Akanbe (あかんべえ Akanbee?), also spelt Akkanbee (あっかんべー, アッカンベー?), is a Japanese facial gesture. It consists of someone pulling down their lower eyelid to expose the red underside towards someone. It is considered an immature taunting gesture.[1][2] It is often accompanied by the person sticking their tongue out.

The use of the term was first mentioned by early 20th century author Katai Tayama, in his 1909 story Inaka Kyōshi (田舎教師 Rural Teacher?), as a gesture used by the male students in the story. In the story, it gives the etymology as a corruption of akai me (赤い目 red eye?).

The gesture is used often in manga and anime by tsundere characters.

Akanbe in other cultures

The gesture means different things in several areas of the world outside of Japan. In Italy, it means take care, in France, it means that you cannot believe something and in the Philippines it represents crying. In Spain, it is a notice to people that a good looking person is nearby.[3] this gesture is some times used by Iranians, especially people from Qazvin province. the difference is that it's not used just by children. in iran this gesture is performed together with the word "hooshdili" meant to tease some one who has failed to do some thing.

Akanbe in popular culture


  1. "Akanbe". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  2. Akihiko Yonekawa. Beyond Polite Japanese. Tokyo:Kodansha International, 2001. Print, p. 133.
  3. "Lesson 7 ボディ・ランゲージ Gestures". Gakko Tosho. 2003. Archived from the original on December 7, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
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