Days of the Week in Japanese and Their Etymology [plus Pronunciation]
Knowing the days of the week in Japanese is a key part of building your core vocabulary.
Without the days of the week you would have a hard time talking about any kind of past, present or future event.
Lucky for you, this guide will help you to memorize how to spell and write the days of the week in Japanese and will provide useful resources to practice your skills.
- Days of the Week in Japanese
- More About the Japanese Days of the Week
- Other Words for Days of the Week
- And One More Thing...
Days of the Week in Japanese
月曜日 (げつようび) — Monday
In Japanese, Monday is written as 月曜日, which translates to “Moon Day” in English.
火曜日 (かようび) — Tuesday
In Japanese, Tuesday’s name is 火曜日, which means “Fire Day” in English.
Each day of the week corresponds to a celestial body, so Tuesday corresponds with Mars.
水曜日 (すいようび) — Wednesday
In Japanese, Wednesday is written as 水曜日, which means “Water Day“ in English.
The celestial body corresponding to this day is Mercury or 水星 (すいせい).
木曜日 (もくようび) — Thursday
In Japanese, Thursday is written as 木曜日, which translates to “Wood Day.”
Thursday got its Japanese name from the word 木星 (もくせい), which means Jupiter.
金曜日 (きんようび) — Friday
Friday is written as 金曜日, which appropriately means the “Gold Day.”
This beautiful name comes from the goddess Venus, 金星 (きんせい).
曜日 (どようび) — Saturday
Saturday in Japanese is 土曜日, which means “Ground Day” in English.
It got its Japanese name just like it got its English name, from Saturn, 土星 (どせい).
日曜日 (にちようび) — Sunday
Sunday is written as 日曜日, which means “Sun Day.” It’s identical to Sunday in English, it’s just in Japanese!
More About the Japanese Days of the Week
The names of the individual days in Japanese can be split into two parts.
The beginning of the word is different for each day, while the end part remains identical no matter what day of the week.
Every day ends in 曜日 (ようび), which basically means “day.”
When writing the days of the week in Japanese, it’s common to just write the first kanji, the part that describes the day.
Instead of writing out the whole word for “Monday,” 月曜日 (げつようび), you can write just 月.
If you want to learn the days of the week quickly, you can watch this video that will guide you through the pronunciation.
If you better memorize words with cute music, you can watch this video where Cyber Bunny sings the ‘Days of the Week’ song:
You can also use native content like movies, books and music to see how native speakers pronounce the days of the week.
FluentU is a great resource for this as well since it teaches you Japanese through video clips with real Japanese native speakers.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Other Words for Days of the Week
Before we part ways, check out these useful Japanese words that refer to days of the week without using their names.
一昨日 (おととい) — The day before yesterday
昨日 (きのう) — Yesterday
今日 ／ 本日 (きょう／ほんじつ) — Today
明日 (あした／あす) — Tomorrow
明後日 (あさって) — The day after tomorrow
先週 (せんしゅう) — Last week
今週 (こんしゅう) — This week
来週 (らいしゅう) — Next week
From meeting dates, to vacation, to birthdays, now you can communicate using the Japanese days of the week!
And One More Thing...
If you love learning Japanese with authentic materials, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.
FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You'll learn real Japanese as it's spoken in real life.
FluentU has a broad range of contemporary videos as you'll see below:
FluentU makes these native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Japanese learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.
The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)