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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

Learn the Japanese Days of the Week
By:James Penman

Learning the Japanese words for things we see and use everyday is a great way to get into learning Japanese.

Early Japanese society revolved around nature, agriculture and religion so naturally many references to these can be found in Japanese words. Many other languages, including English, also contain words from the distant past so we can often find common links that can help us learn and remember Japanese words.

Take for example the Japanese names for days of the week. In Japanese, all of these words relate to things that can be found in nature and were considered important in peoples’ lives in the distant past. The key words are the Japanese words for sun, moon, fire, water, wood, earth, gold and earth.

Sunday is the Sun’s day, just like in English, The Japanese word for sun is “nichi”.
Monday, similarly, is the Moon’s day. The Japanese word for moon is “getsu”.
Tuesday is fire day. The Japanese word for fire is “ka”.
Wednesday is water day. The Japanese word for water is “sui”.
Thursday is wood day. The Japanese word for wood is “moku”.
Friday is the golden day. The Japanese word for gold is “kin”.
Saturday is earth day. The Japanese word for earth is “dou”.

In English each day’s name ends in “day”. Japanese day names also have the same ending - “youbi”. Youbi means "day" of the week.

So here’s our complete list of Japanese days of the week:

Sunday - Nichi-youbi
Monday - Getsu-youbi
Tuesday - Ka-youbi
Wednesday - Sui-youbi
Thursday: Moku-youbi
Friday - Kin-youbi
Saturday - Dou-youbi

James Penman

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