and now for a weibo post


I'm told 岛国 is either TW or HK, but how can I know which it is?

  • what is 岛国 referencing?
  • Also, 十一区 refers to Japan.
    – Stan
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:06
  • 岛国动作片(action movie) refers to Japanese porn video, which is also one of common usages.
    – Shikai Jin
    Aug 30, 2015 at 0:25

3 Answers 3


岛国 is used for Japan in most cases (especially on net), usually as a satirical usage (especially on net again). e.g.


Why? I believe it's because among many geographical island countries, Japan is the nearest and biggest one, and having the most close relationship with China. Whether the relationship is good or bad, and how it changed and changes, Japan is the one China and Chinease most care about.

Here is a Japanese's introduction about this alias:


中国人确实有时候将日本称为"岛国"。而且大多数时候带有侮辱的含义。 (Chinese people do call Japan as岛国sometimes, and contains insult meaning in most cases.)

Here're some other (more formal) names for Japan: 倭国, 东洋, 东瀛, 扶桑.

  • 1
    I'm from mainland, we call TW 宝岛, call HK 东方之珠, but not 岛国.
    – user4072
    Aug 28, 2015 at 13:45
  • 2
    don't think 岛国 is satirical... it's just referring to geographical fact. The Korean one is.
    – jf328
    Aug 28, 2015 at 13:53

Any country that is geographical islands can be called 岛国。

On internet, 岛国 is more likely used to refer Japan. It DOES NOT imply any disrespect. The fact is people want to say things in a funny way. 岛国动作片is used to refer Japanese porn. People call porn 动作片(action movie) because it is indirect and ambiguous and hence funny. The same applies to 岛国。Since this slang "岛国动作片" was invented, 岛国 has become more adopted to represent Japan. IN A FUNNY WAY.

Similarly we call Beijing 帝都 (Empire Capital), China 天朝(Heavenly/Celestial Empire). Not because people are arrogant, but because it is funny and we want to laugh at ourselves (or to be politically sarcastic).

We also call USA 美帝 (imperialsm USA), the term that is usually used by government media. So it sounds funny to use formal term in casual talk. Many my friends in Singapore call Singapore 坡县(Singapore county), which i dont know the background (i guess it is to refer Singapore's small territory and similarity to china).

People on internet from any country want to raise laughter from audience, don't we?

  • A term itself does not imply any disrespect, but the way it is use may do. Such an occasion may be when an entity has its name but is not referred to with that name. 岛国动作片 refers to Japanese adult video. We do not need to mention the name of the island country, but it can be understood. This suggests that the country is famous, or infamous, for its productive AV industry.
    – HYC
    Dec 12, 2015 at 6:46

岛国 means Japan. In China, many young people do not call Japan 日本, they call Japan 岛国. because Japan is an island and its area is small when comparing with China. And it may reflects young Chinese does not respect the Japan or it is just kidding.

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