Katakana Japanese: What is “Arasaa アラサー” ?

September 2nd, 2013By Category: Uncategorized


“Arasaa” is an abbreviated term for “around thirty”, referring to people around thirty years old. Similarly, “Arafour” refers to those near their 40s, and “Arafif” refers to those near their 50s. 

This term was originally invented as an essential term for marketing. For most people, many drastic changes in their lifestyle/social environment/health comes in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. By dividing people into these segments, companies are able to develop and advertise appropriate products for each target groups. 


1) このファッション雑誌はある程度お金をもっているアラフィフ向けなので、GucciやHermesなどのハイブランドを扱っている。

1) Kono fashion zasshi wa aruteido okane o motteiru afafif muke nanode, Gucci ya Hermes nado no hai brand o atsukatte iru.

1) This fashion magazine is for Arafifs who have relatively more money, so we handle brands like Gucci and Hermes.

2) Conversation of two female employees

B: アラフォーなのに、やるね。
A: えっ?でも年なんて関係ないんじゃない?似合ってればいいんだよ。
B: まあ、そうだけど。斎藤さん、似合ってるのかな。。。

A: Saito san, mita?  Kyou mo sungoi mini-skirt haiteru yo.
B: Afafour nanoni, yarune.
A: E?  Demo toshi nante kankei nain janai?  Niattereba iindayo.
B: Maa, sou dakedo.  Saito san niatte irunokana.

A: Did you see Saito-san? Her mini skirt leaves little to the imagination.
B: She’s pretty brave for an Arafour.
A: What do you mean? I don’t think age matters, as long as it looks good.
B: Well, true. So, do you think it looks good on Saito-san…?

As you can see in the examples above, these terms are often used in situations like marketing strategy meetings and casual gossip. But when you use it to refer to yourself, it sounds masochistic.

3) Conversation of two female employees (A senior and a junior)

A: 今日、誕生日ですよね。おめでとうございます。
B: もう、アラフィフともなれば、うれしくともなんともないよ。
A: あ、そうなんですか。すみません。。。

A: It’s your birthday today right? Happy birthday.

B: Thanks, but when you’re an Arafif, it’s not so great.

A: Oh, I see. I’m sorry.

Now, let me ask you a question.
1) The terms, Arasaa, Arafour, Arafif, are mostly used for women. Why do you think that is?
2) Why aren’t there similar terms for 20s, 60s, or 70s?
3) Are there similar phrases used to refer to a certain age group in your country?

Please let us know your opinion!
E-mail us directly at info@funjapanese.net or leave a comment below!


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Iidabashi Japanese Language School

The Iidabashi Japanese Language School motto is "Be Unique, Have fun Globally!" We teach classes focused on conversation skills to foreigners living in Japan.

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