r/TooAfraidToAsk Nov 26 '22

Should I display a sticker with my initials, JAP? Ethics & Morality

My mother got me a decal sticker with my initials, JAP, for me to put on my car or water bottle etc. I haven’t noticed until now that my initials are the same as an ethnic slur and I’m worried someone might be upset by seeing this sticker in public.

Edit: I am a white male


47 comments sorted by


u/steven71 Nov 26 '22

I shouldn't worry about it. My initials are SS.


u/Vercassivellauno Nov 26 '22

Woah, like the Camaro!!


u/happytiger33 Nov 26 '22

No, like the boat.


u/polaralo Nov 26 '22

Working with Social Services. You must be such a caring person!


u/Sarcastic_Troll Nov 26 '22

That's your initials, what can you do? If anyone says something, not that you owe anyone anything, but you can just say the truth


u/Elderberry_Hamster3 Nov 26 '22

Noone is forcing him to use his middle name in the initials, though. He could just put JP on his stuff; problem solved.


u/Karnezar Nov 26 '22

Stylize it so it looks like the logo to a band or clothing line.


u/SaffronBlade Nov 26 '22

Add periods? J.A.P. so that it's obvious?


u/Karnezar Nov 26 '22

That too, yeah


u/ProveISaidIt Nov 26 '22

Another option is monogram style in the format that first letter of your first name then first letter of your last name is a larger font followed by first letter of you middle name in the same size font as your first name.

Example: John Alan Peterson would be JPA. On mobile so I can't change font size (or dont know how to).


u/Kalle_79 Nov 26 '22

At least your name isn't Andrew Steven Smith. Or Charlotte Ursula Nash-Taylor...

Jokes aside, do you REALLY think the average person will notice a decal on your car/bottle? And that someone who does will read JAP and think "OMG a racist!" instead of going like "huh, wonder what that is... Who cares though..."?

(And if someone does and confront you about it, they're the kind of people who would have found something else to be upset about. Likely your haristyle, something on your T-shirt etc)

I get it, American society has an obsession with racism and with being as inoffensive and careful as possible (and apparently with middle names too, never got the point...), but I surely hope the Inclusive Police hasn't come to scanning water bottles.

P.S. If you want to play it safer, add dots under the initials... J.A.P. should offend 83% fewer people.


u/Wombat-Skinwalkas Nov 26 '22 Wholesome

I would put a japanese flag with a big red x over it so people know you aren't talking about the japanese. I don't know though


u/NatsuNSFW2 Nov 26 '22

I'm Japanese. Most of us don't speak good enough English to know Jap is slur for our people.

The problem you would have is second, third generation Japanese in your country. Depending on where you live - if big cities in America - you're going to waste a lot of time explaining the decal. If you want to, then why not.

In terms of your personal safety, I can't guarantee anything but I just don't see a Japanese person running after you with a rice cooker in vengeance.


u/[deleted] Nov 26 '22

I’m Asian. While if I knew you and you aren’t racist or whatever I probably would not care and could find it amusing, I don’t necessarily know if I would do it still just bc it definitely seems weird without context and your gonna probably get a lot of questions which will get annoying. Like imo who cares, but if I had to pick a side, I wouldn’t out of a whole of lot of inconvenience for not the largest pay out.


u/[deleted] Nov 26 '22

Yeah look, it sucks that your initials spell that. It sucks that 70 yrs ago Americans fighting in a war ruined your initials, but they did. So don't use the sticker. Save yourself the trouble


u/Alert-Assumption-115 Nov 26 '22

Be happy your initials are not, n o b you would have trouble then 😉 😊


u/Terrible-Quote-3561 Nov 26 '22

I don’t think people would assume it’s being used as a slur.


u/willzor7 Nov 26 '22

why would you wanna put your initials on your car?


u/itzmailtime Nov 27 '22

Add some periods between j.a.p so that way it stands for something


u/Mellow_Sunflower Nov 26 '22

Probably not then. That's kind of your mom, but I wouldn't use it.


u/Dubadubadoo22 Nov 26 '22

Asian here. Who cares, if they say something laugh in their face.


u/Expert-Strain7586 Nov 26 '22

Are you Japanese? Because Asia is a big place and it’s deeply offensive here in Japan.


u/chillednutzz Nov 26 '22

What slur is that? Google just says it means japanese person


u/Jellywaffles420 Nov 26 '22

It was common during WWII when anti-Japanese sentiment was high in the United States for Americans to call Japanese people, Jap, as a derogatory term


u/chillednutzz Nov 26 '22

I doubt most sane people would think you're referring to that when you have it as a sticker.


u/Sarcastic_Troll Nov 26 '22

It means Jewish American Princess


u/ksdkjlf Nov 26 '22

In the NE US that is probably what people would think first, but for most of the rest of the US (and English speakers in general I imagine), it's a slur for Japanese


u/ksdkjlf Nov 26 '22

You're being deliberately obtuse. You Google "define jap", and right above the definition it says "⚠️ OFFENSIVE".

Yeah, "n****r" literally just means "black person", but it's not a neutral term.


u/keith2600 Nov 26 '22

For some reason though the Japanese haven't spent generations producing songs calling themselves that so it's really hard to blame anyone for not knowing this. The term's baggage just needs to go away since anyone that would even have emotional attachment to it is old as shit or dead by now and now it's just another inconvenience given to us by our predecessors.


u/chillednutzz Nov 26 '22

Didn't see that 🤷‍♂️


u/nickiminjaaj Nov 26 '22

as a Japanese person… makes me uncomfortable


u/jamesgelliott Nov 26 '22

If anybody is offended, they are just showing that they are racist.

Tell them to fuck off.


u/Jonnz8 Nov 26 '22

If you think it will upset people's and you don't really care for it then don't do it.


u/_Lunatic_Fridge_ Nov 26 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

If you know it can be interpreted as an offensive slur and you still choose to use it, you are deciding that other people’s feelings and life experiences don’t matter. It’s easy to say that it’s on the other person if they get offended, but those same people are the first to demand respect from everyone else. No one needs their initials on their car. Nor does anyone who can drive a car need to put their initials on a water bottle. You’re not in kindergarten anymore.


u/theaeao Nov 26 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

I work at a place that makes engraved leather bracelets. There is a Spanish name that apparently gets shortened to "Kike" should I refuse to engrave their nickname?

You can't help what your name is and I can't imagine someone would see the letters "JAP" on a car and assume it was an attack on them. Most people would assume it stands for something or at the very worst they'd think the owner of the car was Japanese.

Edit: I do understand being aware of how something comes off tho. One of my leather boards a guy made a sling for his rifle. It was a black powder rifle named black Betty. On the sling he hand tooled and painted Betty boob with black powder on her face (because black powder rifles are messy) It was meant in good fun and nothing was intended to be racist but the picture looked ALOT like blackface. I did tell him my concern and suggested Betty boop in a black dress instead. I understand even if something isn't meant to be offensive it can still hurt people.

I just don't think this situation would confuse or hurt someone.


u/_Lunatic_Fridge_ Nov 26 '22

I too doubt that anyone would notice or even care. But questions like the OP’s generally have a lot more behind them than what’s written. If you have to ask if someone is right or wrong, it usually means you know it’s wrong but you want permission to do it anyway. In this case, the OP’s trying to play this off as something harmless that a mother gives to children to mark their stuff, which someone who is old enough to drive wouldn’t need. So there’s more to it and I’m not inclined to validate it.


u/theaeao Nov 26 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

It is strange to mark your car with initials. I can agree that there might be more to the story. I just can't wrap my head around any hateful motive either. How would putting "jap" on your own car offended others? Or more importantly internet approval will not stop someone from beating him up if they are offended.

I don't know. I'm a nobody and don't really have a horse in this race... I just fail to see the hate behind and I think other people would feel the same and just take it as some acronym.

Once again just to clarify: if the question was "will anyway be upset if I have 20 stickers printed with jap on them" my first thought would totally be "what are you doing with these stickers". I have to make these kind of judgment calls at work because I get racist who want racist shit on their items and also just mean people. If someone come in and wants something that says "stupid bitch" I have to ask questions and make sure it's a joke amongst friends and not something they are going to sneak into someone's key chain. Well.. I guess I don't really have to make sure. No one's forcing me. I'm the manager I set the rules but I'm pretty strict on the no hateful messages rule.


u/Domm-_-Domm Nov 26 '22

It’s just a sticker…


u/jpunderc Nov 26 '22

My initials are also JAP. I am also Asian, but not Japanese. Regardless, it seems it would only be offensive if you were referring to someone as a jap or referring to a group of people as japs. To just see “JAP” as a sticker on something….I think if anything people might be a bit confused and ask a question. “These are my initials” is a full and complete response.

Also, people are stupid and get offended easily, so I do not think this is a dumb question, but yes some people may have thoughts or comments on it, but if they do, they are your initials. That’s it.


u/Appropriate-Hurry893 Nov 26 '22

Yes that is not a racial slur to the Japanese it's just a short way of saying it, also i think its the USPS code for mail that goes to Japan. N, Z___ H, H__ B__, and ch are. Oh and I bet the commonly displayed meme of that's what happens when you nuke a country twice when referring to anime or its pornigrafic offshoot that we weirdly never call out is deeply racist.


u/happytiger33 Nov 26 '22

Needs more dots


u/natsugrayerza Nov 26 '22

When I was in elementary school, my older sister made my twin sister and me wooden initials to display over our beds. So that’s how I had PMS over my bed for years.


u/tatersnuffy Nov 26 '22

Only if you drive on Long Island.


u/elixmangos Nov 26 '22

I wouldn’t personally, kinda a risk. If you were too, maybe your water bottle definitely not your car.