body-parts-in-japanese

40 Words for Body Parts in Japanese to Drill into Your Head

There’s one thing people around the world will always have in common—we all have fleshy, squishy mammalian bodies.

Isn’t that connection beautiful?

That being said, we also talk about those bodies constantly, no matter where we’re from.

We talk about sickness, health, beauty, ugliness and everything in between. We express our feelings about our bodies and share intimate details about our exercise routines and diets. We ask each other how we’re feeling as a common greeting.

We even use our bodies to physically greet each other, and that pretty much transcends language and culture. Something as common as a gesture would be impossible without our strange and lovely bodies.

Since our bodies are so important to us, it’s also important to learn the proper words to talk about them. That means Japanese learners will need to learn a thing or two about body vocabulary.

Let’s break down exactly why every Japanese learner should fill up on body-related vocabulary words, then get to know 40 essential words for body parts in Japanese.
 


 
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Why Should I Learn Different Body Part Words in Japanese?

If our intro didn’t convince you yet, here are some more reasons why body parts should be in every Japanese learner’s vocabulary arsenal.

  • We describe parts of our body often. Think about it! We talk about our bodies when something hurts (“I have a stomach-ache”), when we’re feeling good (“I have butterflies in my stomach!”), when we’re feeling sick (“…Ugh. My stomach.”) and everything in between.

We talk about what our body’s doing and what it feels like… a lot. That’s why knowing the body parts in Japanese will help you in your everyday life!

  • Bulking up your vocabulary knowledge will get you closer to fluency in Japanese. And like we said, these are definitely terms worth knowing.
  • Challenging words involving body parts often show up in JLPT exams. If you plan on taking any level of the Japanese Proficiency test, there’s a chance that some of these words will pop up.
  • If you want to study abroad in Japan for a medical field, knowing the lingo in Japanese will make your life a bit easier. College students who are studying to become doctors or nurses will need to know some terminology.

Moving to Japan for another reason? It’s still good to know how to explain an emergency medical situation to someone, such as a broken leg or another injury that requires medical attention as soon as possible.

40 Japanese Body Part Vocabulary Words

body-parts-in-japanese

Having trouble remembering all these words? Want to hear them actually being used in conversation? Check out FluentU!

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in Japanese the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary.

To keep it authentic, we’ve included an example sentence for each word, as well as a few culturally relevant fun (and some not-so-fun) facts. Put your hands together for Japanese body part words!

Body Parts in Japanese

1. 顔 (かお) — Face

彼女のは美しい。(かのじょ の かお は うつくしい。) — Her face is beautiful.

2. 髪 (かみ) — Hair

Fun fact: Hair and wigs have a substantial role in Japanese pop culture.

私のはとても長いです。(わたし の かみ は とても ながい です。) — My hair is very long.

3. 頭 (あたま) — Head

その赤ちゃんのは大きい。(その あかちゃん の あたま は おおきい。) — That baby has a huge head.

4. 足 (あし) — Foot or leg

クモは八本あります。(くも は あし が はっぽん あります。) — Spiders have eight legs.

5. 鼻 (はな) — Nose

Fun fact: In a lot of anime and manga, front-facing characters don’t have any nostrils.

は匂うために使われます。(はな は におう ため に つかわれます。) — The nose is used for smell.

6. 口 (くち) — Mouth

あなたのは大きい!(あなた の くち は おおきい!) — You have a big mouth!

7. 唇 (くちびる) — Lips

アンジェリーナ・ジョリーのは厚い。(あんじぇりーな・じょりー の くちびる は あつい。) — Angelina Jolie has big lips.

8. 歯 (は) — Teeth

ついに彼女は子供のが抜けた。(ついに かのじょ は こども の  が ぬけた。) — She finally lost her baby teeth.

9. 指 (ゆび) — Finger

人間には十本のがあります。(にんげん には じゅっぽん の ゆび が あります。) — Humans have 10 fingers.

10. 舌 (した) — Tongue

牛のはそれほど不味くない!(うし の した は それ ほど まずく ない!) — Cow’s tongue is not that bad!

11. 耳 (みみ) — Ear

鳴りがしている。(みみなり が している。) — My ears are ringing.

12. 額 (ひたい) — Forehead

あなたのは熱いです。熱がありますか?(あなた の ひたい は あつい です。ねつ が あります か?) — Your forehead is warm. Do you have a fever?

13. 眉 (まゆ) — Eyebrow

あなたはを動かせますか?(あなた は まゆ を うごかせます か?) — Can you wiggle your eyebrows?

14. 目 (め) — Eye

は心の窓です。( は こころ の まど です。) — The eyes are the window to the soul.

15. 胸 (むね) — Chest

が重苦しい感じがする。(むね が おもくるしい かんじ が する。) — My chest feels heavy.

16. 腹 (はら)/お腹 (おなか) — Gut or stomach

お腹が痛い。(おなか が いたい。) — My stomach hurts.

17. 腰 (こし) — Waist or hips

彼女はが悪いです。(かのじょ は こし が わるい です。) — She has a hip problem.

18. 太股 (ふともも) — Thigh

彼の太腿はとても太い。(かれ の ふともも は とても ふとい。) — His thighs are very thick.

19. 膝 (ひざ) — Knee

がガクガクする。(ひざ が がくがく する。) — My knees tremble.

20. 背中 (せなか) — Back

背中が痒い。(せなか が かゆい。) — My back itches.

21. 首 (くび) — Neck

Fun fact: The neck was traditionally seen as a very erotic body part in Japan, mostly because it was the only body part (other than the face and hands) left uncovered by a kimono.

ろくろはとても長い。(ろくろ くび の くび は とても ながい。) — Rokurokubi have very long necks.

22. 腕 (うで) — Arm

あなたのは短い。(あなた の うで は みじかい。) — You have short arms.

23. 肘 (ひじ) — Elbow

テニスは厄介だ!(てにす ひじ は やっかい だ!) — Tennis elbow is such a pain!

24. 手 (て) — Hand

が冷たい。( が つめたい。) — My hands are cold.

Other Body Words

25. 体 (からだ) — The body

私のは健康です。(わたし の からだ は けんこう です。) — I have a healthy body.

26. 骨 (ほね) — Bones

Morbid fact: 骨上げ (こつあげ) — kotsuage is the act of picking bones out of a cremation chamber with chopsticks.

にはカルシウムが必要です。(ほね に は かるしうむ が ひつよう です。) — Your bones need calcium.

27. 血管 (けっかん) — Blood vessels

血管は器官に血液を運ぶ。(けっかん は きかん に けつえき を はこぶ。) — Blood vessels carry blood to the organs.

28. 脂肪 (しぼう) — Fat cells

脂肪は高コレステロールを引き起こす可能性があります。(しぼう は こう これすとろーる を ひきおこす かのうせい が あります。) — Fat cells can cause high cholesterol.

29. 筋肉 (きんにく) — Muscle

Kind-of-gross fact: Japan currently holds the world record for the longest skewer of meat.

彼の筋肉は大きい。(かれ の きんにく は おおきい。) — He has big muscles.

30. 肌 (はだ) — Skin

あなたのはとても綺麗です。(あなた の はだ は とても きれい です。) — Your skin is flawless.

Organs

31. 肺 (はい) — Lung

ヘビは大きなと小さなを持っています。(へび は おおきな はい と ちいさな はい を もって います。) — Snakes have a big lung and a small lung.

32. 胆嚢 (たんのう) — Gallbladder

胆嚢癌は日本人に多い。(たんのう がん は にほんじん に おおい。) — Many Japanese people have gallbladder cancer.

33. 膵臓 (すいぞう) — Pancreas

膵臓は血糖を調節します。(すいぞう は けっとう を ちょうせつ します。) — The pancreas regulates blood sugar.

34. 脳 (のう) — Brain

Fun fact: Japanese doctors discovered that regular “brain exercise” like art, writing, reading, games and arithmetic, is considered a fantastic treatment for adults with dementia and other brain disorders.

Many other countries are now using this same treatment in hospitals and assisted living facilities. The brain is pretty amazing!

クラゲにはがありません。(くらげ に は のう が ありません。) — Jellyfish do not have a brain.

35. 肝臓 (かんぞう) — Liver

肝臓はタンパク質を作ります。(かんぞう は たんぱくしつ を つくります。) — The liver creates proteins.

36. 腎臓 (じんぞう) — Kidneys

Not-so-fun fact: Kidney transplants, as well as most other types of organ transplants, are actually very difficult to get in Japan because of religious and political roadblocks.

私は新しい腎臓が必要です。(わたし は あたらしい じんぞう が ひつよう です。) — I need a new kidney.

37. 腸 (ちょう) — Intestines

はとても長い。(しょうちょう は とても ながい。) — The small intestine is very long.

38. 虫垂 (ちゅうすい) — The appendix

人間の虫垂は役に立たない。(にんげん の ちゅうすい は やく に たたない。) — The human appendix is useless.

39. 心臓 (しんぞう) — Heart

心臓の病気があります。(しんぞう の びょうき が あります。) — I have a heart disease.

40. 胃 (い) — Stomach

胃の調子が良くない。( の ちょうし が よくない。) — My stomach is not well.

 

That’s quite a lot of body words!

While terms like “the appendix” and “blood vessels” may not come up consistently at your host family’s dinner table, you might need to know some of these words in the future for medical reasons, especially if you plan on living in Japan.

So learn them all, or pick and choose the ones you’re most likely to need to know. However you use this list, good luck and happy studying!


Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.

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