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Tweet of the Week

Learn Japanese with what's going viral in the Twitterverse.

By 2 min read

Whether men are unconsciously trying to prove they’re the alpha males or have an involuntary need to make room for their genitalia, many have been observed sitting with their legs wide open on public transport in the act of what’s been labelled as “manspreading.”

While a global phenomenon, Japanese men can also often be spotted spread-eagled on their way from A to B — despite the fact that trains here are more often than not packed with passengers way above their capacity.

While on her regular commute, user @N7a_T2u couldn’t help but get a discreet shot of a noticeably unfair usage of leg space in front of her.

Space Battle

男性のスペースと女性のスペースの差が激しすぎる もうちょい足閉じてスペース譲るとかないのか?ってガン見しちゃったよ…

What a shocking difference between men’s and women’s leg space, huh? Couldn’t men close their legs to offer a little bit more space? I kept thinking this while unable to take my eyes off them.

The tweet sparked quite the debate with a lot of commentators pointing out that this is definitely an annoyance.

Someone even suggested having markings on the train carriage floor as a way to remind people not to occupy more space than needed:

床にこういう色分けがほしい。= I’d like to have colored markings like this on the floor.

Receiving some #notallmen responses as well, @N7a_T2u wisely concluded that — men or women — this issue is simply a matter of respecting other commuters who are sitting next to you.

How to express regret in Japanese

While pondering on the manspreading taking place in front of her, @N7a_T2u realized she ended up hardcore staring at those commuters — a rather rude behavior in Japan.

When you’re doing an action unintentionally, often with an unsatisfactory result, you will use an expression built with the verb しまう.

If you’ve been around Japanese people, it’s likely that you’ve come into contact with the casual speech form ちゃう as most tend to drop the polite form in day-to-day conversations.

Note that this expression is often used to display some kind of regret:

最近は寒くて鍋ばかり食べてしまう (食べちゃう)。

Saikin wa samukute nabe bakari tabeteshimau (tabechau). It’s so cold outside lately, I’ve been eating hot pot like crazy.

  • Polite speech = Verb + te form + しまう
  • Casual speech = Verb + ちゃう / じゃう 


Japanese Romaji English
男性 だんせい dansei men
スペース speisu space
女性 じょせい josei women
sa difference
はげしすぎる hageshisugiru extreme, violent, strong
もうちょい mochoi a little more
あし ashi leg
じる tojiru to close, shut
ゆず yuzuru to give over, to surrender, to offer (a seat)
ganmi to stare
ゆか yuka floor
こういう kouiu such, like this
色分 いろわ irowake colored part
ほしい hoshi want

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