The term “Gaijin” carries negative connotations for some people.
Gaijin Games, the developer behind the psychedelic 8-bit sidescrolling BIT.TRIP series has announced that it is changing its name to Choice Provisions. Why? Because the word “gaijin” carries with it some negative connotations for foreigners living in Japan, that the developer wishes to avoid.
In a blog post, developer Dant Rambo explained that “No matter how you may feel about the word ‘gaijin’ personally, I think it’s fair to say that some people out there view it as a negative term,” adding “Being the upbeat, positive folks we are, the last thing we wanted was for people to be offended by our name.”
“We are but humble purveyors of video games, and the end goal of all the work we do is to make people happy. Ergo, we’re changing our name to Choice Provisions.”
Rambo said that while games that are already release will still carry with them the old Gaijin Games title, all new titles will be developed under “Choice Provisions,” with the notable exception of the BIT.TRIP series.
For a little background, the word “gaijin” comes from the Japanese “gai koku jin” – which translates to “outside country person,” or foreigner. When you drop the “koku” from the middle of the word, gaijin takes on the literal meaning of “outside person” or “outsider,” and is considered an offensive term by many foreigners living in Japan.
The term is controversial and is avoided by Japanese television broadcasters. To put it to you this way – as a foreigner living in Japan, a Japanese person would never call me gaijin to my face, unless he was looking for a fight.
Source: Choice Provisions