Glossary of terms
This is a glossary of words and phrases commonly used on DramaWiki. Only Eastern Asian language words and phrases, and words and phrases specific to television dramas can be placed in this list. To add an item to the list, use the format:
;<word or phrase>: definition
Collate the list in ascending alphabetical order.
A - D
- asadora (朝ドラ / あさドラ)
- A trademark owned by Nihon Housou (NHK), an asadora is NHK's morning drama series. Asadora air Monday through Saturday at 8:15am (JST), and runs for 15 minutes without commercials. To break it down, asa (朝) means "morning", while dora (ドラ) is an English loanword meaning "drama".
- chanbara / chambara (ちゃんばら)
- Refers to a specific sub-genre of the jidaigeki drama. Focuses on sword fighting, kendo or samurai, which was made popular during the 1940's through 1960's. Normally, you would not use chanbara when referencing period Japanese dramas. Instead, jidaigeki drama would be the more appropriate name. Both romaji spellings are used throughout the Internet, however in either form everyone knows what it means.
- daeha drama (대하 드라마)
- Daeha (sometimes, but less often written as 大河) meaning great river, and deurama (드라마) meaning drama. This term is cognate to the term taiga drama and is used in Korea to refer to dramas that deal in the Historical genre. This category is not limited to period dramas. Dramas that deal with more modern historical events such as the Korean War are also labelled daeha dramas. See also taiga
E - H
- A Japanese word referring to a Japanese drama that contains strong sexual content.
- An English slang term used within wiki communities. It describes content that is of importance only to a small population of enthusiastic fangirls or fanboys who adore the person or drama. It also implies that the content is unimportant to the casual reader of DramaWiki. See the English Wikipedia's detailed explanation and use of this term.
- geinokai (芸能会)
- A Japanese word referring to the Japanese entertainment industry. Example of use: "Sakai Noriko joined the geinokai in 1986." Related terms: geinojin (an artist in the geinokai), geino (entertainment).
- A Japanese word that have several meanings within the drama community, depending on how it is used. Academically, it is the period of time in television where the ratings are the highest, also known as premiere time or golden time. Although in Japan golden time refers to the 19:00~22:00 (JST) time slot, getsuku is specifically Monday night from 21:00 to 21:54 (JST). Getsuku can be identified by the marker "月9". Over the years, getsuku features trendy style dramas (see trendy drama). As a result, getsuku became synomonous with trendy drama, and the term is used regardless of the day and time the drama is aired. Regarding advertising value, the getsuku time slot draws the highest ratings among all trendy dramas, making this time slot the most expensive in Japanese television.
- Literally means Korean. The Korean language uses the "Hangul alphabet", which now consists of 24 letters (10 vowels and 14 consonants). The vowels and consonants are combined to make syllables. Syllables usually have at least 2, but no more than 4, letters.
- Term used when referencing the Chinese logographic writing system. Includes both traditional and simplified systems.
I - L
- Ichi wa kanketsu keishiki (一話完結形式)
- Japanese phrase literally meaning "one conclusion per-episode format". Basically, an episode of a drama series is a complete story that can stand on its own. The next episode would then have a completely different story altogether, regardless of whether or not the same characters are used. This is a popular style of drama writing in the west - especially in Hollywood. In Japan, this style is used almost exclusively in comedy dramas, profession (keiji/deka "police", lawyer, or medical) dramas, "mystery theater" type dramas, and jidaigeki/kanzen-choaku dramas. This style is very seldom used in trendy dramas because the screenwriter would like for the audience to keep watching the renzoku drama for the entire season.
- jidaigeki (時代劇)
- Japanese word referring to a specific sub-genre of Japanese drama. A drama series or movie that is considered a period drama, or a drama referencing a period before the 1900's. Usually, jidaigeki focuses on the Edo or Tokugawa period (1600 AD to 1867 AD), but it could involve periods even before it.
- jitsuroku (実録)
- A japanese word meaning non-fiction.
- junai (純愛 / 純粋な愛)
- Japanese short-cut word that literally means "pure love". The actual word is junsui na ai. A sub-genre of romance referring to love stories that overcome obstacles. These obstacles are usually, but not limited to, illnesses.
- Term used when referencing the Japanese logographic writing system. It is assumed that when the term kana is used, it is referencing any of the three writing systems: katakana, hiragana, and kanji.
- Japanese phrase literally translated as "rewarding good and punishing evil." Used when referencing a certain Japanese drama theme when the theme deals with a protagonist battling evil and rewarding the good. A good example in Western literature is Robin Hood. Many of the jidaigeki and chanbara films are written along the kanzen-choaku theme.
- kitchen sink
- A genre of drama focusing on storylines identical to real-life living. This genre is rarely ever used in Asian dramas. However, it is commonly used in American daytime dramas (aka soap opera). The production of these types of dramas is very low-budget, in comparison to the more popular trendy dramas. And, the episodes air during the daytime, thereby appealing to housewives and others who watch TV during the day. The subject matter usually involve issues within families, parent/children situations, mother-in-law/daughter conflicts, and professionals like doctors and attorneys. Examples of kitchen sink dramas include Wataru Seken wa oni Bakari, Mama no Idenshi and Daisuki! Itsutsugo (大好き!五つ子).
- kodan (講談)
- A Japanese word, is a style of traditional oral Japanese storytelling. A narrative tale. This form of drama was used to entertain people until the early 20th century. A person performing the narration is known as a koshakushi. Kodan contributed heavily in the development of the modern Japanese fiction novel.
- kurai (暗い)
- A Japanese word referring to a specific sub-genre of Japanese drama, focusing on dark or gloomy themes.
M - P
- A conventional form of Japanese drama wherein a character's thoughts and feelings are evoked through the places he or she visits on a journey; often, by means of symbolism and allusion, the journey suggests a spiritual transformation. An example of a drama using this form is Musashi.
- monogatari (物語 / ものがたり)
- Japanese word meaning a story or tale.
- An acronym for original soundtrack. By definition, an OST is an officially manufactured collection of music produced and released by the makers of the TV drama, in the form of vinyl, compact disc, or electronically over the Internet. OST can consist of beginning/ending theme music, as well as incidental/insert music. Because of licensing issues, many OSTs do not include the beginning and/or ending theme music, as they're owned by bodies outside of the TV drama production. However, in recent time, drama fans reference OST as any piece of music from the TV drama - including music that isn't even released on the official OST.
Q - T
- renai (恋愛 / れんあい)
- A Japanese word meaning romance. A renzoku renai is a romance drama series, while tanpatsu renai is a romance TV-movie.
- renzoku (連続 / れんぞく)
- Japanese word referring to a continuation Japanese drama, i.e. a drama that goes on for more than one episode. A drama is not qualified to be a renzoku if it is referenced as being "in parts", a format known as tanpatsu.
- seishun (青春 / せいしゅん)
- Literally "blue spring", seishun is a common Japanese genre of youthful romance. This word is often translated as "puberty" in English, but usually include all years in middle and high school.
- shousetsu (小説 / しょうせつ)
- Japanese word referring to a Japanese drama that is based on a novel. Usage: a "renzoku shousetsu" is a serial drama based on a novel.
- soushuuhen (総集編 / そうしゅうへん )
- Japanese word meaning a highlight, summary, or compilation. In Japanese entertainment, the word is usually used in reference to a DVD collection where a large renzoku series is edited, and the finished product is a highlights edition. NHK is known for releasing their morning and taiga drama series in this format.
- Star sign
Aries ....... Mar 21-Apr 19 Taurus ...... Apr 20-May 20 Gemini ...... May 21-Jun 20 Cancer ...... Jun 21-Jul 22 Leo ......... Jul 23-Aug 22 Virgo ....... Aug 23-Sep 22 Libra ....... Sep 23-Oct 22 Scorpio ..... Oct 23-Nov 21 Sagittarius . Nov 22-Dec 21 Capricorn ... Dec 22-Jan 19 Aquarius .... Jan 20-Feb 18 Pisces ...... Feb 19-Mar 20
- taiga (大河 / たいが)
- A trademark owned by Nihon Housou (NHK), a taiga drama is NHK's annual period drama series. Taiga dramas air every Sunday at 20:00 (JST), running for around 45 minutes without commercials. Against popular belief, the word taiga does not reference period dramas in general. Rather, period dramas should be properly referenced using the more generic term jidaigeki. The word taiga means "great river" as in the river of time.
- tanpatsu (単発 / たんぱつ)
- A Japanese word literally meaning "one-shot", refers to a specific format of Japanese drama movie designed to be aired on television - either in one day, or split into parts across multiple days. It is very similar to an American made-for-TV movie. A tanpatsu can be either a movie with no relation to a renzoku, a special (SP) if the show is related to a previous renzoku drama, or an episode of a series with a plot that starts and finishes within the episode (also known as 1 wa kanketsu keishiki (1話完結形式)).
- tarento (タレント)
- Japanese loanword from the English word "talent". Technically, tarento encompasses ALL people who are members of the geinokai. However, tarento has recently been used specifically for geinojin who specialize in hosting variety shows and other type of shows. In other words, he doesn't act, sing, dance or perform any other specific form of entertainment. Japanese personalities considered tarento include Mino Monta and Tamori (タモリ). By comparison, western personalities that could be considered tarento include Regis Philbin and David Letterman.
- tokusatsu (特撮)
- Although it literally means "special effects", it is a genre of Japanese TV shows where the premise is based on fantasy themes, such as human being-like figures who transform (henshin) into droids, mutants, or gifted human being figures with supreme powers than that of an ordinary person. Tokusatsu can also refer to other genre of shows containing special effects, such as horror and science fiction. However, in regular conversation among Japanese show fans, it is assumed that references to tokusatsu by name applys to the first definition.
- trendy drama
- A style of drama writing that originated in Japan during the late 1980's. Originally, trendy dramas focused on contemporary issues young Japanese were faced with everyday, such as love, family problems, and other social issues. Experts point out that Japan's bubble economy (1986 to 1990) had an effect on many of the themes used in the dramas at the time. And, many of the viewers could relate to the social issues, thereby making this style of screenwriting the footprint of virtually all dramas in Japan. Soon, other Eastern Asian industries adapted the trendy drama format. Today, the themes used in trendy dramas have become much less gloomy since economic and social conditions have improved. Also, television is increasingly becoming a popular medium for marketing of products and services. As a result, the screenwriting and casting in trendy dramas appeal to a younger demographic that is economically more attractive - the fanboy/fangirl base. Themes include school, Asian pop culture, and stories adapted from comic books and novels.
U - Z
- wuxia (武侠/武俠)
- Literally meaning martial arts chivalry, wuxia is a popular genre of fiction found in many Chinese literature, television and cinema shows. People who are able to attain high levels of martial arts skills, usage of qinggong(轻功/輕功;the ability to jump and scale walls as well as tread on water) and neili(内力;the ability to control ones inner energies for attack and defence) are features of this genre. See also: Wikipedia:Wuxia
- yorudora (よるドラ)
- A trademark owned by Nihon Housou (NHK), a yorudora is NHK's late-night drama series that aired for a short period of time, from 2002 to 2005. Yorudora aired Monday through Thursday at at 23:00 (JST). NHK stopped the drama series in December 2005.