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Page history last edited by Jens Wilkinson 13 years, 7 months ago

Japanese-English Dictionary of Yamato Japanese

With Etymological Notes

Editor: Jens Wilkinson, Lingua Guild, Inc, Tokyo

This is a dictionary of Japanese "Yamato-kotoba," which refers to words that are "originally Japanese," meaning those that are not Chinese loanwords (which make up a large portion of the Japanese language today) or later loanwords from other languages. In actuality, I have included terms that people might assume are original Yamato, but which in fact are derived from other languages.

I have been compiling this dictionary with two main goals, which have some bearing on the structure and layout. The first is to try to find "semantic primes" in Japanese. In other words, to try to find the units that constitute the "building blocks" of Yamato Japanese. The second is to look at compound words to see how words are created from semantic primes. In fact, these two goals are both related to another project I have, to create a world pidgin language for use in international communication. An outline for a language of this sort, which I call Neo Patwa, can be found on this site.

In terms of format, words in all-caps are what I believe to be semantic primes. These words are followed by the different derived forms. Entries in italics are references to words included in another entry. Entries without caps but in bold are compound words. In general, words that have not been sorted yet are in plain text.

The romanization is generally the Kunrei method.

This project is an ongoing one, and should not be seen as final. Any suggestions or corrections are welcome, to jowilkinson4@yahoo.com.






A 吾 first person singular pronoun.

abake 発け v. peel off. Transitive form is abaki.

abara 肋 rib

ABARA 粗 coarse. Also, abare 暴れ・荒れ rough, not complete. Generalized to "wild."

ABI 浴び bathe. Also, ami.

abuku 泡 bubble, foam

abunai 危ない dangerous

ABURA 油 oil, fat

aburu 焙る v. roast, toast

ada あだ n. emptiness, futility

adakamo あだかも just as, as though

adasi 仇し adj. fickle, vain

adeyakana 艶やかな adj. charming

ADI 味 taste, flavor

aegu 喘ぐ v. pant, gasp

aenai あえない adj. sad, pitiful

aete あえて adv. positively, boldly

agata 県 n. ancient system of land demarcations (now ken) in the Yamato period

AGE 上げる raise

AGO 顎 chin

AHI 会う・合う meet, fit

ahida 間 among, between, during.

ahureru 溢れる v. overflow

AKA 赤 n. red. Root of the adj. akasi.

AKA 垢 n. dirt

akagane 銅 n. copper. Literally, "red gold"

akasi 明かし adj. bright. Verb forms include akasi, make bright, and ake, become bright, dawn.

akatuki 暁 n. dawn, daybreak. Originally, "aka-toki", meaning "bright time".

akebono 曙 n.

AKI 秋 n. autumn

akinai 商い do business. Probably comes from aki (autumn) and okonai (perform), since farmers sold produce in the fall, after the harvest, so it was a good business time.

akirameru あきらめる abandon

akireru 呆れる v. be amazed

akiru 飽きる vt. grow tired of

akitu 安芸津 n. dragonfly. Now generally known as tonbo.

akogare 憧れ v. yearn for

aku 開く v. open

akubi 欠伸 n. yawn

AMA 天 n. sky, heaven. By extension, ame 雨 (rain), and amatu.

AMA 余 leftover. Found in amari 余り (leftover) and amata 数多 (so many that some will be left over).

AMAE 甘 sweetness. Also amasi 甘し (sweet).

ame 雨. See ama 天.

AME 飴 food made by boiling rice to concentrate sugar.

AMI 網 net.

AMI 編み knit.

ANA 穴 hole.

anata あなた you

ane 姉 n. elder sister

ani 兄 n. elder brother

anna あんな adj. such. -ni adv. so

ano あの that

aogu 仰ぐ vi. Look upward

ara あら fault

ARA 荒 coarse. Used to form words such as arasi 荒し and are 荒れ (be stormy).

ARAHI 洗ひ wash.

arakajime 予め beforehand

arasi 嵐 storm. See ara.

arasou 争う v. dispute, quarrel

aratame 改め v. revise. Intransitive form is aratamari change.

arawareru 現れる vi. appear

arawasu 表す vt. reveal, show

arayuru あらゆる every

are あれ that

ari 蟻 n. ant

ARI 有り・在り exist in time or space

ariku 歩く vi. Walk. Originally conveyed the meaning of traveling from one place to another, and later became aruku. The older word for walking is ayumui.

asa 朝 n. morning

ASASI 浅し shallow. Same root as ososi (late) and ususi (thin).

asatte 明後日 n. the day after tomorrow

ase 汗 n. sweat

aseru 焦る v. fret, fade

ASI 足 foot, leg

asi 葦 reed, bullrush

asita 明日 n. morning. Later changed to ‘tomorrow’.

asobu 遊ぶ vi. play

asoko あそこ there

assari あっさり adv. lightly

asu 明日 tomorrow

ATA 仇 foe, enemy, grudge.

ataeru 与える v. give

atahi 値 n. price, value

atama 頭 n. head

ataru 当たる vt. hit

atatakai 暖かい adj. warm

atatamaru 暖まる vt. get warm

atatameru 暖める vi. warm up

ateru 当てる vt. apply, hit

ATO 跡・後n. mark, track. Later took on the meaning of ‘behind’.

atui 暑い adj. hot

atui 厚い adj. thick

atukamasii 厚かましい adj. impudent

atukau 扱う v. treat, handle

atumeru 集める vt. gather

aturaeru 誂える vt. order

AWA 泡 n. foam. By extension, awateru 慌てる be in a hurry, confused, as foam is always in motion.

aware 哀れn. sorrow

awaremu 哀れむ v. have pity or mercy for

awateru 慌てる in a hurry, confused. See awa.

AWO 青 blue, green, root of the adjective awoshi 青し (blue). In OJ, this covered green as well as blue.

AYA 文 patterns on pottery. By extension, writing.

ayamari 誤り・謝り err, apologize

ayasi 怪し suspicious

AYUMI 歩 walk. This originally had the meaning of walking on legs.

azayakana 鮮やかなadj. bright

azukeru 預ける deposit, entrust

azuma 東 east (same as higasi).



BA 場 n. place, room

bara 薔薇 n. rose

barabara ばらばら in pieces

batta 飛蝗 n. grasshopper or locust. Also, inago.

beki 可き suffix meaning “should.” Opposite is bekarazu.

boku 僕 pron. I, manservant

bon'yari ぼんやり adj. faintly

buta 豚 pig. See futosi.

butukaru ぶつかる v. bump into

butukeru ぶつける v. hit, bump into

buyu 部愉 n. gnat. Also, buyo or butto.



daki 抱 hug, embrace. See idaki.

damaru 黙る v. become silent

darasinai だらしない adj. slovenly. Probably from daradara.

dare 誰 who

demo でも but

ditto じっと patiently

doko 何処 where. Compound of do (what) and ko (place).

donaru 怒鳴る v. shout out

donata どなた who

donna どんなwhat sort of. -ni adv. how

dono どの which

dono 殿 Mr., Mrs.

doo どう how

dore どれ which

DORO 泥 mud.

doti どち. Compound of do (what) and ti (direction, see miti).



E 柄 n. handle

EBI 海老 n. shrimp. This originally meant "berry".

ebira えびら n. quiver for arrows

ebisu 夷 n. barbarian

EDA 枝 branch.

ERA gills.

erabu 選ぶ v. select

ERI 襟 collar. The older word is kubi.

eru 得る vt. obtain

esa 餌 n. feed. Also e or eba.



gambaru 番張る v. hold out. Uncertain origin, may be Chinese or Japanese.

gara 柄 n. pattern

gatagata がたがた clatter

gawa 側 n. side

gejigeji げじげじ n. millipede

geri 下痢 n. diarrhea

geta 下駄 n. wooden clogs

gomakasu 誤魔化す v. cheat

gomi 芥 n. garbage, dust

gozari 御座る v. honorific of wi 居, ari 有り, iki 行きor ki 来.

guai 具合 n. condition (this may be Japanese)

guzuguzu ぐずぐず adv. slowly



HA 刃・歯 n. tooth, blade.

ha 葉 n. leaf

haba 幅 n. width

habu snake. See himo.

habuku 省く v. omit

HADA 肌 skin.

hadaka 裸 adj. naked

hade 派手 adj. showy

HADI 恥 shame.

haeru 生える v. grow

hagane 鋼 n. steel

hagemasu 励ます encourage

hagemu 励む make effort

hagesii 激しい adj. severe

HAHA 母 mother

hahe 蠅 n. fly. Also hai.

HAHI 灰 ash.

hai はい yes

hairu 入る vt. enter

hajimaru 始まる begin

hajime 始 begin. Compound of ha (edge) and sime.

HAKA 墓 grave

hakaru 計る vt. measure

hakkiri はっきり adv. clearly

HAKO 箱 box

hakobu 運ぶ v. carry

haku はく v. put on

haku はく v. vomit

hama 浜 n. seaside

hamaguri 蛤 n. clam. Compound of hama 浜 (seaside) and kuri 栗 (chestnut).

hameru 填める v. insert

HANA 花 flower

hana 華 n. snivel

hanabanasii 華々しい adj. brilliant

hanahada はなはだ adv. exceedingly

hanareru はなれる v. separate

hanashi 話し v. speak. Not actually an old word, apparently first used in the Muromachi Period.

HANATI 放 release an object. Used in hanare 放.

hanayaka 華やか・花やか adj. like a flower

HANE 羽・羽根 n. bird wings. Feathers were known as ha羽. Metaphorically extended to wings.

hane 跳ね v. spring upward

HARA 原 field, plain. 腹 belly. By extension, related to hira 平 (flat), and hiro広 (wide).

harau 払う v. pay

harawata 腸 n. intestines

hare 晴れ clear weather

hareru 晴れる v. clear

hareru 腫れる v. swell

HARI 針 needle, pin

haru 張る v. spread

HARU 春 spring.

haruka 遙か adj. faraway

hasami 挟み n. 1. claws, pincers, 2. scissors

hasamu 挟む v. put between

HASI端 n. edge. Extended to 橋 n. bridge, meaning something that connects two edges. Also, hasigo 梯子 ladder. Extended to hasi (stripe).

hasi箸 n. chopsticks

hasigo 梯子 ladder. See hasi 端.

hasika 麻疹 n. measles

hasira 柱 n. pillar

hasiru 走る v. run

HATA 機 loom.

HATA 旗 flag. Probably onomatopoeic, from sound of flag flapping.

hatake 畑 field

hataraku 働く v. work

hatasite 果たして really

hati 蜂 bee, wasp. May be from hari-mochi, "has a needle."

hati はち bowl, pot. Loandword from Sanskrit.

hato 鳩 pigeon. May be from haya (fast).

hau 這う v. crawl

hayai 早い adj. quick, early, fast

hayaru 流行る v. be fashionable

hayasi 林 n. forest

hazu はず ought to

hazukasii 恥ずかしい adj. ashamed

hazumu 弾む v. bound

hazureru 外れる v. miss

hazusu 外す v. remove

hebi 蛇 snake. Also known as kuchinawa. See hemi.

hemi 蛇 snake. See himo .

heru 減る vi. decrease

HESO 臍 navel.

heta 下手 adj. unskilled

heya 部屋 room. Compound.

HI 火 fire

HI 日 sun, day.

hibari 雲雀 n. skylark

hibiku 響く vi. resound, echo

HIDARI 左 left

hideri 旱 dro.ught, dry weather

HIDI 肘 elbow.

hidoi 酷い adj. cruel, severe

hieru 冷える v. grow cold

higasi 東 east. Compound. Hi-ga-si.

HIGE 髭 beard.

higurasi 蜩 n. cicada

hikari 光 n. light

hikaru 光る v. shine

HIKE 引 pull.

hiko 彦 boy. Compound of hi (sun) and ko (man). Converse of hime.

hikui 低い adj. low

hima 暇 leisure. Compound.

HIMO 紐 string. Related to hemi (snake) and habu (snake).

hina 雛 n. chicken

hineru 捻る v. switch

hinoe 丙 3rd calendar sign. Compound of hi (fire) and e (brother).

hinoiri 日の入り n. sunset

hinoto 丁 n. 4th calendar sign

hiraki 開 open. Compound of hiro 広 (wide) and aki 開 (open).

hira 平 flat. See hara.

hiro 広 wide. See hara.

hirou 拾う v. pick up

hiru 昼 n. daytime, noon

hiru 蛭 n. leech

hisasiburi ひさしぶり a long time

hisokani 密かに adv. secretly

hitai 額 n. forehead

hitaru 浸る v. be submerged, absorbed

hitasu 浸す v. dip

hitotu 一つ one

HITO 人 n. person. Often contracted to -do.

hitosii 等しい adj. equal

hituji 羊 n. sheep

hiyakasu 冷やかす v. tease

hiyasu 冷やす v. cool

HIZA ひざ knee.

HO ほ n. ear of grain

hobo ほぼ adv. almost

hodo ほど suffix. extent

hodoku ほどく v. unbind

hoeru 吠える v. bark, roar

hogaraka ほがらか adj. cheerful

hohoemu 微笑む v. smile

HOKA 他 other

hokori 誇り n. pride

hokori 埃 n. dust

homeru 褒める v. praise

HONE 骨 bone

honoo 炎 n. flame

HOHO 頬 cheek.

hori 堀 n. ditch

horobiru 滅びる v. be ruined

horu 掘る v. dig, carve

HOSI 星 star, planet.

hosii ほしい adj. want

hosoi 細い thin

hosu 干す v. dry

hotaru 蛍 n. firefly

hotoke ほとけ Buddha, merciful person

hotondo ほとんど adv. almost

hubuki 吹雪 n. snowstorm

huchi 縁 brim, edge

huda 札 card, label. Compound

hude 筆 writing brush. May originate from humi-te, or 文手.

hue 笛 n. flute, whistle

hueru 増える vi. increase

HUKA 深 deep. Used in fukasi (deep). Same root as huke.

hukeru 耽る v grow late, indulge

HUKI 吹 blow, wipe

hukumu 含む v. contain

hukuramu 膨らむ v. swell

hukureru 膨れる v. swell

hukuro 袋 n. bag

humi 文 n. writing. It is likely that this is not Yamato, but rather a corruption of the Chinese.

HUMI 踏 tread, step.

HUNE 船 boat, ship

hureru 触れる v. touch

huru 振る vt. swing

huru 降る vi. fall

hurueru 震える vi. tremble

HURU 古 old

husagu 塞ぐ v. block

husawasii 相応しい adj. suitable

husegu 防ぐ v. defend

HUSI 節 joint, knot. By extension, a stage.

husuma 襖 papered sliding door

HUTA 蓋 lid.

HUTA 二 two.

HUTOSI 太 fat. Hutori become fat.

huyasu 増やす v. increase

HUYU 冬 winter. May be related to hiyu 冷, meaning cold.

huzakeru 巫山戯る v. joke



ibaru 威張る v. boast

ibiki 鼾 n. snore

ichi 市 n. market, town

ichigo 苺 n. strawberry

ichijirusii 著しい adj. remarkable

idaki 抱 envelope, contain, hug.

idimeru 虐める v. treat badly

idiwaru いじわる adj. spiteful

ide 出 v. go out. Transitive is idasi.

ido 井戸 n. well

ie 家 n. home

IHAHI 祝ひ celebrate.

ii いい adj. good

iie いいえ no

ika 烏賊 n. squid

ikari 怒り n. anger

ike 池 n. pond. See iki.

IKI 息 breath. Extended to ikiru (live). Ike 池 (pond) means a "place where things are kept alive".

ikiiki いきいき adj. lively

ikinari 壱岐なり adv. suddenly

ikioi 勢い n. energy

ikiru 生きる live. See iki.

IKU full of life. Seems to be related to iki.

iku 行く v. go. Also, yuku.

ikura いくら n. salmon roe

ikura いくら how much

ikusa 軍 army. Compound of iku (strong) and sati (arrow).

ikutu いくつ how many

IMA 今 now

ima 居間 n. living room

imo 芋 potato. See umo.

imooto 妹 n. younger sister

inaka いなか countryside

INA 稲 rice plant. Used for rice in process of growing. Became ine.

inaduma 稲妻 lightning. Compound of ina and tuma.

inoti 命 life. Compound of iki 息 (breath) and ti (power).

inoru 祈る v. pray

inu 犬 n. dog

ippai いっぱい adj. full

IRA 苛 thorn.

irassharu いらっしゃる go, come

iratume 郎女 n. young lady

ireru 入れる v. put in

IRO 色 color.

iru いる v. be

ISA 鯨 whale.

ISA rejection. Root used in isakahi, isati, isahi, isame, isako.

isamasii 勇ましい adj. brave

ISI 石 stone. Also iso 磯.

ISO root meaning hurry. Used in isogi 急 hurry, isogasii 忙 busy, isohi, and isosi.

isso いっそ rather

ITA 板 board.

ITA 甚 indicates a limit. Used in itasi 致し (carry out to the end) itari 至り (go to the end) and itadaki 頂く ().

itameru 炒める v. fry

ITASI 痛 pain. Used in itami (ache).

itati 鼬 n. weasel

itawaru 労る v. care for

itazura 悪戯 n. mischief

ITO 糸 thread

itoko 従兄弟 n. cousin

itonamu 営む v. conduct

itosii 愛しい adj. Lovable.

IWA 岩 rock

iwasi 鰯 sardine. Perhaps from yowasi (weak).

iya いや no

iyagaru 嫌がる v. show hatred

iyasii 卑しい adj. mean, low

iyoiyo いよいよ at last

izumi 泉 n. source, spring



ka 蚊 n. mosquito

ka 日 n. day (used as a suffix in counting)

KA 香 fragrance. Same root as kagi 嗅 (smell).

kabau 庇う v. protect

KABE 壁 wall

KABI かび mold. Same root as kabure.

kabu 蕪 n. turnip

KABU 株 stump

kaburu かぶる v. put on

KADO 門 gate, door

kado 角 n. corner

kaeru 蛙 n. frog, toad. Also known as kawazu.

kaeru 変える

代える) v. change, return

kaesu 返す v. return

kagami 鏡 mirror. Compound of kaga (shadow) and mi (see).

kagayaku 輝く v. twinkle, shine

KAGE 陰 影 n. shadow.

KAGI 鉤 key. Related to Korean karkuri.

kagiri 限る v. limit

KAGO かご basket.

KAHA 川 river.

KAHA 皮 bark, skin.

KAHI 貝 shellfish

KAHI 交・買 exchange, barter

KAHO 顔 face

kajiru 囓る bite

kakaeru 抱える hold in one's arms

kakageru 掲げる hoist

kakari 係 charge

kakaru 斯かる hang, suffer(from), cost

kakato 踵 heel

kakawaru 関わる have to do with

kakeru 賭ける break, lack, bet, hang, multiply, run

kaki 柿 n. persimmon

kaki 垣 n.

KAKI 掻く・書き v. scratch. Later came to mean “write.”

kakomu 囲む surround

kakureru 隠れる hide

kakusu 隠す conceal.

KAMA 鎌 sickle, trickle

KAMA 釜 kettle. Related to Korean kama.

kamakiri 蟷螂 n. praying mantis

kamau 構う v. care, mind

KAME 亀 turtle.

kami 紙 paper. Likely loan from Chinese kan 簡.

KAMI 上 up. Also related to hair 髪.

KAMI 神 god. It was once believed that this was related to "up," but it is now known that the vowels were different in old Japanese. 

KAMI 噛む chew

kaminari 雷 n. thunder. from kami (god) nari (sound).

kana 仮名 n. Japanese syllabary

KANA, KANE 金 gold, money, metal

kanarazu 必ず adv. without fail

kanari 化なり adv. pretty

kanasi 悲し adj. Now means “sad,” but originally meant loveable. The root is the same as the kane in kaneri. The verb form is kanashimu.

kanau 叶う v. come true

kane 鐘 n. bell

kaneri 兼ねり v. Do over and over.

kangaeru 考える v. think

kani 蟹 n. crab

KARA 殻 husk, shell. By extension, empty 空.

kara から having a blood relationship. Changed to indicate‘originating from.’

karada 体 body. Compound of kara and da.

karakau からかう v. make fun of

KARASI 辛し spicy.

karasu 烏 n. raven, crow

kare かれ pron. he

kareru 枯れる v. wither

kari 仮 adj. temporary

KARI 借り borrow.

karu 刈る v. cut

karu 駆る v. spur, prompt

KARUSI 軽し light.

KASA 傘 umbrella. May be related to Korean kat.

KASA 嵩 size, height. Extended to kasanaru 重なる overlap, kasaneru 重ねる pile up.

kasegu 稼ぐ v. earn

KASI 貸し lend, loan.

kasi 菓子 n. candy

kasikoi 賢い adj. clever

kasukana 微かな adj. faint

KATA 肩 shoulder.

kata 方 n. person

KATA 型 n. mould, type, pattern, shape. Same root as katasi 固 (solid). Also, katati.

kata 片 one side

katamari 塊 n. lump

katamini 互に adv. mutually

katamaru 固まる v. become hard

katameru 固める v. harden

katamukeru 傾ける v. incline

katamuku 傾く v. incline

katana 刀 sword. Compound of kata (side) and na (same as Korean nal).

kataru 語る v. talk

katasi 固 adj. hard. See kata.

katatumuri 蝸牛 n. snail. Also, katatuburi, dedemusi, dendenmusi.

katu 勝つ v. win

katu 且つ furthermore, also

katugu 担ぐ v. carry a burden

katute かつて once

katte 勝手 n. kitchen

kau 飼う v. raise an animal

kawaigaru かわいがる v. pet

kawaii 可愛い adj. cute

kawaisoo 可愛そう adj. poor

kawakasu 乾かす dry

kawaku 乾く dry

kawara 瓦 tile

kawaru 変わる change

kayou 通う go regularly

kayui 痒い itchy

kazaru 飾る decorate

KAZE 風 wind.

kazoeru 数える v. count

KAZU 数 number.

KE 毛 hair, feather, wool

ke 気 spirit. This is generally believed to be a Chinese loanword, but there are also arguments that it may be originally Japanese, or perhaps an older borrowing.

kechi けち n. stingy

kedamono 獣 beast. Compound of ke (hair) and mono (thing).

kega 怪我 n. injury

kemui 煙い adj. smoky

kemuri 煙 n. smoke

kenka 喧嘩 n. quarrel

keredo けれどconj. but

keru 蹴る v. kick

kesa 今朝 n. this morning

kessite 決して adv. never

kesu 消す v. put out

kewasii 険しい adj. steep

kezuru 削る v. sharpen, shave

KI 木 tree

kibisii 厳しい adj. strict

kichinto 木賃と adv. properly

kieru 消える v. disappear

kiiroi 黄色い adj. yellow

kiji 雉 n. pheasant

kikoeru 聞こえる v. hear

kiku 聞く listen, hear

kiku 利く v. be efficacious

kiku 菊 chrysanthemum. Probably not Yamato, as flower was imported from China.

kimeru 決める v. decide. The ki is for cut. In this sense, the metaphorical use is similar to European languages, where decide comes from cut. Also kimaru 決まる be decided.

kimi 君 lord, you

kimochi 気もち n. feeling

kinoko 茸 n. mushroom. Literally, ki no ko, or child of a tree.

kinoo 昨日 yesterday

kinu 絹 silk. May be a loanword from Chinese ken.

kirai 嫌い dislike

kireru 切れる break, cut well

KIRI 霧 fog, mist.

kirigirisu 蟋蟀 n. grasshopper, katydid

kiru 着る cut, wear

KISI 岸 bank.

KITA 北 north. Same root as kitanasi 汚し unpure, dirty. The original meaning is probably related to darkness.

kitui きつい strong

kitune 狐 fox

kitto きっと surely

kiwameru 極める exceedingly

KIYOSI 清し unblemished. Also used as verb kiyome 清め (make pure).

kizahasi 階 n. stairway, ladder

kizamu 刻む chop up

kizu 傷 n. wound

KO 此 pron., indicating proximity to the speaker. Used in forms such as kore 此 (this), koko 此処 (here) and kono 此の (this).

KO 子 child. I suspect that ko as in "small" is ultimately derived from this.

koboreru 零れる overflow

kobosu 零す grumble, spill

kochira こちら here

kodama 児玉 n. spirit of trees, echo

kogeru 焦げる be scorch

kogoeru 凍える be frozen

kogu 漕ぐ row

KOHASI strong, having a strong exterior.

KOHI 恋 Love, sexual attraction. Kohisi nostalgic.

koi 濃い adj. thick

koi 鯉 n. carp

koisii 恋しい miss

kojiki こじき beggar

KOKONO 九 nine. kokonoka 九日 nine days.

kokoro 心 heart, mind, will


koku こく v. thresh, strip

koma 駒. Most likely a contraction of ko uma (colt).

komakai 細かい minute

komaru 困る be perplexed

kome 米 n. rice. Likely derived from komuru (to receive).

komekami 米神 n. temple (part of head)

komu 混む be crowded

komugi 小麦 wheat

komuru こむる v. receive

kon 紺 dark blue

kona 粉 n. flour, powder

konna こんな such, -ni, so (much)

konomasii 好ましい desirable

konomu 好む like

koo こう thus

koori 氷 n. ice

koorogi 蟋蟀 n. cricket

kooru 凍る v. freeze

koraeru 堪える v. endure

koriru 懲りる v. learn a lesson

koro 頃 around the time

korobi 転び v. roll

KOROMO 衣 clothes.

korosi 殺し v. kill

korosi 濃し adj. thick

koru 凝る have a stiff shoulder

KOSI 腰 waist

kosi 越し v. go beyond a boundary or adversary

kossori こっそり secretly

kosuru 擦る rub

kotaeru 答える answer

koto 琴 n. harp

KOTO 事 matter, fact.

kotoba 言葉 language, words. Comes from koto (thing) and ha (leaf). As a leaf allows one to understand what tree, language allows one to understand human intentions, or something to this effect.

kotonaru 異なる differ

kotowaru 断る refuse, warn

kotowaza 諺 proverb

kotukotu こつこつ little by little and steadily

kowagaru 怖がる be afraid

kowai 怖い fearful

kowareru 壊れる break

kowasu 壊す break

KOWE 声 voice.

koya 小屋 hut

koyomi 暦 almanac

kubaru 配る distribute

KUBI 首 neck, collar

kubo 窪 n. depression, hollow

kuchibiru 唇 lip

kuda 管 tube

kudakeru 砕ける break

kudaku 砕く crush

kudamono 果物 fruit. Derived from ki-na-mono.

kudaru 下る vi. descend

kudasaru 下さる v. bestow upon

kudasu 下す v. hand down

kugi 釘 n. nail

kuguru 潜る dive

kuji 籤 n. lot

KUKI 洞 cave. Related to Korean kokai.

KUKI 茎 stem.

kuma 熊 n. bear

kumi 組 n. group

KUMO 雲 cloud

kumo 蜘蛛 n. spider

kumu 組む vt. braid

KUNI 国 n. country. Probably not yamato, likely corruption of Chinese guo.

KURA 座 seat.

KURA 暗 dark. Related to kurosi 黒し black. Also kure 暮 evening.

kuraberu 比べる v. compare

kurawi 位 rank. Compound of kura (seat) and wi (be).

kurasu 暮らす v. live

kure 暮れ. See kura.

kureru 暮れる give

kuri 栗 n. chestnut

kurosi 黒し. See kura.

kuru 来る vi. come

kuru 繰る vt. wind. Often used with other verbs to indicate repetition.

KURUMA 車 vehicle.

kurumi 胡桃 n. walnut. May come from kuremi (呉実) but may also be from kuromi 黒実.

KURUSI 苦し painful. Bears resemblance to the Chinese loanword, ku, but apparently is original Japanese, derived from the same root as 狂う kurui.

kuruhi 狂 go mad. See kurusi.

KUSA 草 n. grass

KUSA 臭 odor. Related to kuso 糞 (shit), kusari 腐り (rot). Probably also related to kuse 癖.

KUSARI 鎖 chain

kuse 癖. See kusa.

kushami 嚔 sneeze

KUSI 串 comb, skewer.

KUSU Mysterious. Used in kususi 楠しい (mysterious) and kusuri 薬 (medicine).

kusuri 薬 medicine. See kusu

kutabireru 草臥れる be tired

KUTI 口 mouth. Probably related to kuhu (eat).

kutu 靴 shoes

kutusita 靴下 socks, stockings

kuhu 食う eat. See kuti 口.

kuwaeru 加える add, put in the mouth

kuwasii 詳しい detailed

kuwawaru 加わる join

kuyasii 悔しい vexing

kuzu 屑 rubbish

kuzureru 崩れる crumble

kuzusu 崩す destroy

kyuuri キュウリ cucumber. Loanword.


MA eye. Same root as mi 目 (see).

MA 間 room, time

mabusi 眩しい dazzling. Compound of 目 ma

mabuta 瞼 eyelid. Compound of 目 ma and huta.

mada 未だ still

mado 窓 window. From ma 目 and do 戸, "eye-gate".

MAGA 禍 misfortune. Same root as magaru 曲がる (bend) and mageru 曲げる (bend).

mago 孫 grandchild

maguro 鮪 n. tuna. Likely because the eyes were black, hence ma 目 (eyes) kuro 黒 (black).

mahe 前 adj. in front of, before. From ma 目 and he 方, "eye-direction".

majime 真面目 earnest

majiru 混じる get mixed

majiwaru 交わる associate with, cross

makaseru 任せる leave

makeru 負ける be defeated

maki 巻く roll wind, scatter, sow, sprinkle

maku 幕 act, curtain

makura 枕 pillow. Compound of ma (eye) and kura (seat).

MAME 豆 bean.

mamoru 守る defend, guard, keep, obey, protect

mamusi 蝮 n. viper

manaita 俎板 n. cutting board. Mana may originally have meant fish, na was used to refer to fish other than rice, and mana may have meant “true food.”

manabu 学ぶ study. See mane.

MANE 真似 imitation. Etymologically related to manabu.

maneku 招く invite

maneru 真似る imitate. See mane.

marena 希な rare

MARI urinate.

MARO 丸・円 n. circle. Adj. is marosi; verbs include marokare (come together into a lump), marokasi (make into a lump), maroge (lump together), marobi (roll), and marobasi (roll). Later changed to maru.

masaka まさか it is unlikely that

masaru 勝る v. surpass

MASI 増 increase, rise.

masite まして still more, still less

masu 鱒 bass (fish). Likely from masi (increase).

MASU 枡 A measuring instrument. Same root as Korean mal.

masumasu ますます more and more

MATA 股 thigh. Means a place where an object splits into two. Also, 又 again, meaning another one.

matagaru 跨る ride

matagu 跨ぐ step over

MATI 町 town.

MATI 待 wait.

matigaeru 間違える mistake

matigau 間違う error

mato 的 target. See maro.

matomaru 纏まる be settled

matomeru 纏める settle

MATU 松 pine.

matuge 睫 n. eyelashes

maturi 祭り n. festival

mattaku まったく quite

mawari 回り circumference

mawaru 回る turn round

mawasu 回す send round, turn

MAWI 参 go to a shrine or temple

mayou 迷う be at a loss, hesitate, lose one's way

mayu 眉 eyebrow. Compound of ma (eye) and .

mazeru 混ぜる mix

mazu 先ず first of all

mazui 不味い not good, unpalatable

mazusii 貧しい poor

me 芽 bud

me 目. See ma 目.

medetai 目出度い happy

megumu 恵む

mei 姪 niece

mekata 目方 weight

mekuru 捲る turn over

mesi 飯 n. meal. Derived from the verb mesu.

mesu 召す v. summon, wear, buy, eat

mettani 滅多に seldom

mezamasii 目覚ましい striking

mezasu 目指す aim at

mezurasii 珍しい rare

MI 実 fruit, nut. Also, 身 (body).

mi 見 see. See ma (eye).

MIDARE 乱れ be disordered. Transitive form is midari and midasi.

MIDORI 緑 greenery.

MIDU 水 water.

MIGAKI 磨き polish.

MIGI 右 right side.

MIJIKA 短 short.

mikado 帝 n. the Japanese monarch. Literally means the gate to to the palace miya.

mikata 見方 viewpoint

mikata 味方 friend

MIKI 幹 trunk

mimakari 身罷かり v. die. This is the old form of sinu (死ぬ), which is adopted from the Chinese borrowing si.

MIMI 耳 ear. Originally mi, with the sound repeated.

mimizu 蚯蚓 n. earthworm

MINA 皆 all. Mostly used for people.

minami 南 n. south

minasu 見なす regard as

minato 港 harbor. Compound of mi (water) and to (gate).

mine 峰 peak. Compound of mi (sacred) and ne (mountain).

minoru 実る bear fruit

misaki 岬 cape

miseru 見せる show

misuborasii 見窄らしい shabby

mitasu 満たす fill

MITI, TI 道 road, way.

mitiru 満ちる be full

mitomeru 認める recognize

mitukaru 見つかる be found

mitukeru 見つける find

mitumeru 見つめる gaze

mittu 三 three

miyage 土産 n. souvenir, present

miyako 都 n. capital

mizo 溝 n. ditch

mizukara 自ら personally

mizuumi 湖 n. lake

MO 藻 seaweed.

modoru 戻る vi. come back

modosu 戻す return

moeru 燃える burn

moguru 潜る dive

mokuromu もくろむ v. plan

momidi 紅葉 autumnal leaves, maple tree

MOMO 股 thigh.

momo 桃 n. peach

momo 百 n. hundred

MONO 物, 者. Thing, person.

moo もう already

moosu 申す v. say

moppara 専ら chiefly

morasu 漏らす let leak

morau 貰う get

moreru 漏れる v. leak

mori 森 n. forest, woods

moroi 脆い adj. brittle, fragile

moru 漏る leak

mosi 燃し if

motareru 凭れる lean against

motenasu 持てなす entertain

moti 餅 n. rice cake

motiiru 用いる use

MOTO 本, 元. Initially meant the trunk of a tree. By extension, something at the bottom, and later a foundation or basis.

motomeru 求める v. demand, seek

motoduku 基づく be based on

motu 持つ v. possess

motto もっと more

moyasu 燃やす burn

moyoosu 催す hold

mugi 麦 barley, wheat

mukade 百足 n. centipede

mukaeru 迎える meet

mukai 向かいopposite

mukasi 昔 long time ago

mukau 向かう v. face

mukeru 向ける turn

muki 向き direction

muku 向く face, suit, peel

muna 胸 breast, the center of the chest. Later became mune. By extension, 棟, the ridge (highest part) of a roof. Also extended to 旨, the main point of an argument.

munasii 空しい adj. empty

mura 村 n. village. May be related to Korean muai 里.

murasaki 紫 n. purple

mure 群れ n. crowd

musi 虫 n. insect, bug

musiro 寧ろ rather

musu 蒸す steam

musu むす suffix indicating something that increases naturally

musubi 結び tie firmly together

musuko 息子 n. son. In old Japanese, the verb musu meant to be born. Ko is child.

musume 娘 n. daughter. In old Japanese, the verb musu meant to be born. Me is woman.

MUTI 鞭 whip

muttu 六 six

mutuke v. be dissatisfied. Also, mutukasi (adj. be in a bad mood) and mutukari (v. complain).



NA 己 First person, second person pronoun. Personal pronouns in Japanese often move from first to second person, as in ware. Etymologically related to na in Korean.

NA 名 name. Interesting that na is also found in Sanskrit nam and other IE languages.

NA 菜 n. food added to grain, such as meat, fish or vegetables.

NA place. Changed to no 野 (field).

nabe 鍋 pan

nadare 雪崩 avalanche

naderu 撫でる stroke

NADUKI 脳 brain.

naga 長・永. An ancient root, meaning perhaps meandering. Used in nagasi and nagasu. Also used in nage (throw). May come from an ancient word for serpent, seen in Sanskrit.

nagasi 長 long. See naga.

nagame 眺め observe. Compound of naga and me.

nagare 流れ flow. See naga.

nageku 嘆く lament

nage 投げ throw. See naga.

nagoyaka 名古屋か genial

naguru 殴る strike

nagusameru 慰める console

NAHA 縄 rope.

NAHA 苗 seedling. Changed to nahe.

NAHO 尚 same as always, still more, yet.

NAKA 中 inside

naki 泣 sob, weep, sing. Na is from ne (sound).

nakunaru 無くなる be gone

nakusu 無くす lose

NAMA 生 raw

namakeru 怠ける be idle

NAMARI 訛 have an accent.

namekuji 生籤 n. slug

nameraka 滑らか smooth

NAME 嘗め lick.

NAMI 波 wave.

namida 涙 n. tear. Perhaps from ma and mizu.

NANA 七 seven. Also, nanatu.

naname 斜め oblique

nani なに what

naoru 直る be restored, get well

naosu 直す correct, cure, repair

naraberu 並べる arrange

narabu 並ぶ stand in a line

narasu 鳴らす sound

narau 習う learn

nareru 慣れる be accustomed

NARI 成り・為り・生り change with the passage of time. Transitive form is nasi.

NARI 鳴り v. ring.

nasake 情け n. sympathy

NASI 無し absence.

nasu 茄子 n. eggplant. Derives from old Japanese nasubi. The origin of nasubi is obscure, but it may be from natunomi, or summer fruit.

nasu 成す v. do (same as suru)

NATU 夏 summer

natukasii 懐かしい adj. nostalgic, dear

nawi 地震 n. earthquake. A combination of na (earth) and wi (be).

nayami 悩み be worried, suffer, worry

naze 何故 why. -nara, because.

nazo 謎 riddle

NE 根 n. 1. price, 2. root

ne 値

negau 願う request, wish

negi 葱 n. leek

neji ねじ screw

nejiru 捻る twist

neko 猫 cat

nemui 眠い sleepy

nemuru 眠むる sleep

nerau 狙う aim at

neru 寝る go to bed, lie down, knead

nezumi 鼠 rat. Compound of ne (root) and sumi (live).

ni 荷 n. load, burden

nibui 鈍い adj. dull, slow

nieru 煮える v. boi,

nigasi 苦し adj. bitter

nigasu 逃がす fail to catch, let escape

nigeru 逃げる escape

NIGIRI 握る grasp.

nigiyaka 賑やか adj. lively

nigoru 濁る v. become muddy

NIHE 新 new.

nihohi 臭ひ n. smell

nikaha 膠 n. glue

niko 和 smooth. Same root as nikosi and nikoyaka.

nikoniko にこにこ smiling

nikosi和しadj. smooth.

nikui 憎い adj. hateful

nikumu 憎む v. hate

niramu 睨む v. glare

niru 似る v. resemble

niru 煮る v. boil

nise 偽 imitation

nisi 西 west

NIWA 庭 garden

niwatori 鶏 chicken. Compound of niwa (garden) and tori (bird).

nizi 虹 n. rainbow

no 野 field. See na.

nobasu 延ばす lenghten, postpone, stretch

noberu 述べる express

NOBI 延び stretch, grow.

noboru 述べる climb, rise

nodo 喉 throat. From nomi 飲み and do 戸, "drink-gate".

nodoka 喉か calm and mild

NOKI overhand of roof.

NOKI 残き leave. Same root as noki and nokori.

nokogiri 鋸 n. saw

nokoru 残る v. remain

nokosu 残す v. leave

nomi 蚤 flea. May be a compound including mi.

NOMI 祈み pray.

NOMI 飲み drink, swallow.

nori 海苔 n. laver (a type of seaweed),

nori 糊 n. glue, paste

nori 法 n. rule

noronoro のろのろ slowly

norosi 鈍し adj. slow

noru 乗る ride, take

noseru 乗せる give a ride, load, put

noti 後 n. future. -ni adv. afterwards.

nozoku 除く except, omit, take off, peep

nozomasii 望ましい desirable

nozomu 望む desire

nugu 脱ぐ v. remove clothing

nukeru 抜ける fall off

nuku 抜く v. pull out

numa 沼 n. swamp

nuno 布 n. cloth

**NURE** 濡れ get wet. Likely related to ''nuri'' paint. 

**NURU** 温 lukewarm. Seems related to ''nure''. 

**NUSI** 主 lord

nusumu 盗む v. steal

nuu 縫う v. sew



o 御 (honorific prefix)

o 尾 tail

oba 叔母 aunt

obi 帯 girdle

oboeru 覚える remember

oboreru 溺れる be drowned

ochiru 落ちる fall

odayaka 穏やか tranquil

odokasu 脅かす frighten, startle

odorokasu 驚かす surprise

odoroku 驚く v. be surprised

odoru 踊る v. dance

oeru 終える v. finish

ogamu 拝む v. worship

oginau 補う v. compensate for

ogosokani 厳かに adv. solemnly

ohoshi 大し adj. big

ohoyake 公 adj. public

oi 甥 n. nephew

oisii 美味しい adj. delicious

oji 叔父 n. uncle

oka 丘 n. hill

okage お陰 n. favor

okasii 可笑しい adj. funny, amusing

okasu 犯す v. commit

okazu おかず n. main dishes

OKI 沖 offing. Related to oku 奥 (depth).

oko 起 v. wake Used in oki (), okosi () and okori ().

okonau 行う v. carry out

okoru 起こる v. happen

okoru 怒る v. get angry

okosu 起こす v. awaken

oku 置く v. place

oku 奥 see oki.

okureru 遅れる be late, lose time

okuru 送る see off, send, present

omedetoo おめでとう Congratulations!

omona 主な main

omoi 重い grave, heavy, serious

omomuki 趣 elegance

omosiroi 面白い funny, interesting

omote 表 street, surface

omotya おもちゃ toy

omou 思う think

onaji 同じ equal, the same

onaka お腹 stomach, belly

onna 女 woman

onoono 各 each

oogesa 大げさに exaggeratedly

ooi 多い many

ooku 多く many

ore 俺 I

oreru 折れる give in

oriru 降りる・下りる vi. descend, go down

oroka 愚か foolish

orosoka 疎か negligent

orosu 卸す・下ろす・降ろす vt. take down, unload

oru 折る v. bend, break

ori 織る v. weave

osaeru 押さえる control, hold

osamaru 収まる be settled, calm down

osameru 納める pay, govern

osanai 幼い infant

osieru 教える teach

osii 惜しい precious, regrettable

osimu 惜しむ grudge, regret

osiroi 白粉 face powder

osoi 遅い late, slow

osoraku 恐らく perhaps

osoreru 恐れる fear

osorosii 恐ろしい terrible

osou 襲う attack

osowaru 教わる learn

ossharu 仰る say (with respect)

osu 押す v. push

osu 雄 n. male

otamajakusi お玉杓子 n. tadpole. Also known as kato.

oto 音 n. sound

otoko 男 n. man

otona 大人 adult

otonasii 大人しい adj. gentle originally meant “acting like an adult”

otooto 弟 younger brother

otoroeru 衰える decline

otoru 劣る be inferior

otosu 落とす drop, lose, omit

ototoi 一昨日 the day before yesterday

ototosi 一昨年 the year before last

otto 夫 husband

ou 負う bear, owe, chase

owaru 終わる end

oya 親 parents

oyobu 及ぶ be equal, reach

oyogu 泳ぐ swim

oyoso およそ about



pattari ぱったり abruptly

pekopeko ぺこぺこ awfully hungry

pikapika ぴかぴか glitter



sabiru 錆びる rust

sabisii 寂しい lonely

sadameru 定める fix

saegiru 遮る interrupt

saezuru 囀る chirp

sagaru 下がる vi. hang down

sagasu 探す search

sageru 下げる vt. hang, lower

saguru 探る search for

SAHI kind of sword. May be same as Korean stapu.

saiwai 幸い good luck, happiness

saji 匙 spoon

SAKA 坂 slope.

SAKA, SAKE 酒 alcoholic liquor, sake.

sakaeru 栄える prosper

sakai 境 n. boundary

sakana 魚 fish. Although used to mean "fish" comes from saka na 酒菜 meaning something eaten with sake. Originally, the word for fish was iwo and later uwo or uo.

sakanoboru さかのぼる go up, trace back

sakasama 逆さま upside-down

sakazuki 杯 wine cup

sake 鮭 salmon. Loanword from the ainu shake.

sakebu 叫ぶ shout

sakeru 避ける split, avoid

SAKI 咲 bloom. Related to sakari.

SAKI 先 point

sakki さっき some time ago

saku 昨 v. 1. bloom, 2. tear

sakura 桜 n. cherry

sakuri さくり v. hiccup

SAMA 状, 態, 様 indicates a state.

samasu 覚ます cool, wake

samatageru 妨げる obstruct

samazama さまざま various

sameru 冷める become sober, fade, get cold, awake

samusi 寒し adj. cold

sanagi 蛹 n. chrysalis

sappari さっぱり at all

SARA 皿 dish, plate.

sarani 更に further

saru 去る v. leave

SARU 猿 monkey.

sasaeru 支える v. support

sasageru 捧げる v. consecrate, dedicate, offer to

sasaru 刺さる stick

SASI point to 指 or 差. Also, by extension, stab 刺.

sasou 誘う v. invite

sasu See sasi.

sasuga 流石 as might be expected

sate さて Well

sati 幸・矢 n. arrow. Derived from satu 矢 in satuya or satuwo. Same root as Korean sal (arrow).

SATO 里 place where people live.

SATORI 悟 realization. Related to satosi (wise).

sawagasii 騒がしい noisy

sawagu 騒ぐ make a noise

sawaru 触る touch

sawayaka 爽やか fresh

SAWO 竿 pole. Term for pole used to push boats.

sayuri 小百合 n. old word for lily.

seki 咳 cough

semai 狭い adj. narrow

semaru 迫る come near

semeru 攻める attack

semi 蝉 n. cicada

senaka 背中 back

sesseto せっせと diligently

shaberu 喋る chatter

shagamu しゃがむ crouch

share 洒落 joke

shi 為 v. do, carry out. This is the current suru. It is used as a part of many words.

siawase 幸せ happiness

siba 芝lawn

sibaraku 暫く for a while

sibaru 縛る bind

sibasiba 屡々 often

sibireru 痺れる be benumbed

siboru 絞る wring

sibui 渋い astringent

SIDU quiet. Root of siduka 静か (peaceful, quiet), sidumu 沈む (sink), and siduke.

siduka 静か peaceful, quiet. See sidu.

sizumu 沈む sink. See sidu.

sigeru 茂る grow thick

SIHO 汐or 潮. tide. By extension, seawater. Perhaps extended to 塩 (salt).

siiru 強いる compel

sijimi 蜆 n. small clam

sika 鹿 n. deer. In OJ, was simply ka.

sikaru 叱る scold

sikasi 然し but

sikirini 頻りに frequently

sikkari しっかり firmly

siku 敷く lay, spread

sikujiru しくじる fail

SIMA 島 island. By extension, stripe 縞,

simaru 閉まる close

simau 終う put away

simeru 閉める tighten, shut, occupy, become damp

simesu 示す show

simijimi しみじみ deeply(inside the soul)

simiru 染みる penetrate

simo 霜 frost

simo 下 adj. lower

SINA 品 step, article, item.

sippo 尻尾 tail

siraberu 調べる inquire

sirami 虱 lice. Compound of siro 白 (white) and mi (bug).

siraseru 知らせる inform

SIRI 尻 buttocks, behind.

siro 城 n. castle

SIRO 白white. Root of the adj. sirosi (白し).

siru 知る know

siru 汁 juice, soup

sirusu 記す v. mark, sign

SISI 肉 meat. Related to Korean sasam.

sisi 獅子. Loan from Chinese of the Sanskrit word for lion, sinha.

SITA 下 below, under.

SITA 舌 tongue, language.

sitagau 従う follow, obey

sitasii 親しい intimate

sitoyaka 淑やか gentle

situkosi しつこし adj. having a heavy flavor.

SIWA 皺 wrinkle.

sizuku 滴 drop

SO 其 pron., indicating distance from the speaker. Used in forms such as sore其 (that), soko 其処 (there) and sono 其の (that). Related to Korean cho.

SO, SE 背 back. Related to Korean ting.

SOBA 側 slope, side. Extended to soba 蕎 buckwheat, which was originally called sobamugi, meaning "grain that grows on slopes".

sobieru 聳える rise high

sodateru 育てる bring up, cultivate

sodatu 育つ grow up

sode 袖 sleeve. Compound of so (clothes) and te (hand).

sokkuri そっくり very similar

soko 底 n. bottom

sokonau 損なう v. damage

someru 染める dye

somuku 背く disodey, revolt

sonaeru 備える furnish, prepare

SORA 空 n. sky. [Indicates the place between ama (heaven) and tuti (earth). It was believed to be devoid of creatures, so came to have the meaning of "empty".

soroeru 揃える arrange

sorou 揃う be uniform

soru 剃る shave

sosogu 注ぐ pour

sosokkasii そそっかしい careless

soto 外 outside

sotto そっと quietly, secretly

sou そう go along

SU 酢 vinegar. Related to Korean si.

su 巣 nest

subarasii 素晴らしい splended

suberu 滑る slide

subete 全て all

sudeni 既に already

SUDI 筋 muscle.

sue 末 end

sugata 姿 figure

SUGI 杉 cedar

sugiru 過ぎる pass

sugoi 凄い terrible

sugosu 過ごす pass

SUGU 直 straight.

sugureta 優れた excellent

suji 筋 line, plot, logic

suki 空き opening

suki 好き like

sukkari すっかり entirely

sukkiri すっきり clear

sukosi 少し a few, a little

suku 空く become less full

sukunai 少ない few, little

sukuu 救う rescue, scoop

sumasu 住ます finish


SUMI 隅 corner.

SUMI 墨 charcoal, indian ink.

SUMI 住み dwell, finish, be clear.

suna 砂 n. sand

sunao 素直 obedient

sunawachi 即ち namely

SUNE lower leg.

surasura すらすら smoothly

SURI 擦 rub.

surudoi 鋭い sharp

suso 裾 skirt

SUSU 進. Used in susumi 進 advance, gain, progress.

SUTE 捨 discard, abandon.

suu 吸う breathe, sip

suwaru 座る sit

SUZU 鈴 bell.

suzume 雀 n. sparrow. The suzu likely derives from the sound of a bell, like the chirp, and the me is used for small birds.

suzusii 涼しい adj. cool


TA 手 hand. Extended to tori 取 (take).

ta 田 n. rice field

taba 束 n. bundle

taberu 食べる v. eat. Likely derived from tamawaru (to give).

TABI 度 time (as in every time)

tabi 旅 n. trip.

tada 只 common, free, only

tadatini 直ちに immediately

tadasi 但し but

tadasi 正し correct, right

tadayou 漂う drift

taeru 耐える endure

taeru 絶える v. end

tafure 倒れ v. Collapse. Transitive form is tafusi.

tagaini 互いに mutually

tagayasu 耕す till

TAGI 滝 n. waterfall. Later became taki. Same root as tagisi (激) and tagiri (滾).

TAHI 鯛 sea bass.

taira 平ら flat

taka 鷹 n. hawk

TAKA 高 tallness. Used as root for adj. takashi.

TAKA, TAKE 竹 bamboo. Older form was taka.

takara 宝 n. treasure

taki 滝 waterfall. See tagi.

tako 蛸 

taku 炊く vt. kindle

takumasii 逞しい sturdy

TAKUMI 巧 skill, plan.

takuwaeru 蓄える save, store

TAMA 玉 stone for protection. By extension, ball 球 and gem 玉, and tamasi 魂 soul.

tamago 卵 egg. Compound of tama and child.

tamani 偶に occasionally

tamaru 貯まる accumulate

tamasii 魂 soul. See tama.

tamatama たまたま by chance

tamawaru たまわる v. give, grant. Also tamou or tamau.

tambo 田んぼ rice field

tame 為 benefit, cause, purpose, reason

tameiki ため息 sigh

tamerau 躊躇う hesitate

tameru 貯める save, store

tamesu 試す try

TAMI 民 people

tamotu 保つ keep

TANA 棚 shelf

TANE 種 seed.

TANI 谷 valley

tanomosii 頼もしい reliable

tanomi 頼む entrust, request. May be a compound including nomi (pray).

TANOSI 楽し pleasant

TARE 垂れ drip.

TARI 足りる be sufficient.

TASI 足す add.

tasikana 確かな adj. accurate, reliable, certain

tasikameru 確かめる make sure, ascertain

tasukeru 助ける vt. save, help

tatakai 戦い n. fight, battle, war

tatakau 戦う vi. fight

tataku たたく beat, strike

tatami 畳 n. mat

TATAMI 畳 fold up.

tate 縦 length

tateru 立てる erect, build

TATI 達 Suffix indicating several items. May be related to til in Korean.

TATI 立 stand, be built, start, pass, cut.

tatoe 例え even if, example, proverb, similitude

tatoeru 例える compare

tatta たった only

tayasui 容易い easy

tayori 便り n. news

tayoru 頼る vt. depend on

tazuneru 訪ねる v. ask, visit

tazusawaru 携わる v. be engated in

te 手 hand. See ta.

tekubi 手首 wrist. Compound of te (hand) and kubi (neck).

TERA 寺 temple. May be related to Korean.

teri 照り v. shine. Transitive is terasi 照らし (shed light on)

ti 血 blood. See tu.

ti 千 n. thousand

tidimu 縮む vi. shrink

tigahi 違ひ differ. Compound of ti (direction) and kahi (change).

tigiru 契る vt. tear up

tihisasi 小さし adv. small

tikai 近い adj. near

tikara 力 n. power

tikahi 誓 swear. Uncertain, but could be a compound of ti (blood) and exchange

tirasu 散らす v. scatter

tiru 散る v. disperse

titi 乳 n. milk

titi 父 n. father

tittomo ちっとも at all

TO 戸 portal, door. Also do.

tobasu 飛ばす blow off, let fly, omit

TOBI 飛 fly, jump.

tobokeru とぼける v. grow senile, be stupid, joke around

tobosii 乏しい scanty

todana 戸だな cupboard

todokeru 届ける send

todoku 届く reach

TOGA crime. See also tumi, used to refer to sins.

togatta 尖った pointed

togeru 遂げる attain

togu 研ぐ whet

toi 問い question

tokasu 溶かす melt

tokeru 解ける be solved, come loose, melt

TOKI 時 time

tokoro 所 n. place

toku 説く solve, untie, explain, persuade, preach

tomaru とまる stop, stay

tombo 蜻蛉 dragonfly. See akitu.

tomeru とめる fasten, forbid, stop, lodge

TOMI 富 riches.

TOMO 供 attendant, 友 friend.

tomonau 伴う accompany

tonari 隣 next

tonikaku 兎に角 anyway

too 十 n. ten

tooge 峠 n. peak

tooi 遠い adj. far, distant, remote

tootoi 尊い noble

tora 虎 tiger

toreru 取れる catch

TORI 鳥 bird

tori 取 take. See ta.

TOSI 年 harvest. By extension, age, year, time of life.

totemo とても quite, utterly

totonou 整う be in order, be ready

TU, TI 血 blood.

tuba 唾 spittle

tubaki 椿 n. camellia

tubame 燕 n. swallow

TUBASA 翼 wing

TUBO 壷 jar

tubomi 蕾 bud

TUBU 粒 grain.

tubureru 潰れる be crushed

tubusu 潰す crush

tubuyaku 呟く vi. murmur

TUDUKI 続 continue.

tue 杖 stick

tugeru 告げる tell

tugi 次 next

tugu 次ぐ join, succeed to, be next to

tuhi 遂 the end, ultimately

tuiyasu 費やす spend

TUKA pile.

tukai 使い errand, messenger

tukamaeru 捕まえる catch

tukamaru 捕まる be caught

tukareru 疲れる be tired

tukau 使う employ, spend, use

tukeru 付ける attach, pickle

TUKI 月 moon, month.

tukiru 尽きる be exhausted

tuku 着く v. arrive

tuku 突く v. thrust

tukue 机 desk

tukuru 作る build, make, produce

tukusu 尽くす make efforts

tuma 妻. See tume.

tumamu 摘む pick

tumaranai 詰まらない trifling

tumari 詰まり in short

tumaru 詰まる be full, be stopped

tumazuku 躓く stumble

TUME 爪 n. nail, claw. Originally meant the edge. Also, tuma 妻 wife or husband.

tumeru 詰める pack

tumetasi 冷たし adj. cold to the touch

TUMI 罪 sin.

tumori つもり intention

tumoru 積もる accumulate

tumu 積む heap

TUNA 綱 rope. Root of tunagi 繋 bind, be related to..

tunami 津波 n. tidal wave

tune 常 n. normal conditions. -ni, adv. always, ordinarily.


turai 辛い adj. tough

turanuku 貫く v. pierce

ture 連れ n. companion

tureru 連れる v. take along

turi 釣り n. fishing

turu 釣る fish

turu 鶴 crane. Related to Korean turumi.

turusu 吊す hang

tutaeru 伝える hand down, report

tuta 蔦 n. ivy

tutanasi 拙し adj. clumsy

tutawaru 伝わる spread

TUTI 土 earth, ground, soil.

TUTO effort. Root of tutome 勤め make efforts, serve, and tutoni.

tutu 筒 n. pipe

tutuku 突く vt. poke at

TUTUMI 包 wrap, pile up.

tuya 艶 gloss

TUYOSI 強 strong.

tuyomeru 強める strengthen

tuyu 梅雨 the rainy season.

TUYU 露 dew.

tyanto ちゃんと adj. properly

tyoodo ちょうど just

tyotto ちょっと a little bit



UBAHI 奪 deprive

UTI 内 n. inside

uchiwa 内輪 fan

ude 腕 arm

ueru 植える plant

UHA, UHE 上 surface, top, up, above, over.

ugai うがい gargling

ugokasu 動かす move

ugoku 動く move

UJI 氏 n. clan name

ukagau 伺う v. visit, ask, listen to

ukeru 受ける v. receive, suffer

UKI 浮 float.

ukkari うっかり carelessly

uma 馬 n. horse. Not original Yamato, as the horse was introduced to Japan through Korea. Bears resemblance to Chinese ma, for example.

umai 旨い delicious, skilful

umare 生まれ be born. See umi.

ume 梅 plum. This seems to be Yamato, but is actually a borrowing from Chinese.

umeru 埋める bury

UMI 海 sea

UMO 芋 potato.

umu 生む give birth to

unagi 鰻 eel

unaru 唸る groan

unazuku 頷く nod

unubore 自惚れ self-conceit

URA 裏 back, behind, inside. Derivatives include urami 恨む, urayamasii 羨ましい.

uresii 嬉しい glad

urooro うろうろ wandering around

uru 売る get, obtain, sell

urusai 五月蠅い annoying

usagi 兎 rabbit

USI 牛 bull, cow. May be related to Korean syo.

usinau 失う lose. Related to usu (thin). See asa (shallow).

usiro 後ろ back. Compound of mu (body) and siri (behind).

uso 嘘 lie

usu 薄 light. See asa (shallow).

UTA 歌 poem, song

utagau 疑う doubt

UTI 打ち beat.

utukusi 美しadj. dear, cherished. Later changed to cute, then beautiful.

uturu 移る be reflected, be taken, move

utusu 移す v. copy

utuwa 器 n. vessel

uttaeru 訴える v. appeal

uttoosii 鬱陶しい adj. oppressive

uwabami うわばみ n. python, large snake

uwasa 噂 n. rumor



WA 輪 n. ring, wheel

wabiru 詫びる apologize

WAKA 若 young.

wakasu 沸かす boil

wake 訳 circumstances, reason

WAKI 分き・別き be divided. Also 脇, side, or armpit. Root of wakare 分かれ (split from).

waku 沸く boil, gush

waku 枠 frame

wara 藁 straw

warau 笑う laugh, smile, sneer

wareru 割れる crack

ware 我 we

warini 割に comparatively

WAROSI 悪し bad.

wasureru 忘れる forget, leave

WATA 綿 cotton.

WATA 海 sea. Likely related to Korean pata.

watakusi 私 I

WATARI 渡る cross. Also watasu 渡す carry across, hand.

wazato 態と intentionally

wazawai 災い n. calamnity

wazawaza わざわざ especially

wazuka 僅か only

WI 猪 wild boar

WOSA 長 chief. Root of wosame 治め (rule) 収め (gather).

wosanasi 幼 young. From wosa (chief) nasi (not).



YA 屋 shop, house.

YA 矢 arrow

yabureru 破れる be torn

yaburu 破る beat, tear

yado 宿 gate, inn. Compound of ya 屋 (house) and do (gate).

yagate やがて soon

yahari やはり after all

yakamasii 喧しい noisy

yakan やかん kettle

yakara 族 n. family rank

yakedo 火傷 n. burn

yakeru 焼ける be burnt, be roasted, be sunburnt

yaku 焼く bake, burn

YAMA 山 n. mountain

YAMAHI 病 illness

yame 止め give up, resign, stop. See yami.

YAMI 闇 darkness

YAMI 止 stop, cease. Difference from tome is that yami is normally natural.

yanagi 柳 willow. Compound of ya (arrow) na ki (tree), from the fact that arrow shafts were made of willow.

yane 屋根 roof. Compound of ya 屋 (house) and ne (root).

YARI 槍 spear.

yaru 遣る do, send

yasasii 優しい easy:gentle

yaseru 痩せる get lean

yasiki 邸 n. mansion, residence

yasinau 養う bring up, support

yasui 安い be apt to, cheap

yasumu 休む be absent from, rest

yatou 雇う employ

yatto やっと at last, barely, with difficulty

yattu 八 eight

yawarakai 柔らかい soft

yaya やや a little

YO 夜 night

yoake 夜あけ daybreak. Compound of yo (night) and ake (brightening).

YOBI 呼び call, invite, name.

yogoreru 汚れる get dirty

yogosu 汚す stain

yohodo 代ほど pretty

yokeru 避ける avoid

YOKO 横 side, width.

yokosu 寄越す send

yome 嫁 n. daughter-in-law

YOMI 読 count, by extension, read.

yomigaeru よみがえる come to life. Compound of yomi (land of the dead) and kaeri (return).

yonaka 夜中 midnight

yorikakaru 寄りかかる v. lean against, rest on

yorodu 万 adj. ten thousand, myriads, everything

yorokobi 喜び v. be glad

yorosii 宜しい good

yoru 寄る call at, come together, due to

yoru 夜 night

yoseru 寄せる add, bring near, gather

yosi 吉 allright

yoso よそ somewhere else

yosu よす stop

yottu 四 four

you よう become seasick, drunk

yowasi 弱し adj. weak

yu 湯 hot water

YUBI 指 finger, digit

yuderu ゆでる boil

yueni 故に therefore

yuge 湯気 steam

YUHUBE evening.

YUKA 床 floor

yukata 浴衣 cotton kimono

YUKI 雪 snow.

yukkuri ゆっくり slowly

yume 夢 dream

YUMI 弓 bow.

YURE 揺 shake.

yurui 緩い loose

yurumeru 緩める loosen

yurumu 緩む loosen

yurusu 許す forgive, permit

yutaka 豊かabundant

yuu 言う say

yuube 夕べ last night

yuudachi 夕立 shower

yuugata 夕方 evening

yuuhi 夕日 setting sun

yuuyake 夕やけ evening glow

yuzuru 譲る concede, transfer



zatto ざっと about, roughly

zehi 是非 right and wrong, by all means

zoori 草履 Japanese sandals

zu —ず verb suffix indicating negation.

zureru ずれる slip

zurui 狡い sly

zutto ずっと very, all the way

Proper Names


akitusima 秋津島 n. Old name for Japan

Words that aren’t old Japanese

Buta (pig) This is from the middle ages, probably derived from fatness (futosi).


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