Usage of the word you (‘anata’, ‘kimi’) is considered impolite in Japan when referring to others, except when specifically talking about a foreigner.

“Then it’s completely acceptable,” says Nagoya University professor Yuto Jinsama.

“We even say the English word ‘you’ as a generic term for all gaijin. For example, I can say, ‘YOU ha nani shi ni nippon he?’”

Any form of the word “you” when referring to locals, however, is extremely rude.

“I wouldn’t even think about saying ‘you’ to a local.”

“That would be very ill-mannered.”

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