What does "gaijin" mean in Netflix's revenge film Kate?

Olivia Olphin September 15, 2021

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People are calling the Netflix movie Kate the new, female John Wick, as fans enjoy the epic action sequences and badass female lead. However, people keep hearing the Japanese term “gaijin” and are wondering exactly what it means. We give you all the details.

What is Netflix’s Kate about?

Kate follows a young female assassin who has been poisoned with a radioactive substance called polonium 204. She only has 24 hours to live as she slowly dies from radiation poisoning; this means she only has 24 hours to find out who ordered her murder and avenge her death.

The cast includes Birds Of Prey’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zombieland’s Woody Harrelson and newcomer Miku Martineau.

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KATE | Official Trailer | Netflix

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KATE | Official Trailer | Netflix
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What does gaijin mean in Kate?

Gaijin means foreigner in Japanese. Kate is a hired American assassin who attempts to retire, but takes one final job. However, as we know, she is not set to make it out alive.

The film follows the classic gaijin/yakuza plot line, where a foreigner, or ‘gaijin’ like Kate, comes into Japan and infiltrates the underground crime scene. In Kate we see Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character on a rampage through Tokyo looking for Kijima, in order to avenge her own, inevitable, death.

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KATE (2021) Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Kate”), Miku Martineau (“Ani”)

Fans react to the new revenge movie

Kate has risen to the top of Netflix’s top 10 this week and sees no sign of giving up its throne. Fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the newest assassin movie.

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Kate is available to stream on Netflix now.

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.