J-Pop Fandom Terminology (for JO1/PDJP Newbs)

UPDATED: 2020.07.02 @ 2:00 p.m. PDT

Added new terms to the guide:

  • FA
  • Nioshi (under oshimen)
  • Oriki
  • Oshihen (under oshimen)

Updated definitions:

  • Azassu
  • FC
  • Idol
  • Yarakashi

There has been some conflicts and arguments going on in JO1/JAM Twitter lately that I decided to post this to help new JAMs be more familiar or to make a transition into the general J-Pop fandom. Since this is a mini-blog dedicated to Asian (well, namely J-Pop) culture in general, and with JO1’s appearance in KCON coming up, there will be a huge (?) following coming from the KPop fandom who may be interested in JO1. I know it says General J-Pop Fandom Terminology and I’m applying this to new fans getting to know about JO1, but many of these terms are applicable to any J-Pop fandom regardless of who you follow.

This page will be updated whenever something new or anything missing may come up. I’ll also be putting in any specific PRODUCE 101 JAPAN (PDJP) terminology as well, and for the time being, they apply to JO1 and any of the groups and individual talent coming from PDJP.

NOTE

It’s not required that you have to memorize or use any of the terms below when you talk about JO1 (or any of your favorite J-Pop groups) on a regular basis or if you need to have some kind of validation that you’re a J-Pop fan, but I feel that it’s also important for new fans to understand and recognize these terms when other J-Pop fans use them. Call it a reference. I will also be using examples from PDJP/JO1 to further explain some term.

Also, a warning. My Japanese isn’t very fluent, so if I make any grammatical mistakes, please help me out in correcting it. The examples are used are cringy, but hopefully it’s helpful anyway.

For those who would like to contribute by adding some terms to the list, please contact me via Twitter. Thank you!

(#)-nin ([#]人): In the Japanese language, there are a lot of different counters for different things. In this case, “(#)-nin” is the counter for the number of people. In this case, the number of members in a group.

Example:
JO1は11人のメバーがいます。
(JO1 wa juuichi-nin no menbaa ga imasu.)
There are 11 members in JO1.

Aho (アホ): The Kansai-ben (Kansai dialect) version of  dumbass, idiot, fool, moron.
In JO1, there are 5 members who are from the Kansai Region. In addition, much of today’s Japanese slang is derived from Kansai-ben, so there will be non-Kansai members 1 who will be using this term a lot.

Aikyou (愛嬌): charm, cuteness, attractiveness, winsomeness.
The Korean equivalent to aikyou is aegyo.

Example:
日本のアイドルの愛嬌は特別ね。
(Nihon no aidoru no aikyou wa tokubetsu ne.)
The charms of Japanese idols are extraordinary, isn’t it?

Azassu (あざっす): The slang version of ありがとうございます。(Arigatou gozaimasu/Thank you.)

A lot of male idols say azassu a lot just to say a quick “thanks” to their homies and at times, to fans (regardless of gender), but I’ve heard some cases (namely in a few J-dramas) where some females do say azassu when they respond to their closest friends.

Baka (馬鹿): The standard (Kanto-ben?) term for dumbass, idiot, fool, moron.
Some people think that baka is a “friendlier” version, while aho (see above) is the harsher, more insulting version.

Bijin (美人): beauty, describes a beautiful/pretty girl and/or woman.

Boke (ぼけ): blurred, lack of focus, simple-minded, clueless. In short, an airhead.

You know that Photoshop/photo app filter called Bokeh, in which it blurs a certain area of a photo to give more focus on the actual subject? That’s where the filter name came from.

Bromide (ブロマイド): Commercial photographic portraits of celebrities: idols, artists, singers, actors, even sports stars, however, bromides are more popular with J-Pop idols and artists. They are usually printed on 3.5″ x 5″ (9cm x 12.5 cm) high quality glossy photo paper and are quite delicate when not taken care of properly. Some bromides are full portraits, others also have the group’s or the agency logo printed on one corner.

Fans can purchase bromides through live events such as concerts, online shops owned by the respective agencies, or certain online and/or physical stores such as HMV, Tower Records, etc. There are new bromides periodically, and some bromides also go out of print, and because of this, bromides become a “commodity” of every J-Pop fan, and try to collect as many bromides as they can and trade with fellow fans who may have duplicates. 2

Bromides are not the same as trading cards (photocards), which are printed on thicker cardboard material and are a lot smaller (2.5″ x 3.5″/6.5 cm x 9 cm). More info on trading cards on this guide.

Here are examples of bromides: 3

MADKID bromides

Chika aidoru (地下アイドル): underground idols
J-Pop is a very huge industry that there are several kinds of artists in the music industry from every single genre you can think of. There are those who are signed under major agencies and record labels. And then there are those who are in the indies pop scene where many of these artists and idols who perform in various live houses throughout Shibuya and Shinjuku. 4 Chika idols rely heavily on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, to promote themselves and their upcoming performance schedules. There are a lot of chika idols who are signed by major record labels and are already considered mainstream, but still stay true to their roots by performing in smaller events from time to time.

Example:
日プの練習生の一部は地下アイドルでした。
(Nichipu no renshuusei no ichibu wa chika aidoru deshita.)
Some of the PRODUCE 101 JAPAN trainees were underground idols.

Chuugoku (中国): China

  • Chuugokugo (中国語): Chinese language
  • Chuugokujin (中国人): Chinese person

Collective: A collaborative consisting of groups and artists signed/managed under the same agency or under the same brand. 5
Not all J-Pop/J-Ent agencies create collectives. There are some temporary collectives, but they’re simply called “collaboratives.” A collective is permanent.

SOME EXAMPLES OF J-POP COLLECTIVES

Hello! Project (H!P) – a collective founded by the Up-Front Group, an all-female idol agency that manages Morning Musume, Angerme, Juice=Juice, and other groups. In addition, all groups and artists signed under Up-Front are automatically become a member of the H!P collective

Members:
Morning Musume
Angerme
Juice=Juice
Beyooooonds
Camellia Factory
Airi Suzuki
(several soloists who were former members of previous groups)

EXILE TRIBE – a collective founded by LDH, a predominantly urban-style talent agency founded by former first generation EXILE members. They use this system to create younger generation groups in a rotational manner in which select members from these groups eventually become a new member of the primary group, EXILE.

Members:
EXILE
EXILE the Second
三代目J Soul Brothers (3rd Generation J Soul Brothers)
Generations
The Rampage
Fantastics
Ballistik Boyz
Gekidan Exile
Samurize
Deep Squad
Psychic Fever
(many more…)

恵比寿学園男子部 (Ebisu Gakuen Danshibu/Ebisu Academy Boys Club) – better known as EBiDAN, this collective consists of all the boys groups signed under major talent agency, Stardust Promotion.

Members:
超特急 (Choutokkyuu/Bullet Train)
DiSH//
さくらしめじ (Sakura Shimeji)
M!LK
SUPER DRAGON
ONE N’ ONLY (formerly EBiSSH and Satori Boys Club (SBC))6
Amezari – Red Stars –
原因は自分にある。(Genin wa Jibun ni Aru/The Cause Lies Within Me)
Edamame Beans
Starmen KiDS
ZeBRA STAR

  • The 48 Groups and their rival, the 46 Groups, are also collectives, though each group is managed under different agencies.
  • The Johnny’s Jr trainee system formed by Johnny & Associates also acts as a collective, since they divide their young trainees into groups with specific names. In the earlier years, these Jr groups were shuffled into different groups and were given names. Today, a subgroup can also debut as a permanent group
  • There is a possibility that Yoshimoto Kogyo may also form a collective consisting of groups formed from ex-trainees from PRODUCE 101 JAPAN. Currently along with JO1 (via Lapone Entertainment), Yoshimoto also signed OWV and established an all-male stage troupe ENJIN (via Showtitle).

Comeback single/album: A new single/album/content release after an artist/group returns to the limelight or to the music scene from a long period of hiatus of at least 1+ years.
Contrary to the usage of this term in K-Pop, “comeback” in J-Pop does not mean “new single/album” a few months after their last release. J-Pop uses the term new single/new album for a new single/album release right after a period of time since their last release, while comeback is used for a new release after a very long period (at least over a year) of absence from the music scene or from the entertainment biz altogether. There are idols and artists who also do non-music projects, so not being able to release any new music at a long period from their last release is considered hiatus from the music scene.

Example:
One of J-POP’s queens, Ayumi Hamasaki, has released her comeback release, an EP called Trouble in late 2018, 2 years after releasing her 17th album, Made in Japan, which was released back in 2016.

Coupling(s): The additional track(s) included with the lead single release.
On some J-Pop CDs, you will see something like “c/w” (coupling with) or “b/w” (backing with), indicating the additional tracks included in a single release. The term B-side or bonus track can also be used.

Example:
JO1’s debut single PROTOSTAR is released in three types and each type has 4 different couplings.
無限大 (INFINITY) is the lead single.
TYPE A has the following couplings: Running, Young, and Tsukame (It’s Coming).
TYPE B has the following couplings: La Pa Pa Pam, Grandmaster, and Tsukame (It’s Coming).
TYPE C (normal edition) has the following couplings: Running, La Pa Pa Pam, and Tsukame (It’s Coming).

Dansei aidoru (男性アイドル): male idol.
There are also two terms used for “male idol”: aidoru danshi (アイドル男子) and mensu aidoru  (メンスアイドル)

Example:
JO1の川尻蓮君は大好きな男性アイドルです。
(JO1 no Kawashiri Ren-kun wa daisuki-na dansei aidoru desu.)
Ren Kawashiri of JO1 is my favorite male idol.

DD: Abbreviation of daremo daisuki (誰も大好き), translated to “I love all/I love everyone.” In short, a fan who has no bias/favorite members and simply just a fan of the entire group.

Example:
JO1の推しメン? 持っていない。DDです。
(JO1 no oshimen? Motte inai. DD desu.)
My JO1 bias? I don’t have one. I love them all.

Eigo (英語): English language.

Example:
JO1の與那城奨君は英語を話します。
(JO1 no Yonashiro Sho-kun wa Eigo wo hanashimasu.)
Sho Yonashiro of JO1
speaks English.

FA: Fan art.
Fans creating fan art for their oshis are a huge part of J-Pop culture. Due to Japan’s strict copyright laws, many fans make up for the “lack of visuals” of their oshis by creating fan art with their own styles and dedicate them to their favorite groups, oshis, and also to their fellow fans.

For me, just looking (and sometimes creating) fan art is my favorite part of being part of the J-Pop fandom.

FC: Fan club. Just like in any fan clubs of celebrities and others around the world, you have to pay to join.
In K-Pop, they are called fan cafe.

Fan service (ファンサービス/fan saabisu): As it states, fan service.

Geinoujin (芸能人): General term for a celebrity, regardless of their profession: idol, soloist, musician, actor, comedian, etc. Another term for geinoujin is serebu (セレブ), which is the shortened form of “celebrity.”

Example:
日プ終了後、全部の練習生は芸能人になりました。
(Nichipu shuuryougo, zenbu no renshuusei wa geinoujin ni narimashita.)
After PRODUCE 101 JAPAN ended, all the trainees became celebrities.

Haafu (ハーフ): “half,” refers to a biracial person.

Example:
日プの練習性のグチェレスタケルとアルジャマ勇心はフィリピン人と日本人のハーフです。
(Nichipu no renshuusei no Gutierez Takeru to Aljama Yuujin wa Firipin-jin to Nihonjin no haafu desu.)
PRODUCE 101 JAPAN trainees, Takeru Gutierez and Eujin Aljama, are half-Filipino and half-Japanese.

Haishin (配信): literally, it translates as delivery. But in this very advanced technology and social media age, haishin is used to mean livestream or simply stream.

Example:

明日の朝でJO1は「アサカツ! JO1」を配信する。
(Asu no asa de JO1 wa “Asakatsu! JO1” wo haishin suru.)
Tomorrow morning, JO1 will be livestreaming “Asakatsu! JO1”

Hi-touch Event (ハイタチエベント): A hi-touch event (sometimes spelled high-touch event) is a mini-live event used to promote newly-released singles or albums by J-Pop idols and artists. Depending on the artist or management, these events can go from small scale to large scale. With small scale hi-touch events, they can have numerous events in different locations throughout Japan, also called hi-touch event tour, and usually take place in malls and outside shopping centers where there is an open space for gathering events nearby, usually near the music shops such as HMV or Tower Records. Larger scale hi-touch events, such as with FC-member only fan meets, may only be located in a few major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, and would be located in larger stage halls and convention centers.

If the hi-touch events are located at mall shops/shopping centers, here are the events that usually happen:

  • Performance of the new single and one of its coupling tracks by the artists on stage/open area for free. Sometimes, if it’s a pre-release hi-touch event, only one of its coupling tracks may be performed.
  • During meet & greet sessions, this is where the marketing happens. Those who want to meet and greet the artists at the booth, they must pre-order and/or purchase the CDs first. Because of how the CDs are being marketed (2-3 types with different contents and freebies), there are incentives on purchasing specific types. For example:
    • Type A – the CD will be autographed by the artists (and an additional perk, such as a free poster)
    • Type B – a fan can get a handshake and a quick talk with the artists/idols
    • Type C/Normal Type – a fan can have a photo along with the artists (and sometimes, their oshi(s))
    • All types – all of the above (and another additional perk along with the Type A perk)

So in short, if you happen to be in one of these hi-touch events and you see these types of perks, and as an eager fan, what would you do? Buy all of them, of course! If you plan on attending every single hi-touch event in their tour around Japan, you will have to do the same thing as the previous hi-touch events, which also means that if you want to meet your oshis again, you would have to pre-order/purchase the CDs again. So, be sure to spend your money wisely if you can’t afford them.

More info on J-Pop single/album marketing in the near future.

Ichiban (一番): “first,” “number one.” A lot of J-Pop i-fans believe that “ichiban” is used to refer to their favorite male idol and use it often to refer to their biases, but this is actually incorrect.

It began with Johnny’s 7 international fans back in the mid-late 2000s and it eventually spread to other J-Pop fandoms that many new J-Pop i-fans mistook ichiban as the correct term for “favorite male idol.” However, Japanese fans have never used ichiban to refer to their favorite member. Instead, they use the more general oshi or the full-term oshimen. More on this later on this list.

Idol (アイドル/aidoru): Idols are a type of celebrity concept in which they represent an “average person’s hopes and dreams.” They are all-rounders (singing, dancing, acting, PR, etc.) and their main purpose is to sell the “hopes and dreams,” kind of like a “manufactured role models” and the type of image that every person strives to be. Back in the days, they used to be known for just their image, personalities, and charms, but today, many are stepping up to get more serious in specific fields, such as music, songwriting, acting, etc.

For an idol to succeed in the J-Pop industry, they must possess the following qualities besides singing, dancing, and acting abilities:

  • Variety skills – different types such as wit and humor and showing sides fans have never seen before without being embarrassed in front of the camera. In addition, top-named idol groups do get their own variety show that is branded by their group name, showing all kinds of different activities (besides singing, dancing, performing songs), such as games, talk sessions, having guests (other idols/other celebrities) in their show, etc.
  • PR (public relations) skills – idols aren’t just there to look good while standing, singing, and dancing. They become sponsors in different public events and they must prepare to present the event through their words and personas.
  • Idols must show the fans that rather than being “better” than the average person (ie. fame, stardom, etc.), that they are also among them (everyday human beings working and living the same way as the average person, except the average person can witness them before their eyes)

Rather than giving a whole explanation of the “idol” term and the concept in Japanese pop music scene, I’ll provide the links here:

  • Japanese Male Idols: Why are People in Love with Japanese Idols? (Guidable Japan): Mostly about Johnny’s, this is about a little bit of history of male idols in the J-Pop industry. A small mention of chika aidoru (underground idols) is also mentioned.
  • A Brief History of Japanese Pop (J-Pop) Music (Spinditty): I don’t know why this article was under their “K-Pop” category when the entire article is completely about J-Pop’s history.
  • The Cultural Significance of Japanese Idols in Modern Japan (Medium): Mostly about female idols, still is a good read. It’ll give you an idea somewhat of how the idol system in Japan works and why they’re still significant today.
  • Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media by Patrick W. Galbraith and Jason G. Karlin (2012 Edition) – a collection of essays and reports by sociologists, journalists, pop culture scholars, etc. The book is very expensive to purchase, 8 if you’re lucky, search for the book in the library.There’s a lot more articles/reads about J-Pop idols 9 and you can read all about them, both the positive and the negative.

Ikemen (イケメン): a hot/cool/handsome visual young male.
You’ll hear this term a lot with male idols and boy groups and simply just handsome/hot boys in general.

Example:
えぇー?! マジで?! JO1のメンバーの皆イケメンよ!!
(Ee-?! Maji de?! JO1 no menbaa no minna ikemen da yo!!)
What–?! Really?! All JO1 members are all hot/handsome guys!!

J-Pop: Japanese Pop music. It’s an umbrella term to any popular Japanese music regardless of genre. Outside Japan, namely in the West, they also use J-Rock and J-Rap/J-Hip-Hop to segregate these genre artists from the J-Pop umbrella.

Jidori: Selfie. In this case, a selfie along with a photo of your oshi on the side. The Korean/K-Pop equivalent is selca.
Jidoris in J-Pop fandom is actually not common, as most Japanese are naturally shy and will not post any photos of themselves in public. Some would post photos of their idols and themselves but faces are covered or blurred. But other than that, this is not a norm in Japanese J-Pop fandom.

JO1 i-Jams from the K-Pop side started bringing in the selca concept into JO1 fandom. A few J-Jams got some interest in the i-Jams’ trending of jidori day, but even till today, this is still uncommon in the Japanese side of JO1 fandom and general J-Pop fandom altogether. For new Jams, you can participate in these jidori days when there is one, but don’t expect this trend to become popular among the wider fandom.

Kakkoii (カッコイイ): Japanese term for “cool.” It’s usually describes a male who is charismatic, handsome, possessing a type of aura that makes him cool and untouchable, etc. The English word cool (クール) is also used sometimes, but kakkoii is more common.

Example:
JO1の白岩瑠姫君はそこに立って何なもしないだけでとてもカッコイイです。
(JO1 no Shiroiwa Ruki-kun wa soko ni tatte nanimo shinai dake de totemo kakkoii desu.)
JO1’s Ruki Shiroiwa is so cool just standing there and doing nothing.

Kankoku (韓国): South Korea.
The Japanese have a different name for North Korea (北朝鮮/Kitachousen).

  • Kankokugo (韓国語): Korean language
  • Kankokujin (韓国人): (South) Korean person

Kawaii (可愛い/かわいい): cute
I think this is a general Japanese term that most non-Japanese are already familiar with thanks to anime/manga influences. The term is also used heavily with J-Pop boy groups too.

Locodol (ロコドル/rokodoru): Local idols
There are many types of Japanese idols all over the country. There are also plenty who don’t focus their demographics to the entire country (let alone the world), but only focus their activities on their local areas.

Example:
日プに入る前は、福地正君は出身地の沖縄でロコドールでした。
(Nichipu ni hairu mae wa, Fukuchi Sho-kun wa shusshin-chi no Okinawa de rokodoru deshita.)
Before joining PRODUCE 101 JAPAN, Sho Fukuchi was a local idol in his hometown of Okinawa.

Member color: The official colors of each member in a group. Sometimes the term image color is used.
In J-Pop, a group doesn’t have a designated “official group color,” because when they release new singles/albums, the concepts also change, which also means, the colors based on the concepts are changed as well. On the other hand, it’s not as important as having member colors, as fans would wear specific color outfits to show who their favorite member(s) are. There are also other uses for member colors as well.

Men-ai (メン愛): Fan service. Sometimes the term member ai is used.
“Ai” means love. Men-ai are referred to the type of fan service that members of a group do lovey-dovey with one another in front of the camera. Another common term is skinship.

Nichipu (日プ): The Japanese abbreviation for PRODUCE 101 JAPAN.
When you see 日プ on a Japanese text that you want to use Google Translate to translate it, it will say something strange, but for your reference, 日プ = PRODUCE 101 JAPAN.

One-man Live (ワンマンライブ): A one-man live, sometimes called one-man, sometimes just simply live, is basically the J-Pop term for a concert. In the case of the chika idol/underground idol scene, a one-man live is a type of concert (whether if it’s only for one day or a series of tours) in which the artist/idol is the only star on the stage with no opening acts by other artists or guests. Live houses usually have slots for each artist to perform under specific events such as SWISH and Tokyo Trax, where a lineup of both underground and mainstream artists are being featured.

Today, the term one-man live is frequently used with any J-Pop idol/artist. Some artists even refer their large-scale 5-dome tours or Budokan concert as one-man live. I-fans can still use concert, but for your reference, and if you happen to hear the term one-man live coming from your oshis during interviews, keep in mind they’re talking about a concert (one-night or tour).

Oriki (オリキ): Abbreviation for okakke ni riki wo ireru hito (おかっけにリキを入れる人), translated as a fan who extremely try to meet/get close to their oshis by any means as possible. In other words, a stalker fan who disregards the ground rules/management rules and has no manners and would cause violent acts towards other fans, just to get closer to their favorite oshis. 10

This term is coined in Johnny’s fandom, but may also be used on other J-Pop fandoms too.

The Korean equivalent to oriki is sasaeng. The term delulu also lands here as well.

Oshimen (推しメン): Bias (favorite member of a group). Short version of the term is oshi.
The term oshimen is derived from two words: oshi = support, men = abbreviation for “member.”
Contrary to what many J-Pop i-fans think, oshimen is a general term for all J-Pop idols and artists, not just girl idols. The other term ichiban was used by early Johnny’s boy group i-fans because of the unfamiliar terms used by Japanese fans at that time.The following are different terms Japanese/J-Pop fans use with oshi as their base word:

  • Kamioshi (神推し): ult/ultimate bias
  • Nioshi (二推し): second bias 11
  • Gekioshi (激推し): bias wrecker
  • Oshihen (推し変): the act of changing your current oshi to a new oshi for any reason (for example: current oshi may have “graduated”/retired or you found your gekioshi stealing your heart and attention away from your current oshi/kamioshi and you decided to give in)
  • Tanoshi (単推し): solo bias/solo stan; fans who only follow the activities of one member of a group, not necessarily the entire group. There’s nothing wrong with being a tanoshi, as long as you also respect the rest of the members of the group. Please don’t mix this term up with yarakashi (see meaning below).

Penlight: A battery-powered glowstick used at concerts and nighttime live house events

Other terms used for penlight:

  • light stick
  • wotagei stick

Japanese penlights are mostly custom-made by fans, but there are also official penlights created/sold by the idol groups’ agencies that fans can purchase. Penlights can be created in many different ways, the most popular (and expensive types) are the ones that changes colors to show support for a specific member currently on stage, regardless of who your oshi/oshimen is.

PV (promotional video): A(n old) Japanese/J-Pop term for a music video. Today, MV (music video) is mostly used.

Saikou (最高): The best, maximum, highest, supreme, finest.

Example:
I made my fan uchiwa that has the writing “JO1最高!!” (JO1 saikou!) on it because I know that JO1 is the best.

Sainenchou (最年長)12: The oldest, describing the oldest member of the group.

Example:
與那城奨君はJO1の最年長です。
(Yonashiro Sho-kun wa JO1 no sainenchou desu.)
Sho Yonashiro is JO1’s oldest member.

Sainenshou (最年少)13: The youngest, describing the youngest member of the group.

In Johnny’s fandom, the term for “youngest member” is suekko (末っ子/youngest child).

The Korean equivalent to sainenshou/suekko is maknae.

Example:
豆腹一成君はJO1の最年少です。
(Mamehara Issei-kun wa JO1 no sainenshou desu.)
Issei Mamehara is JO1’s youngest member.

Sekai Shihai (世界支配): world domination
JO1 international Jams seem to love to say “JO1 World Domination.” Let’s make it sweeter: JO1世界支配 (JO1 Sekai Shihai).

Trading Card: Like baseball cards, RPG card games, TV show cards, there are also trading cards of idols and artists too. The K-Pop fandom equivalent of trading card is photocard.

Trading cards should not be mistaken for bromides (see bromide term above this guide), and are only available for free as freebies on CDs or free perks on hi-touch events and concerts. Depending on the artist and/or management, not all idols and artists do trading cards as in oppose to bromides. Because trading cards are so random as freebies, they can be collected and traded with other fans who may have duplicates of cards they seek.

Because most trading cards are freebies, they can also become a rare commodity. Some fans would sell these cards for higher prices when they’re originally for free to make money, so beware of fans like these and report them for illegal sale.

Examples of JO1 PROTOSTAR trading cards below. There are 33 trading cards total, and if you want collect all 33 of them, you will have to do a lot of spending (buy A LOT of CDs) and/or a lot of trading with fellow friends.

JO1 PROTOSTAR trading cards

Tsukkomi (ツッコミ): The smarter and reasonable person who would criticize, sometimes would hit, the airhead (boke) due to the boke’s mistakes and exaggerations. In other words, someone who spoils the comical moment of the boke.

In comedy pairs (kombi), there are two roles: the boke and the tsukkomi. The boke is the clueless airhead who gets the laughs due to his/her mistakes and airheaded exaggerations. The tsukkomi is the one who “butts in” the comical/funny moment made by the boke and spoils the laughs by criticize or unconsciously hit the boke (which only makes the comical/funny moment a lot funnier rather than getting spoiled).

Uchiwa (団扇/うちわ): One of the many traditional Japanese handheld fans used to cool off during hot temperatures. 14
Uchiwa
In J-Pop fandom, many fans use uchiwa fans to be creative and custom-make designs with photos or names of their favorite groups and/or favorite members. It’s the handiest, lightest form of a fan sign or a placard to wave and flaunt during concerts and other live events for the possibility of a group or favorite member to notice you.

Here is an example of a fan custom-made uchiwa of her JO1 oshi, Takumi Kawanishi: 15
Kawanishi Takumi black uchiwa

Wota (ヲタ): Short form/abbreviation of otaku, meaning a fan of something.
The term “wota” is normally used to describe a particular J-Pop fan, namely by fans whose group, collective, or agency doesn’t have an official fandom name.In Japan, the term otaku is used negatively (“geek” rather than “fan”), but in international terms, otaku is specifically used for anime/manga fans. To separate the non-anime/manga fans from the actual anime/manga fans, “wota” is used instead.

Examples:

  • Johnny’s wota: a fan of the entire agency (Johnny & Associates/J&A), so basically a casual fan of groups formed and managed under J&A.
  • EBiDAN wota: a fan of the EBiDAN collective of boy groups managed by Stardust Promotion, one of Japan’s largest J-Pop/J-Ent agencies.
  • AKB wota: a fan of AKB48 who has no specific oshi.
  • Nichipu wota: a fan of PRODUCE 101 JAPAN who has many favorite trainees or no favorite trainees at all.

In JO1 fandom, because we have an official fandom name, JAM (JO1 and Me), the term “wota” isn’t really applied, unless if it’s used by a non-JAM and is unaware of the official fandom name.

Wotagei (ヲタ芸): A type of synchronized dance and cheer performed by the audience/fans at idol concerts using penlights. They’re kind of like an all-out dance and cheer squad for the group and/or member on the sidelines.

There are different types of wotagei, such as specific movements used on certain parts of the song (often imitating the actual dance choreo of that part of the song). There are also certain types of cheer (Japanese refer this as a “call”) using penlights using specific colors to show support for the member representing that color or even a specific song being performed by a group.Depending on the fandom, not all J-Pop groups have wotagei groups, but wotagei is one of the more unique experiences anyone can have when attending a J-Pop concert.

Wotagei groups are common in anime/manga fandom and also with 48/46 groups fandom, but there are some J-Pop idols and artist fans who do have Wotagei Groups. They can perform on private fan events, pre-concert day gatherings, intermissions, and even after concerts.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if JO1 would have wotagei groups within the audience during their concerts as well?

Yabai (やばい\ヤバい\ヤバイ): A Japanese colloquial term that can pretty much mean anything. You will hear this colloquial term by the idols themselves and Japanese fans a lot. I-fans can get away with the language barrier issue with this single word to mean the following:

  • cool, amazing, terrific, the best
  • dangerous, risky
  • delicious, good
  • crazy, insane, extreme, not normal
Examples:
お寿司はやばい! ( Osushi wa yabai!/The sushi is delicious!)
JO1の新しい歌はめっちゃやばい! (JO1 no atarashii uta wa meccha yabai!/JO1’s new song is so cool!)
JO1の金城碧海君はやばいね! (JO1 no Kinjo Sukai-kun wa yabai ne!/JO1’s Sukai Kinjo is insane, isn’t he?)

Yarakashi (やらかし): A heavily obsessed and aggressive-type of tanoshi fan who has extremely bad and disrespectful manners in concerts, online, and real life in general. They’re also the types of fans who also cause malicious actions that can threaten other fans (especially those who have the same oshi as them) and even the idols themselves, from spreading rumors about them to sending malicious or threatening messages towards idols directly, and a whole lot worse.

The term was first used with Johnny’s fans concerning Johnny’s idols, but now it is used in any boy group fandom.

The Korean equivalent term for yarakashi is akgae.

In short, don’t be a yarakashi period.

Again, this page will be currently updated when needed from time to time. Thank you!

  1. Namely Ruki, originally from Tokyo
  2. Some fans do this for resale on eBay or Mercari (for a much higher price), which I feel is disrespectful to the idols and the agency altogether. Make a Japanese friend or an i-fan who lives in Japan and ask them to buy some bromides for you, or use a proxy shopping service like Tenso if you find online shops that sells bromides.
  3. MADKID bromides, photo by yours truly.
  4. Shibuya and Shinjuku are city wards of Tokyo, known for location blocks of many offices and agencies in the J-Pop and the J-ent industry.
  5. In this case, the 48/46 franchise.
  6. There were two groups existed: EBiSSH and Satori Boys Club. In 2018, they were merged to form ONE N’ ONLY.
  7. Johnny & Associates (Johnny’s Jimusho) – very prominent and influencial talent agency catering only to male idols. Johnny’s was founded by Johnny Kitagawa back in 1962 and it was the first talent agency established for the sole reason of training and managing male idols in the history of the Asian idol scene.
  8. The Kindle version only allows you to rent the book only…
  9. Though the ones I found are mostly about female idols…
  10. Japanese Extreme Fandom: Yarakashi & Oriki, A Little Something About Me. 2010.05.03
  11. Idol terms glossary, for my non-idol-fans friends, Pavlova Loves Idols. 2015.02.06
  12. Be careful, don’t mix this up with sainenshou
  13. Be careful, don’t mix this up with sainenchou…
  14. Photo used below by Quốc Bảo from Pexels
  15. Photo/Uchiwa made by Emi (@stantheredhead). The writing on the black uchiwa is read “kobi-kobi,” a made-up (?) expression by Kawanishi Takumi himself.