Jyoujyaku: Information Have-nots in Japan

If you’re familiar with Japanese internet culture, you’ve probably heard of the term “Jyoujyaku (情弱)”. People don’t often hear that word in everyday conversation, but we frequently see that on internet forums and Twitter.

Definition of Jyoujyaku

Jyoujyaku is a combination of the words “Jyohou (= Information)” and “Jyakusya (= The vulnerable)”. As the name says, it refers to people who cannot obtain correct information and are easily swayed. People use it as a derogatory term for those unfamiliar with the technology or the latest trends.

The most common case is when someone bought expensive but low-quality products based solely on advertising. The term is used in a derogatory way on the internet to insult those ignorant people. Of course, you shouldn’t use it towards someone in everyday conversation. The opposite term is “Jyoukyou (情強)” which refers to people who actively get useful information and make the right choices for themselves. People often use it as a contrast to “Jyoujyaku”. So, they seldom use it on its own. 

Jyoujyaku Business

a man with laptop

It’s always the same that experts in a particular field make money by taking advantage of those who don’t as a pushover. In today’s information age, people with little knowledge are often deceived due to the information gap, just as predators eat their prey in the food chain. 

Examples of Jyoujyaku business

Information Products

There are many books and online advertisements with titles like “For Fun and Profit” even in Japan. I’m tired of seeing all those ads when I’m watching YouTube.

Gadgets and PC

Japan used to be one of the most developed countries in electronics as we had strong branding “Made in Japan”. But nowadays, many foreign products are cheaper and of higher quality. Some Japanese electronics companies, which cannot be competitive in terms of price or performance, advertise products full of useless features as “The most multifunctional and best of all products”.

Beauty Products and Methods

There’s always a certain size of the market for beauty products. The world is full of beauty products with questionable efficacy. 

Revolving Repayment

People who use revolving payments without knowing the interest rate and repayment system details can also be “Jyoujyaku”. In Japan, people are gradually becoming aware that revolving payments are not something we can take lightly. However, we still often see advertising by credit card companies heavily emphasizing the convenience of revolving payments.


Have you ever heard of “Expected Value” in gambling? It indicates the percentage of the amount of money you can expect to receive back. If it’s more than 100%, it means you have the expectation of getting more money than you spent.

Expected Value of Gambling in Japan

GamblingExpected Value
Pachinko80 – 90%
Horse Racing75%

Although many Japanese wealthy and successful people have said, “If you want to make money, you should stay away from gambling” based on the factful data, the gambling market in Japan is still growing.

Checklist of Jyoujyaku


Here’s a quick checklist to see if you’re a “Jyoujyaku”.

The sources of information are only TV and newspapers

If we only receive information from particular mass media, that information will inevitably be biased, and we will not see things flexibly.

Unfamiliar with technology & gadgets

In the first place, the term refers to people who are not up-to-date with the latest information. So, if we are not familiar with the technology for getting information, we may end up being a “Jyoujyaku”. 

Never collect information proactively

Even if we have all the means to receive information, we will just get swayed by rumors unless we actively gather it ourselves. The information source for those people will be only the social media timeline or what they see in advertisements.

Unreasonably believe in internet

You can get a wide variety of values and information on the Internet. Still, you should not believe too much in the information on the Internet because you will always receive information optimized. As we get used to the online world, it can lead to the misconception that the voices on the internet are the consensus of public opinion. I’m also trying to be very careful about it.

Overly suspicious of others

Blind faith is dangerous, but people who are overly suspicious of everything also miss out on opportunities. The guys saying “I’ll never fall for a scam” are often the most vulnerable.

Cannot decide by themselves

People who can’t make up their minds easily fall for the salesman’s tricks and make the wrong purchase. It is often a lack of information that causes people to postpone decisions or leave them to others, making them literally vulnerable to information.


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