Wikipedia Writers Sure Know Their Hentai

Outside of Japan, the word "hentai" is used to refer to a certain type of Japanese anime, manga, or video games. It's a genre. In Japan, it's not.

Recently on 2ch, Japan's largest forum, people discovered the Chinese language Wikipedia entry for "hentai". Many thought it was hilarious how long the entry was. It's really, really long!

Be aware that this sort of adult anime, manga, and video game content is not mainstream in Japan.

"This totally made me crack up," wrote one net user. "I can't read Chinese, but this looks very serious," added another.

Then, the English language Wiki page was dug out, and people online in Japan were also dazzled at how long the entry was.

"Japan is amazing," joked one 2ch user. "I sure wish the Japanese Wikipedia page would try harder," added another. Here's the Japanese Wikipedia entry.

It's significantly shorter! Here, you can see a comparison between the full Chinese (on the far left), English (in the middle), and Japanese language (on the far right, large-sized) Wiki entries. Note that Kotaku pixelated certain NSFW images.

Wikipedia Writers Sure Know Their Hentai

There are a few reasons for the difference: A big one is that the use of "hentai" is slightly different in the West; another is that the foreign Wikipedia authors needed to put things into context. As you'll see below, context takes up space!

In Japan, "hentai" (変態 or へんたい) now means "perverted" or "sexually abnormal"—though, it didn't always refer to sex. The Japanese word "ecchi" (エッチ) seems to be based on the pronunciation of the English letter "H" and could have its roots in the word "hentai".

However, there are other theories about ecchi's roots, such as it being derived from the English word "horny", the English word "letch" (レッチ), or even the Marilyn Monroe film The Seven Year Itch. Originally, the word "ecchi" meant lewd. But during the 1980s, the word started to mean "sex", such as saying, "ecchi suru" ("to have sex"); however, today, the word "sex" (セックス or sekkusu) might be perferred by some. As with English, there's also seemingly endless Japanese slang for intercourse!

However, their meanings of "hentai" and "ecchi" are not the same in Japanese. In Japan, there are different ways adult content can be dubbed, whether that's simply calling it "adult" (アダルト), "erotic" (エロティック or エロ), or even "sexy" (セクシー). But, in the West, the word "hentai" is slapped on Japanese adult content, with the inferred nuance that it's perverted or weird or strange. Some foreigners then incorrectly infer that all Japanese people are, too. Online in Japan, some seem to be aware of how "hentai" is used outside the country, and you'll occasionally see people writing "HENTAI" on 2ch in all caps as a gag.

But as amused as 2ch commenters seemed by the wordy "hentai" Wikipedia entries, they were also impressed. "I want to send my congratulations," wrote one user. "This is amazing."

中国版Wikipediaの「変態」のページwwwwwww [2ch]

Photo: Shutterstock

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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