The best Japanese meme site "Bokete"
Instead of studying Japanese by using books, why not use a Japanese meme site? We have all heard of Reddit, 4ch, 9gag, CollegeHumor and CHEEZburger, but Japan has it`s own Japanese meme site which is called Bokete. On Bokete, people post funny pictures like you see on the English meme sites. They also have pictures where they intentionally blank out parts of the texts and ask users to post what it should say.
I think using a Japanese meme site, such as Bokete is a great way to understand the Japanese culture, the language and current topics. In this article I will show you some popular memes and also how you can navigate the website.
First, let`s take a look at some popular memes on Bokete. As I said before, Bokete focuses a lot on memes where text has been intentionally left out. The users will write what it should say and the most funny comment will be the title of the meme.
You know that Japanese people apologize a lot. In this picture we can see a guy apologizing and He says "僕が悪かったよ", in English "I was wrong". Usually in Japanese the other person will disagree and say it is not his fault. However the other person says "俺もそう思うよ", in English "I think so too". This is of course a reaction that you would never hear in Japanese, which is why it is funny to the Japanese people and it got over 4,000 likes.
We have a picture of Anpanman where the female character tells Anpanman "私無事と伝えて！", in English "Tell them that I am fine". Anpanman then proceeds in the next picture to say "私は無事です。", in English "I am fine". The joke is that he literally copies what she says and it is like he is telling them that he is fine and not the female character. This meme got over 55,000 likes and is certainly a popular one, maybe because it involves Anpanman?
In the picture we can see a guy given his seat to the elderly lady. However, the text has changed and now it says "ご覧ください ボクの席です。", in English "Look this is my seat". So it is like the guy is pointing to the seat and telling the elderly lady that it is his seat, which is totally not appropriate in a culture where they deeply respect their elderly. The meme got over 30,000 likes and I mean it is quite funny as when you live in Japan you see all these illustrations on how to behave everywhere in the city. Click here to read an article I wrote about street signs, you will get the picture that Japanese people have signs everywhere to tell them how to behave.
How does Bokete work?
Bokete works quite similar to the meme sites you are familiar with.
Bokete has a three star system on rating the memes, instead of an upvote and down vote system.
One star = 面白い （おもしろい / Funny)
Two stars = すごく面白い (すごくおもしろい / Very funny)
Three stars = ちょーーー面白い (ちょーーーおもしろい / Extremely funny)
After the ranking system, there are several categories which you can choose.
Fresh memes = 新着
Memes that are recently uploaded by users.
Trending memes = 注目
Memes that are recently uploaded and are getting popular.
Popular memes = 人気
Memes that are recently uploaded and are popular.
Collaboration = コラボ
Memes where texts are blanked out and the users have to fill in the blanked space.
Selective = セレクト
Memes selected by Bokete
Pick up = ピックアップ
Popular memes from more than 3 months ago.
Hall of Fame = 殿堂入り
The most popular memes that reached a status beyond popular.
Depending on what kind of memes you would like to see, you can choose it.
As a first time reader, I would recommend the Hall of Fame as it contains some of the funniest memes of all time.
It might not be your type of humor, but it is a great source to learn Japanese and to know more what kind of jokes the Japanese like. Now that you know how to use Bokete and have seen some of the popular posts, please enjoy the site. Let us know in the comments which posts of Bokete you liked and why. Also, if you have any other Japanese meme site, please let us know as well!
Another fun site to use to study Japanese is Oshibon, which lists all books that Japanese celebrities recommended.
I wrote an article on how to use it, please click here to read it.