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These days it seems popular that Chinese netizens call Japanese 太君. According to some posts on 百度知道, like this or this or this, although they explain the etymology and the meaning of the word, there is no mention regarding whether the word is derogatory or not.

While the word originally seems to have been used during the war, I want to ask its current usage, especially online (as it seems way more common to be used online as such).

So, does the word have a derogatory sense like 小日本 or 日本鬼子, or is the meaning itself neutral but simply often used in pejorative tone? Or something others? And is it also used in positive tone, like 霓虹人?

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It was a good word. For example, in 红楼梦 sometimes they call 贾母 as 史老太君. It was used to refer some senior with respect.

But during the war, those traitors started to use this word to the Japanese to show their respect to the Japanese and nowadays Chinese people don't like it anymore. The netizens use this world in a self-sarcasm fashion.

It is like the Swastika, which was used a lot in Buhddalism and can be seen a lot in ancient Buhdda sculpture. It was a good sign and then the Nazis started to use it and now most people will only associate it with the Nazi and don't like it anymore.

  • Thanks. So when Chinese use it, does it have any derogatory sense? Or when Japanese call themselves as such, what kind of impressions do Chinese get (e.g. offensive, funny, etc)? – Blaszard Nov 2 '18 at 17:55
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    Not anymore. Nobody use it unless sarcasm. If a Japanese call himself/herself that, I will be impressed that they know about this. Haha – Archeosudoerus Nov 2 '18 at 18:41
  • Hmmm I see. So if a Japanese uses it as handle name of name + 太君 on weibo or zhihu, such as “铃木太君”, what kind of impressions do Chinese netizens take? Will he/she get bashed for it? – Blaszard Nov 6 '18 at 6:30
  • @Blaszard most people will get mad I guess – Archeosudoerus Nov 6 '18 at 21:48

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