Japan Word of the Day #25 – Dasai (Tacky, Uncool, Lame)

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Today’s Word is: Dasai (ダサい)

It is a sort of mean thing to say, but sometimes you have to be honest!
Dasai means tacky, uncool, unfashionable, and lame.

The term “dasai” started being used in 1970’s among young people.
No one knows how the term exactly emerged, but there are believed to be three possible origins:

1) “Inaka (田舎)” means countryside, and you can also read this kanji as “dasha.” The adjective form “dashai” became “dasai” at the end.

2) It is a short form of a longer phrase “datte Saitama dakara (だって埼玉だから),” meaning “because it’s Saitama.” Saitama has always been referred to as countryside and tacky in the view of Tokyo citizens.

3) It was first coined by bosouzoku (Japanese biker gangs).

Regardless, dasai is a common expression you are guaranteed to hear if you ever hang out with Japanese people, so it’s good to know!

By the way I stumbled upon these “dasaine” T-shirts while looking for images to use.
I thought it’s pretty funny!

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Image Source: Club T

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