Learning the Japanese days of the week can help with everything from booking reservations to setting up job interviews.

The days of the week in Japanese are also learned from Monday to Sunday, just like in English.

Additionally, each day’s name concludes in -youbi or -yōbi, depending on your romaji choices, precisely like each day of the week does (hiragana: ようび , kanji: 曜日).

Of course, “-youbi” is short for “day” (about the weekday). The “yoh” sound, as in “yo-yo,” is emphasised, but the “bee” sound, as in “bumble bee,” is not. This means that the first word in each name determines the order of the days of the week.

The initial portion of each day’s name in Japanese has a meaning and associated kanji that is simple to recall.

When first starting with Japanese, it can be challenging to feel like you can tackle everything at once.

The Seven Days Of The Week In Japanese

You wouldn’t believe how often people talk about it. You can book a table at a famous Japanese eatery or arrange to meet up with pals in Japan. You may need to confirm the time and place of an upcoming business meeting or reserve a hotel room. In these instances, knowing how to say the days of the week in Japanese is crucial.

The days of the week are written in Japanese hiragana for those of you who only know kana:

  • Sunday: にちようび, Nichiyoubi
  • Monday: げつようび, Getsuyoubi
  • Tuesday: かようび, Kayoubi
  • Wednesday: すいようび, Suiyoubi
  • Thursday: もくようび, Mokuyoubi
  • Friday: きんようび, Kinyoubi
  • Saturday: どようび, Doyoubi

But also, the days of the week are often abbreviated (like in English) to just 日, 月, 火, 水, 木, 金, and 土. That’s because the kanji 曜日 (youbi) means “day of the week” with the same ending every day.

  • Sunday 日曜日 Nichiyoubi
  • Monday 月曜日 Getsuyoubi
  • Tuesday 火曜日 Kayoubi
  • Wednesday 水曜日 Suiyoubi
  • Thursday 木曜日 Mokuyoubi
  • Friday 金曜日 Kinyoubi
  • Saturday 土曜日 Doyoubi

Days of the Week in Japanese

These words are pure kanji, which can be intimidating for a beginner to Japanese. Writing the kanji for 曜日 -youbi (especially by hand) is challenging, so you should start by practising the first kanji and then writing -youbi in hiragana.

However, there is a simple memory trick that Japanese students employ to remember the initial character for each day of the week. Japanese schools teach these mnemonics to assist elementary school pupils in memorise the kanji characters early on. Each day of the week has an element of nature that fits its kanji character.

“Sunday” in Japanese: 日曜日 – Literally a Sun Day

Look at the kanji breakdown of 日曜日 (nichiyoubi):

日: ni, “sun” 曜: you, “day of the week” 日: bi, “day.”

The kanji 日 means “sun” and “day” and can be read in various ways. However, the fact that these kanji can be translated as “Sun Day” is literal. Sunday.

The names of the days of the week in many languages originate in astronomy and mythology. So if you remember 日 means “sun”, then you can remember 日曜日 means “Sunday”, like English.

“Monday” in Japanese: 月曜日 – The Moon Follows the Sun

月曜日 (getsuyoubi) starts with the character 月 (getsu, tsuki, among other readings). It means “moon”. Imagine Monday morning after Sunday night, just like the moon does when the sun goes down.

“Tuesday” in Japanese: 火曜日 – A Fiery Day

The 火 in 火曜日 (kayoubi) means “fire”. But it’s also associated with the planet Mars 火星 (kasei).

The Norse god, Tyr, was the god of war, and the English word “Tuesday” comes from him. He’s the Norse equivalent of Mars, the Roman god of war.

You’ll need to do some extra mental gymnastics to make the connection here: Tuesday → Tyr → Mars → 火星 (kasei) → 火曜日 (kayoubi).

“Wednesday” in Japanese: 水曜日 – The Wave’s Crest

水曜日 (suiyoubi) uses the character 水 (sui, mizu), which means “water”. 

Wednesday could be the cool drink of water you need after Tuesday’s fire. If that doesn’t do it for you, try picturing the crest of a wave on Wednesday to remember the word suiyoubi. After you pass that point of rapid water, the rest of the journey will be relatively easy.

“Thursday” in Japanese: 木曜日 – A Tree in the Week

The kanji 木 (moku) for “wood” or “tree”. Imagine that the water from Wednesday nourished a tree that, by Thursday, had grown into a magnificent one. Looking at the kanji 木 could help; if it doesn’t stick in your mind, it resembles a tree stripped of its leaves, with bare limbs extending outward from its massive trunk.

“Friday” in Japanese: 金曜日 – A Golden Day Before the Weekend

Fridays are the best because everyone gets to relax. A weekend filled with adventure is quickly approaching. 

Perhaps this is why the initial character of Kinyoubi is the kanji for “gold” or “money”: 金

Either think about how much money you’ll be spending this Friday night after work to celebrate the end of the work week, or consider how much you love Friday more than any other day of the week.

“Saturday” in Japanese: 土曜日– The Earth is Yours

It’s Saturday at long last! Saturday’s first kanji character, 土 (do), denotes “soil” or “earth” in Japanese.

You can recall this information by associating it with gardening or other leisure activities. Another interpretation of “earth” is that all pleasures in the universe are yours to discover on Saturday.

You may have noticed that the days of the week correspond to the element in nature.

  • 日: sun
  • 月: moon
  • 火: fire
  • 水: water
  • 木: wood
  • 金: gold/metal
  • 土: earth

Maybe, all you need to do is make a visual connection. Seriously. These are great for playing with and discovering new avenues of interest. You can become all nerdy and stuff, of course. It’s up to you to figure out what to do.

Tips On Remembering The Japanese Days Of The Week

To quickly memorise the days of the week in Japanese, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Mnemonic Device Relying on the Initial Letter of Each Day’s
  2. Get familiar with the pattern: element + day.
  3. Keep the Kanji in mind. Kanji is commonly used to represent the days of the week.
  4. When you’re comfortable with the days of the week in their usual arrangement, try saying them backwards.
  5. Once you’ve mastered the reverse method and feel comfortable, try stating the days in a random order (but still remember which day you’re saying!)
  6. Learn the Hiragana and Kanji scripts and give yourself a challenge!
  7. Using flashcards is an effective strategy for memorising large amounts of information. If utilised correctly, they can be the most effective method for learning material by heart.
  8. Changing your app or phone’s settings can also increase the frequency you encounter some simple and valuable terms, making learning and remembering them more accessible. If you set your phone’s lock screen to display the Japanese name of the day, you’ll be checking the date and booking meetings in Japanese without even realising it.

Weekday-Related Words That Can Be Very Helpful

Not only is it essential to know the days of the week in Japanese, but you’ll also frequently run across these words in regular conversation.

General:

  • Day: 日 (hi)
  • Days: 日々 (hibi)
  • Week: 週間 (shuukan)
  • Weekend: 週末 (shuumatsu)
  • Month: 月 (getsu)
  • Year: 年 (toshi, nen)

Days:

  • Today: 今日 (kyou)
  • Tomorrow: 明日 (Ashita)
  • Yesterday: 昨日 (kinou)
  • The day before yesterday: 一昨日 (ototoi)
  • The day after tomorrow: 明後日 (asatte)
  • Everyday: 毎日 (mainichi)
  • Three days ago: 三日前 (mikkamae)
  • The other day: 先の日 (saki no hi) or 先日 (senjitsu)

Weeks:

  • This week: 今週 (konshuu)
  • Last week: 先週 (senshuu)
  • Next week: 来週 (raishuu)
  • The week after next: 再来週 (saraishuu)
  • Every week: 毎週 (maishuu)
  • Every weekend: 毎週末 (maishuumatsu)
  • A week ago: 一週間前 (isshuukan mae)
  • 3 weeks later: 三週間後 (sanshuukan go)

You can see some repeating patterns here. For instance:

  • 先 (sen or saki) means “previous”
  • 今 (ima or kon) means “now” or “current.”
  • 来 (rai) means “coming.”
  • 後 (ato or go) means “after.”
  • 前 (mae) means “before.”

Knowing these kanji will allow you to accurately gauge the present, past, and future.

By the way, the Japanese word for “days”, 日々, is more lyrical and conveys the connotation of “day after day” than it does in English. You would typically use “day” (日) in Japanese to indicate the number of days.

Using The Days Of The Week In A Sentence

In Japanese, words that indicate time, location, or the intended course of action are prefixed with the particle に (ni). As a result, the particle ni will nearly always come after the days of the week. To say, “On Friday, I went to a concert,” you would say “金曜日にライブへ行きました” (Kinyoubi ni raibu e ikimashita).

However, if the day of the week is the subject or topic of the sentence, the subject marker が (ga) or the topic marker は (wa) will take precedence. The same expression in Japanese, using the concert as an example, would be “Friday is the day of the concert,” or “金曜日がライブの日です” (Kinyoubi ga raibu no hi desu).

In addition, the possessive form of a day requires the の (no) particle. A statement such as, “That concert on Friday was fantastic!” would be translated to “金曜日のライブはすごかった!” It’s time to end this (Kinyoubi no raibu wa sugokatta!).

But native speakers often drop the endings from words for days of the week and other words related to dates. You could still be suitable if you said, “金曜日, ライブへ行きました” “Kinyoubi, raibu e ikimashita.”

Here are a few more lines that use this rule to help you remember it.

  • Tuesday’s lunch is always spaghetti. 火曜日のランチはかならずパスタです. Kayoubi no ranchi wa kanarazu pasta desu.
  • I have a test on Friday. 金曜日に試験があります. Kinyoubi ni shaken ga arimasu.
  • Tomorrow is my birthday. 明日が私の誕生日です. Ashita ga watashi no tanjoubi desu.
  • We’re going to my aunt’s house next week. 来週, うちのおばさんの家に行きます. Raishuu, uchi no obsa-san no ie ni ikimasu.
  • I have a date on Monday. 月曜日にデートがあります. Getsuyoubi ni deeto ga arimasu.

It should be much easier to memorise the days of the week in Japanese now. You now have the tools necessary to create a workable timetable or calendar. Doing so is an excellent opportunity to put your new knowledge into practise. Try planning your week in Japanese by writing the days of the week. Using Japanese characters, try reading a clock and a calendar. Use Japanese dates when writing in your journal. You can use the new vocabulary you’ve picked up in this post to arrange your next session with your online tutor.

More and more practise will make it simpler. Don’t sit on your newfound knowledge of Japanese any longer; practise!

Conclusion

There are several situations in which knowing the days of the week in Japanese might be useful, including making bookings and attending job interviews. Learning the days of the week begins on Monday and continues through Sunday; depending on the romaji used, each day’s name ends in -youbi or -ybi. The names of the days of the week are arranged according to the initial word in each name.

Nowadays, everything is written in hiragana, which can be difficult for newcomers to the language. Japanese pupils, however, use a simple memory trick to learn the first character of each day of the week. Elementary school students are given these mnemonics to aid them in learning the kanji characters.

Subject marker (ga) or topic marker (wa) takes priority when the day of the week is the subject or topic of the sentence. A day’s possessive form begins with the (no) particle.

It’s far less of a challenge to memorise the days of the week in Japanese than it is in English. A practical schedule or calendar may be made, fresh information can be applied, and new words can be used to schedule the next online tutoring session.

Content Summary

  • Learning the Japanese days of the week can help with everything from booking reservations to setting up job interviews.
  • The days of the week in Japanese are also learned from Monday to Sunday, just like in English.
  • Additionally, each day’s name concludes in -youbi or -yōbi, depending on your romaji choices, precisely like each day of the week does (hiragana: ようび , kanji: 曜日).
  • The “yoh” sound, as in “yo-yo,” is emphasised, but the “bee” sound, as in “bumble bee,” is not.
  • This means that the first word in each name determines the order of the days of the week.
  • The initial portion of each day’s name in Japanese has a meaning and associated kanji that is simple to recall.
  • When first starting with Japanese, it can be challenging to feel like you can tackle everything at once.
  • You can book a table at a famous Japanese eatery or arrange to meet up with pals in Japan.
  • You may need to confirm the time and place of an upcoming business meeting or reserve a hotel room.
  • In these instances, knowing how to say the days of the week in Japanese is crucial.
  • The kanji 日 means “sun” and “day” and can be read in various ways.
  • However, the fact that these kanji can be translated as “Sun Day” is literal.
  • The names of the days of the week in many languages originate in astronomy and mythology.
  • Imagine Monday morning after Sunday night, just like the moon does when the sun goes down.
  • Either think about how much money you’ll be spending this Friday night after work to celebrate the end of the work week, or consider how much you love Friday more than any other day of the week.
  • Saturday’s first kanji character, 土 (do), denotes “soil” or “earth” in Japanese.
  • You can recall this information by associating it with gardening or other leisure activities.
  • Another interpretation of “earth” is that all pleasures in the universe are yours to discover on Saturday.
  • You may have noticed that the days of the week correspond to the element in nature.
  • These are great for playing with and discovering new avenues of interest.
  • Get familiar with the pattern: element + day.
  • Keep the Kanji in mind.
  • Kanji is commonly used to represent the days of the week.
  • When you’re comfortable with the days of the week in their usual arrangement, try saying them backwards.
  • Once you’ve mastered the reverse method and feel comfortable, try stating the days in a random order (but still remember which day you’re saying!)
  • Knowing these kanji will allow you to accurately gauge the present, past, and future.
  • By the way, the Japanese word for “days”, 日々, is more lyrical and conveys the connotation of “day after day” than it does in English.
  • You would typically use “day” (日) in Japanese to indicate the number of days.
  • In Japanese, words that indicate time, location, or the intended course of action are prefixed with the particle に (ni).
  • But native speakers often drop the endings from words for days of the week and other words related to dates.
  • It should be much easier to memorise the days of the week in Japanese now.

FAQs

Do Japanese use kanji every day?

Only about 2,000 kanji are utilised in daily life. In addition to kanji, the Japanese language also uses two syllabaries, hiragana and katakana (or kana), each of which consists of 46 characters used to represent the whole range of sounds found in Japanese.

How do I write the day of the week in Japanese?

Typically, only the initial kanji indicates the day of the week in ordinary Japanese. Therefore, the Kanji character 月 can be used for Monday instead of the more formal 月曜日 (getsuyoubi).

Do Japanese work seven days a week?

The standard work week consists of 5 (or 6) days, each consisting of 7 or 8 hours (9 am9 am to 5 pm5 pm or six pm6 pm). Many employees, however, stay at the workplace until well past standard closing time, often until 9 or 10 pm10 pm.

What Is The First Day Of The Week In Japanese?

Sunday, or Nichiyoubi (Sunday) in Japanese.

Is Sunday A Day Off In Japan?

In Japan, “Weekdays” are Monday through Friday, while weekends are considered holidays.

How Long Is A School Day In Japan?

Typically, students need to be in class by 8:45 am8:45 am. They must attend classes Monday through Friday for roughly six and a half hours until 3:15 pm3:15 pm. However, most students also participate in extracurricular activities like clubs and juku (cram school) to advance academically.

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