This entry makes use of Japanese characters and will require Japanese language support to be installed on your computer in order to avoid the characters being replaced by question marks, or blanked out.
Gaijin (外人, Gaijin? IPA: [ˈɡaɪʥin]) or gaikokujin (外国人, gaikokujin?) are Japanese words meaning "foreigner" or 'alien'. The words can refer to nationality, ethnicity or race. The word gaikokujin (外国人) is composed of gaikoku (外国, foreign country) and hito/jin (人, person), so the word literally means "foreign person." Gaijin (外人) is a common abbreviation of gaikokujin.
The word is the subject of debate as to its modern meaning, particularly in its shortened form which some consider offensive, derogatory and possibly containing racial overtones while others regard it as neutral.