Like ‘I Can Has Cheezburger’, Japan’s Bokete is lots of laughs



Photo apps are extremely popular in Japan. And there are many photo-related services that provide unique experiences. One such service, Bokete, was launched as a website back in 2008, a place where users can make humorous captions about different photos.

There have been over eight million ‘boke’ (‘boke’ roughly means ‘jokes’ in Japanese) uploaded up until now 1. Bokete has also released smartphone apps for both Android and iOS, and the total number of downloads so far is a solid 1.8 million.

On Bokete, users can view images and their corresponding jokes by criteria like popularity, most recent, and ‘hand-picked’. There are many images of animals/pets, celebrities, movies, and even quotes. On the app, users can also post their own funny captions from the series of photos and images available. These photos are user-generated as well.

The company behind Bokete is Omoroki in Shizuoka prefecture. They recently announced a content partnership with Yahoo called Bokete Select. Bokete Select will feature photos and jokes, but it’s limited to images with a Creative Commons attribution licence from Flickr. The ‘boke’ content will be featured on Yahoo Japan’s mobile apps for (iOS and Android).

Bokete have been used in interesting brand promotions, such as for the G.I. Joe movie which recently hit theatres in Japan. The movie stills were provided by the film, and users then unleashed their snarky comments. The award-winning jokes can be seen over on the Bokete blog.

If you encounter a fun boke, it can be shared with friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Line. The images and jokes shared on the site are generally a sort of Japanese black humor, so many of them could be difficult for non-Japanese readers to understand. But give it a try!

Here are a few examples of boke below.

This mushroom says, “I’m a bit cold.”

Santa says, “God damn it, why didn’t you deactivate the security!”

“It was this big! The tuna fish I had in my dream was this big!”

  1. Not to be confused with bokeh.