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Japanese Dialects on TV

Posted: Dec 8th, '06, 22:28
by Caldera
Hi everyone,
this is my first post, though I have been enjoying a lot of series and some of the discussions so far.

I was wondering if anyone knows and/or can recommend any JDramas with Osaka-ben (or Kansai-ben) in it? (I mean major parts, if not all of the drama in dialect)

Thanks a lot!

Posted: Dec 9th, '06, 00:05
by quashlo
That's a good question... I'd be interested in knowing the answer to this one, too. :lol

I probably haven't watched enough dramas to answer your question satisfactorily, but I'll try. I don't know if you'd qualify any of these as having enough of the dialect, but here's what I can remember off the top of my head... Hopefully, someone else will be able to help you with more information. :lol

- Doumoto Tsuyoshi's character in "Kimi to ita mirai no tame ni ~ airu bi bakku" (he plays the main character for the most part, next to Nakama Yukie)
- The two cops in "Trick" (this one's more side role, but very funny... :lol)
- Yabe Hiroyuki's role in "Hanayome wa Yakudoshi" (he plays Shinohara Ryouko's husband)

Personally, I think you'd have it much easier looking for variety shows, maybe... There's plenty of shows (e.g., anything with Downtown) with lots of the dialect.

Posted: Dec 9th, '06, 00:21
by groink
Do you need English subtitles? Otherwise, two RAW Osaka-ben dramas I know of are:

- Kaze no Haruka (half of it takes place in Osaka)
- Imo Tako Nankin (all of it takes place in Osaka)

--- groink

Posted: Dec 9th, '06, 01:33
by yanie
I like that question too^^ I'm interested in Jap's various dialects :D

Kansai-ben dramas:

-NHK's Shinsengumi (37 episodes out of 49 took place in Kyoto, and so many actors-actresses we're very familiar with, recite their dialogues in Kansai-ben there^^)

-Naniwa Kinyu do 1-6 [starring Nakai Masahiro. I'm not sure if the RAW exist here, but I think I saw the threads before...try to search it. The story also sets in Kyoto. The only one who doesn't speak in Kansai-ben is only the main character played by Nakai, coz the character originally came from Kanto region x)]

May I ask a question? I've been interested in the dialects used in Yamada Yoji's Twilight Samurai (Sanada Hiroyuki, Miyazawa Rie) and The Hidden Blade (Nagase Masatoshi, Matsu Takako). Horikita Maki's character in the movie, ALWAYS San-chome no Yuuhi also used this dialect. Which part of Japan is the dialect come from??

Posted: Dec 9th, '06, 01:55
by crimsondee
me too me too i'd like to know, i love the accent! :wub:

Posted: Dec 10th, '06, 07:19
by mizune
If I remember right, Akimahende uses a fair bit of Osaka-ben (and it's subbed).

And technically, Kansai-ben is not the same as Osaka-ben... Kansai-ben is more general, referring to all the regions in the Kansai area (of which Osaka is a part of).

As for the dialect used in historical pieces vs. Always 3 chome...
I have to check, but I'm pretty sure they aren't the same. They may sound the same in intonation, but that doesn't mean they are actually the same dialect. Historical pieces will use more archaic words and grammar...dialects from the country are just O_o; sometimes... (It's scary how many different dialects that sound almost nothing like another can develop on a tiny island...)

Posted: Dec 14th, '06, 08:08
by Caldera
Thanks a lot guys!
I'ma have a lot of checking out to do!

I know Osaka- and Kansai-ben aren't the same. But since Osaka is a bit specific and I'd like to get a feeling for the sound and use of it, I figured the slightly different versions might be just as good.

Posted: Dec 28th, '06, 02:47
by Eziya Minamoto
I am interested in learning the various dialects, because as of right now, I cannot tell them apart. -__-;

Posted: Dec 28th, '06, 13:23
by Riee109
I don't know any dorama with one of those dialects but in the movie "Lovely Complex (Love Con/Com) is spoken with kansai-ben(or osaka-ben, can't difference between them). And it fits perfectly because the movie is a comedy one)!

Posted: Dec 29th, '06, 02:01
by Prince of Moles
There are many dialects in Japan and recently you do see more of them in various places.

Take for example Nodame Canterbile.

Nodame when she is stressed or back home with her parents speaks with a light Kyushu dialect.
Her later teacher Eto speaks with an exaggerated Osaka dialect.
Most characters speak in the standard dialect which emerged from a fusion of Samurai dialect and Edo/Tokyo dialect.

Few dramas are entirely done in a particular dialect (since it won't sell to those who won't understand it) and thus they are hard to find (and groink has named 2 decent ones).

If you pay attention you will see characters with various dialects pop up. Some famous dialects you might encounter aside from the standard Japanese and the ones I mentioned above, are:


Osaka = there are at least 2 versions, one more working class which is what the manzai comedians tend to use, and another more refined dialect. Telling the difference between the 2 is really hard as it tends to be about the words used rather than the intonation.

Kyoto = this is the dialect that used to be considered the official dialect until around 400 years ago (well some would say 150 years). You can hear the Kyoto maiko and geishas, court aristocrats and members of the imperial family use this in any historical drama.

Note: Kansai ben can refer to Osaka dialect, Kyoto dialect, Kobe dialect, or sometimes even Nara dialect. It's best to think of Kansai ben as a dialect group.

Nagoya = this is the dialect that Hideyoshi spoke and you can hear him using it in the 2006 Taiga drama when he talks with his family.

Tosa = this dialect was made famous by Sakamoto Ryoma and other mid-nineteenth century revolutionaries that came out of Tosa. Intonations tend to follow the western Japanese pattern. Again you can hear this dialect in the 2006 taiga drama when the Yamauchi clan goes to Tosa.

Satsuma = or Kagoshima dialect (part of the Kyushu dialect group) is famous for being impossible to understand for people from outside of Kagoshima. Again 19th century revolutionaries from Satsuma like Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi spoke this dialect. The Imperial Japanese Navy also had some Satsuma dialect words since one of the major contributors to the early IJN was the Satsuma domain navy (the other was the Tokugawa shogunate navy).

Okinawa = or Ryukyu dialect is subject to debate because many experts think it ought be in its own linguistic group. It's that different from standard Japanese. You can hear this dialect in the Churasan series.

Above are dialects from Western Japan.
Below are dialects from Eastern Japan.

Edo = the dialect that the working class in Edo/Tokyo used to speak. Famous chracteristics are that the syllable "su" is often replaced by "tsu" and the syllable "hi" is often replaced by "shi." Some remnants of this survive, but mostly it has died. It was swamped by the standard Japanese that emerged from a fusion of Edo dialect and samurai dialect. You can hear some of this in the drama about Beat Takeshi's life, Kikujiro to Saki.

Tohoku = northeastern dialect group. One characteristic is the frequest use of "dakuon" (nasal? sounds) such as G, Z, D, B, etc. The word "yes" for example is "nda" in Fukushima dialect. Ito Misaki's character uses this in Tiger and Dragon (also she is from Fukushima so she obviously does an authentic Fukushima dialect).

Tsugaru dialect (part of the Tohoku dialect group) is famous for being the eastern dialect that people from outside Aomori cannot comprehend. Note: Satsuma and Tsugaru are at the extreme edge of what was Tokugawa Japan.

Echigo = This dialect is the one that the former prime minister Tanaka Kakuei and his daughter Tanaka Makiko used/use when they were/are at home in Niigata. One of the main features is that there is little distinction between the vowel sound of "e" and "i" This pattern occurs more broadly on the north-central part of the Japan Sea side of the country.

various Kanto dialects = each province near Edo/Tokyo used to have their own dialects, the use of "dabe" at the end of sentences is a remnant of many of these dialects. But with the emergence of a strong centralizing power center in Edo/Tokyo and recently with Radio and TV, these dialects (which were already relatively close to the Edo/Tokyo dialect) have more or less died. Either through elimination or through absorption into standard Japanese.

Hokkaido = some debate whether a Hokkaido dialect actually exists, but I think it does. It's not so much the intonations that are different from the standard Japanese, but the words used are different.

Finally because Japan had a rigid class system for 300 years (1590-1868), there also emerged dialects that certain classes used. The most famous among them is the samurai dialect and you can hear this dialect in almost all historical dramas. This dialect really emerged after the Tokugawa shogunate implemented the system of alternate attendance in the 1630s. Alternate attendance brought many samurai from all over Japan to Edo and forced them to communicate with each other. This pushed many upper class samurai to abandon their geographical dialect and replace it with a new one. But this new samurai dialect was most likely based on the already existing Edo dialect.

Modern standard Japanese thus has an interesting genealogy.
In the 1600s the samurai dialect emerged from the Edo dialect of the time.
For 250 years the samurai dialect and the Edo dialect evolve in their own way.
Then in the late 1800s the samurai dialect and the Edo/Tokyo dialect merge again to create modern standard Japanese.

Because of these changes a lot of sounds were lost in standard Japanese that continue to exist in various dialects such as "wi," "wu", "we," "wo." Most recently the "kwa" sound was lost sometime in the 1950s from standard Japanese. But new sounds are being introducted (primarily from English) too such as the reintroduction of "wi" and "we."

Posted: Dec 29th, '06, 03:15
by 8thSin
Ganbatte Ikimasshoi! is Kyoto-ben-like Iyo-ben.

And as someone mentioned before Naniwa Kinyuudou is very good :-)

Japanese Dialects on TV

Posted: May 28th, '07, 08:34
by chamcham
I'm really liking how there are healthy doses of Fukuoka-ben in "Bambino".
It's really the first drama I've seen where a local dialect is being used extensively
as opposed to being used for comic relief. I would like to see more dramas do this.

Anyway, I was wondering if there are local TV shows in Japan where they use the local or regional dialect. 99% of the dramas I've seen have exclusively used either Standard Japanese or Tokyo dialect. I can imagine that this might only be limited to local TV programming.

But still, it'd be nice to hear shows from Osaka, Fukuoka, Hiroshima(or dare I say Kagoshima or Aomori).

Posted: May 28th, '07, 09:08
by groink
The problem is that you've only see the prime-time trendy dramas uploaded on D-Addicts, which are designed to reach a very large audience base. There are tons of NHK asadora, NHK taiga, and other dramas that use regional dialects, such as Iwate-ben, Kyoto-ben, Osaka-ben, etc. There's another topic that focus specifically on Osaka-ben.

I just got through watching Asuka... Hearing "okini!" over and over again drove me nuts!

--- groink

Posted: May 29th, '07, 00:38
by lsqB
I hope you realize that Matsujun's fukuoka-ben is no better a random American on the streets trying to speak Japanese. It sucks.

Re: Japanese Dialects on TV

Posted: May 29th, '07, 06:16
by mizune
Merging with that older thread groink mentioned...
and changing the thread title, because I like this one better... :p
chamcham wrote: But still, it'd be nice to hear shows from Osaka, Fukuoka, Hiroshima(or dare I say Kagoshima or Aomori).
Junjou Kirari has a character who speaks in Tsugaru-ben...
Mind you it's a really poor rendition of it, but I don't think he would be comprehensible otherwise... :fear:

Posted: Mar 13th, '10, 01:53
by yanie
I have a few questions about dialects, I recently heard in dramas/movies.

Currently watching Hotaru no Hikari, and I'm surprised that Jinguji Kaname (Takeda Shinji) character, speak in a dialect I often hear in jidaigeki dramas. Is Kaname speaking in Tosa-ben? I think it is Sakamoto Ryoma who always speak like that.

In OOKU starring Kanno Miho, I'm really curious in the hometown dialect Miho speak in this drama. I rarely hear this dialect. Can anyone tell me what dialect she use here? Does this dialect still exist nowadays?

After watching Zatoichi THE LAST trailer:
I realized Ichi is speaking in a certain dialect. Is that Tohoku dialect? Maybe anyone who has watched Zatoichi old movies knows about this?

Posted: Mar 13th, '10, 02:06
by seirin
I've noticed different accents people speak, but someI can't tell where it's from. But some specials I recall I heard osaka-ben is "Graveyard of the fireflies" and "Koto"

Posted: Sep 7th, '10, 11:57
by ieja88
I'm not sure of other dialects...

But I'm pretty sure the movie Arigatou, Okan is in Osaka-ben

and the 3 Kanjani8's special, Dive to the Future, Double and Kemarishi is also in Osaka-ben...

Posted: Oct 9th, '10, 15:28
by yanie
I'm currently loving Izumo dialect so much thanks to "Gegege no Nyobo"!!^o^
Never heard of this dialect before I watch this drama. Seem like it's pretty rare used in dramas.

Trying to compile Izumo words that I've learned from Gegege :)

soge ka = sou ka = is that so
koge = kou / konna = this
dadomo = demo = but
da ken = da kara = because
ka ne? = desu ka? = (question form)
dandan = arigato = thank you
goshinai = kudasai = please
nashite = doushite = why
chokkoshi = chotto = a bit

Re: Japanese Dialects on TV

Posted: Jun 26th, '19, 09:18
by Yanez
For Osaka-ben you can try the asadora "Chiritotechin" :wink:

p.s.
Could anybody please suggest me more doramas with Tohoku dialect? I remember Itoh Misaki in "Yama Onna, Kabe Onna" (though I didn't remember that she was speaking in dialect also in "Tiger&Dragon", my bad) and there was some also in the more recent "Koi no Sanriku Ressha Kon de Iko!"...it's my favorite dialect by far! :sweat: TIA! :wink:

Re: Japanese Dialects on TV

Posted: Jul 1st, '19, 21:24
by Yanez
Yanez wrote:
Jun 26th, '19, 09:18
Could anybody please suggest me more doramas with Tohoku dialect? I remember Itoh Misaki in "Yama Onna, Kabe Onna" (though I didn't remember that she was speaking in dialect also in "Tiger&Dragon", my bad) and there was some also in the more recent "Koi no Sanriku Ressha Kon de Iko!"...it's my favorite dialect by far! :sweat: TIA! :wink:
I found another one meanwhile, the asadora "Amachan" :wink: