Known for an apprehensiveness towards mentioning death, Japan's use of language is similarly fluid to Western culture in the way that it softens when addressing difficult topics - particularly the loss of life.
'死/し' is the well-known written form of 'death' to the point people will avoid uttering words with similar sounds (such as 'four/四/し').
The following words mean 'death', but are used in different circumstances to soften the impact of the topic.
The direct and most commonly understood word for 'death'; often used coldly or without emotion about anything which has died. It can be a statement of not feeling warmth or a connection to the death, or may be used directly to offend.
Example: A man died here last year. 昨年に、男がここに死にました。
To avoid seeming cold-hearted or cruel, '亡くなりました' is the safest phrase to use in conversation.
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