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1000+ Japanese Words List

Posted by on March 12, 2009 in Japanese words | 75 comments


A few days a go I made a post with some common Japanese words that you could use in situations for traveling and basic communication. Writing that post reminded me of a list of vocab/ kanji words I had put together a few years ago. After a little bit of searching I was able to find the list and have included it at the bottom of the post for anyone to download. It is a collection of words from the Japanese textbooks I had used when I was a study abroad student in Japan. The list contains nearly 1300 Japanese words with kanji, hiragana, and English readings.

The Japanese words on this list are in the order that they appeared in the text. The text books were generally in order of easier common words to more difficult words. However, the fact still remains they came from a text book and there will be words you should probably skip or at least put off to a later study date.  Since some of them will not be that important (for instance, if you are just learning Japanese then you probable don’t need to learn “Shinai” (bamboo sword) right away) I recommend that you go through the list and mark off uncommon and rarely used words.

Removing the rare and unused words will save you a lot of wasted time on learning Japanese words that you will never use. I have left the list complete, but most people will benefit by eliminating some of the words from their study. You can find a better explanation on learning Japanese words in this article on How to Learn Japanese Words.

To download the file, right click the below link and choose “save link as”or “save file as”.

Japanese words list


First 20 entries in the Japanese words list:

漢字 Pronunciation Meaning
歴史 れきし History
文学 ぶんがく Literature
国際関係 こくさいかんけい International relations
奨学金 しょうがくきん Scholarship
図書室 としょしつ Library room
作文 さくぶん composition/essay
事務所 じむしょ Office
お昼 おひる Noon
あさ Morning
今朝 けさ This morning
夕べ ゆうべ Last night
横浜 よこはま Place name
箱根 はこね Place name
漢字 かんじ Chinese character
雑誌 ざっし Magazine
ばん Evening
よる Night
遊ぶ あそぶ Play
勉強 べんきょう Study
剣道 けんどう Kendo

This was something I made a few years ago, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you find any errors.



  1. avatar

    please if you can can you print these words in japanese minden wado kai karate thanks

  2. avatar

    I am very much interested in learning japneese language

    so kindly help us to learn japneeses words list

  3. avatar

    Hey, how do you say ‘Short Stories’ in Japanese? I can’t read the japanese characters, and was hoping you could maybe write it out in enlish letters so that I could understand them

  4. avatar

    Short story is “tanpen Shousetsu”.

  5. avatar

    i am marcus jetson… i am currently trying to learn japanese from the web…i have created a host of study aids for anyone else,that is serious about learning japanese…hit me on my email and ill send u movies to help u learn hiragana,as well as some very useful word” documents.

    ill be available at [email protected]

  6. avatar

    Marcus, let me know what aids you have gathered. Maybe there is a way I can offer them as downloads from the site. All credit will go to you of course.

  7. avatar

    hey, what is the Japanese term for i love you?

  8. avatar

    do you know what is the difference between sumimasen and gomen nasai?

    your blog is really interesting.: )

  9. avatar

    Love you is 愛してる aishiteru, but it is not that commonly said in Japan.

  10. avatar

    Can i know how the word “emotional” in Japanese?

  11. avatar

    can i know the japanese of the word “emotional” ?

  12. avatar

    how do you say Thanks for the add or Thank you to all who greeted me? =)

  13. avatar

    hi im mean iwant to learn about japanese word..

  14. avatar

    This things is helpfull arigatou gozaimasu!!!

  15. avatar

    please send the katakana words to my mail id iam very much intrest to learn the japanese language

  16. avatar

    Jaylyn, heres the japanese word for thanks for the add アドありがとう

  17. avatar

    Please any one help me to learn japanese language. If u have any document plz send [email protected]

  18. avatar

    Hey, can anyone tell me how to write “CAPABLE” in “KANJI”..it’ll reall mean a lot guys! Thnak you! 🙂

  19. avatar

    Wow learning Japanese is a total challenge for but now I’m getting better now when I watch the video…. AWESOME

  20. avatar


    I’m just wondering what you all find is the best way to pick up Japanese. With so many other languages I try learning sentences and I never remember them as I don’t know what the induvidual bits mean. So with Japanese I’m going back to basics and just trying to learn as many induvidual words as possible, like you do when your a kid and then move on to structuring sentences. Does anyone else find this is a good way?

  21. avatar

    I can’t understand those characters, could you add some audio for listening on how to pronounce those words.

  22. avatar

    I’m glad you’ve provided a wordlist of a nice length with these common words, but it’s incomplete. I don’t mean incomplete in the sense that there should be more words, but incomplete in the sense that there is insufficient information about the words. At one point you say “scholarship,” and that’s it. Is this scholarship meaning a sum of money granted to be able to attend a school, or knowledge and good study habits? There are many other examples of English definitions that just aren’t clear for a beginner like myself.

  23. avatar

    Hi エリク、

    Sorry if some of these are confusing. Scholarship is referring to money you would get to attend school. This was a list I had made a long time ago when I was a student in college. Use jisho.org or imiwa on iphone if you have any questions.

  24. avatar

    konnichiwa minna..watashi wa conelyn desu….:D and I am very much happy learning nihonggo..and I also want to learn writing in hiragana, katakana and kanji.

  25. avatar

    im nice to know how speak in japanese

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