Maji De, Maji Ureshii? In this article we will delve into the meaning of Maji and its origin word Majime.

The word “maji” is used not only by young people, but also by many adults in Japan. The slang expresses something serious and unexpected. Like: “Don't you play? Seriously? I don't believe? It can not be?".

Majime – The Origin of Maji

The expressive slang “Maji” became popular among young people in the 1980s, but in fact, this expression has been around since the Edo Period and used to be commonly used.

Read too: From the Edo Period to the end of the Shogunate - History of Japan

The word originated from the adjective [真面目] which means serious and honest. This word began to be used as a language among the behind-the-scenes performers in Theater and Industry.

The word “Majide” that expresses seriousness and sincerity ended up becoming the adverb we know “Maji”, but both words are used frequently in the Japanese language.

The first times the expression was mentioned in songs in the 80's, the word had the meaning of seriously. As in the expression:

  • Maji ni omae wo daita;
  • マジにお前をだいた;
  • I hugged you seriously;

With the popularization of Japanese delinquents Yankii the expression "Maji Daze" ended up being spread, mainly in the anime and manga of the time.

We recommend reading: Bosozoku, Yankii and Sukeban – Japanese Gangs

Japanese gangs and delinquents – yankii, bosozoku and sukeban
Japanese Yankii Delinquents

In 1986, a manga appeared with a Japanese name [本気] being normally read "Honki", but in this case it was titled as "Maji!". Both words are synonyms with the same meaning.

Both “Maji” and “Honki” convey the idea of seriousness, truth and holiness, which turned out to be a perfect junction that further spread the meaning of the word, thus creating the famous slang.

The manga in question shows Japanese juvenile delinquents and the Japanese Yakuza Mafia. It may be in your interest to analyze this manga that popularized the expression “maji”.

- what does maji mean in japanese?
maji Manga

What is the real meaning of Maji?

Now that you know the origin and meaning of “Maji”, let's understand more deeply the meaning of this expression. Note that its meaning has some nuances to highlight:

The expression 「マジ」 can be used to describe a person's behavior when they are angry about something, or are doing the job seriously.

The expression also declares that you are speaking honestly and seriously. You can also use expression to emphasize your assessment when you are in doubt or when something seems larger than expected.

Maji is also often used as a prefix to join other words like the famous expression majiyabai or majiureshii, this junction presents something serious or extreme.

Maji can be written in either Hiragana [まじ] or Katakana [マジ]. As slang spoken in isolation, this expression ends up passing ideas such as:

  • Seriously
  • Really
  • Truly
  • it's not a joke
  • Really
  • Genuinely

Used with other particles and expressions, “Maji” ends up exclaiming even more the doubt and seriousness of the subject, the surprise and the extreme of the context, it is so easy to pronounce that it is often used as a habit with no important meaning.

Variations and expressions with Maji:

  • ええ まじで;
  • まじ? 嬉しい;
  • マジで;
  • マジか;
  • マジ卍;
  • まじやばい;
  • まじやばくね;
  • マジパない;
- what does maji mean in japanese?
Bisque Doll protagonist lives talking Maji

What does Maji Yabai mean?

We have previously written an article talking about the complex meaning of Yabai. And when we hear the expression “maji yabai”, what does it mean?

Originally this expression conveys the idea of being very worried, as if someone was seriously in danger. Of course, the situation and context can change this degree of danger.

Such an expression for being slang can end up being used in a non-serious situation, or maybe as a joke or with a common sense, maybe showing a possible bad situation from a certain point of view that is about to happen.

Some translators end up translating this expression depending on the context as:

  • Seriously? Wow!
  • This is so sick!
  • Serious! Isn't that dangerous?
  • Serious! This is dangerous!

Its current nuance is quite different from the Showa Era [1926-1989] where the expression was more positive than negative. Even today such an expression can refer to something positive, but this is not always the case.

I think one of the reasons why young people use maji yabai so conveniently is that it's easy to pronounce. It has a very broad meaning of words, and it spreads widely among people.

Read too: Do you know what Yabai means?

Japanese slang – guide with the most used in japan

Majiyabakune [まじやばくね]

Another variant expression of "Maji Yabai" is "Maji Yabakune" where it turns Yabai into Yabakune. The character Kanna Kamui from Maid Dragon often uses this expression very often.

It is very difficult to explain the meaning of “maji yabakune”, since yabai is both a negative and a positive word, even if it is in the negative form [やばくない] or in an ascending intonation, it is not known whether the person is denying, doubting or confirming without understanding the context.

In the anime Kanna Kamui, after seeing the frequent use of these words among young people, comes to the conclusion that this word can be the answer to any situation, this is kind of true.

The most suitable translation for majiyabakune expression [マジやばくね] could be something like:

Example: Don't you think that's amazing?

Kore wa sugoi to omoimasen ka

The English translation of this expression was something like “You're is wicked” which can mean something both good and bad.

- what does maji mean in japanese?
What does Majiyabakune mean?

What does Majide and Majika mean?

The expression Majide [マジで] is the junction of [マジ] with the particle “DE” [で]. It is usually translated as:

  • That's true?
  • You must be kidding!

The expression Majika [マジか] is the junction of [マジ] with the particle “KA” [か]. In this situation the [か] does not always express a question, but an exclamation.

Majika slang may end up being translated as:

  • No way!
  • No kidding?
  • Seriously?
  • Seriously?
  • Come on!
  • Our.
  • My God.
- what does maji mean in japanese?

What does Maji Manji mean?

Maji Manji [マジ卍] is a common expression found in some manga that uses the famous and controversial swastika. It is usually found in isolated balloons or at the end of sentences.

Read too: Differences between Buddhist Swastika and Nazi Swastika

Majimanji is a word that expresses that you feel very excited in some way, whether good or bad. Usually this expression is used to emphasize your excitement about something.

It is usually used to show excitement, energy and strength, its nuance of strength is often seen in motorcycle gangs. Such an expression can also be seen as a compliment. Remembering that the swastika in Japan differs from the Nazi swastika with another meaning linked to Buddhism.

Often the repetition of [卍] usually means Yabai [やばい], so it ends up being synonymous with Maji Yabai. Perhaps the pronunciation sounds better because the only change in the sentence is the letter N [ん].

- what does maji mean in japanese?
Maji Manji

Phrases using Maji

Below we will leave some sentences that use the expression “maji”. Notice how the expression matches other similar slang that express things like “very, really and amazing”.

That person is really a coward
あいつマジで へタレAitsu maji de hetare.
Seriously? You are awesome
マジで おまえすげーよ!
Majide?? Omae Sugeyo!
You are very annoying
Omae, maji mukatsuku.
Hey it was really surprising
Oi oi, maji bibitta yo-.
this car is so cool
Ano kuruma majide kakkoiine!
please seriously please
Onegai, maji de onegai.
this is surprising
Maji panai.
I am so bored
Majide hima dawa。

Gachi and Synonyms of Maji

Because it is slang, such an expression ended up falling into the mouth of the people, many often use these expressions so much that it ends up becoming something boring and irritating for some.

If you don't have control over the use of “maji”, you can learn synonyms to use in different situations. Below are some words with similar meanings to “maji”.

  • Honki [本気] – gravity; seriousness; truth;
  • Daiji [大事] – Adjective meaning something important or serious;
  • Shiriasu [シリアス] – From English “serious”;
  • Taihen [大変] – It means something terrible; immense and serious;
  • Gachi [ガチ] – Serious; honest; real; lawful;

Gachi x Maji

This is another widely used slang that also conveys a nuance of seriousness. “Gachi” is an abbreviation of the sumo term “gachinko” [ガチンコ] which means “serious wrestling”.

The difference between “Maji” and “Gachi” is that “maji” is usually used in situations that you or someone close to you has caused, while “gachi” is used in unexpected and unpredictable situations.

While maji conveys the idea of seriousness, gachi conveys more the idea of tension and agility involved.

List of Synonyms for Maji

Below are some more words that can express the meaning of Maji or vice versa. The translation is pretty basic, we recommend delving deeper using a dictionary like Jisho.

We also recommend reading: How to translate and learn Japanese using jisho?

本音hon’nereal intention
大真面目dai majimefor real
真面目majimefor real
本心honshinreal intention
本の心hon no kokoroheart of the book
生真面目kimajimefor real
糞真面目kuso majimeserious stool
真面目腐るmajimekusaruseriously rotten
普通の感覚futsū no kankakunormal feeling
冗談抜きjōdan nukiseriously
本腰を入れてhongoshi o iretelower your heart
容赦しないyōsha shinairelentless
見据えるmisuerulook at the
気を張るkiwoharube careful
入れこみ方が違うirekomi hō ga chigauthe way to enter is different
目付きが変わるmetsuki ga kawaruthe appearance changes
切り結ぶkirimusubucut and tie
心からkokorokarafrom the bottom of my heart
常識jōshikicommon sense
気は確かki wa tashikaI'm sure
手加減しないtekagen shinaidon't adjust
気を入れるki o ireruto focus
身を入れるmiwoireruput yourself inside
ガチンコでgachinko dewith gachinko
手抜きなしtenuki nashino omissions
いろめきたつiromeki tatsuirome kitatsu
乗り気気張るnoriki kibarube excited
気合いが入るkiai ga hairuI am enthusiastic
腰が入るkoshi ga hairui get a waist
本格的にhonkaku-teki niauthentic
真面目本当majime hontōseriously true
本腰hongoshifor real
真剣味shinken ajiserious taste
真剣みshinken mifor real
腰を入れるkoshiwoireruput your hips
本腰でかかるhongoshi de kakarutake it seriously
心掛けるkokorogakerugoal to do
本腰を据えるhon koshiwosuerube serious

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