Home Japanese Language Colours in Japanese – What They Are and Learn how to Say Them

Colours in Japanese – What They Are and Learn how to Say Them

Colours in Japanese – What They Are and Learn how to Say Them


an image of colorful cupkaes

If you wish to convey some life and vigor into your on a regular basis speech, realizing Japanese coloration phrases can assist you do this. 

Learn on to discover ways to title main, secondary and fundamental colours in addition to colours primarily based on objects and overseas phrases. You’ll additionally discover ways to use these phrases in Japanese. 


Crimson — Aka — (あか)

赤 is a noun (“the colour pink”), the adjective for pink alternatively is 赤い — akai — (あかい).

赤 is the commonest phrase for “pink,” encompassing a variety of hues and shades, whereas — kurenai — (くれない) is a deep, ruddy pink, just like the leaves that fall within the autumn or darkish pink pickled ginger, or 紅ショウガ — beni shouga— (べにしょうが).

Extra Vocabulary:

Autumn leaves, pink and brown leaves – Kouyou – 紅葉 (こうよう) 

Maroon — Maruun — マルーン (まるーん)

Shrimp or prawn   Ebi – 海老 (えび) this coloration refers to ruddy, darkish prawns, versus brilliant pink shrimp.

Blue — Ao — (あお)

One other means of claiming blue is 青い — aoi — (あおい). 

Blue and inexperienced have an attention-grabbing historical past. Principally, 緑 initially referred to a kind of plant shoot, not a coloration. It was solely after WWII that academic supplies started labeling “inexperienced” as 緑 and “blue” as 青い. Earlier than then, 青い was used solely to imply something on the blue-green spectrum.

The only distinction now’s that non-living objects* which might be fully inexperienced (inexperienced books, inexperienced garments, lime inexperienced automobiles) are 緑, and anything that’s barely blue, or alive (or natural), is 青い.

E.g., “inexperienced apples” are 青林檎 — aoringo — (あおりんご) and “inexperienced peas” are 青豆 — aomame — (あおまめ).

*Japanese site visitors lights are 青信号 — aoshingou — (あおしんごう), not 緑信号 — midorishingou — (みどりしんごう).

Extra Vocabulary:

Sky blue — Sorairo — 空色 (そらいろ)

Navy blue — Kon —  (こん)

Bluish white, pale Aojiroi – 青白い (あおじろい)

Yellow — Kiiro — 黄色 (きいろ)

Different methods of claiming yellow embody 黄色い — kiiroi — (きいろい)、黄色な — kīrona — (きいろな). 

Extra Vocabulary:

To show yellow with age (like paper or tooth) – Kibamu – 黄ばむ (きばむ) 

Pale yellow, mild yellow – Tanoushoku – 淡黄色 (たんおうしょく)

Greenish yellow – Ryokuoushoku – 緑黄色 (りょくおうしょく)

Chartreuse, pea inexperienced, yellow-green – Kimidori – 黄緑 (きみどり)

Egg yolks – Ranou – 卵黄 (らんおう)

Amber — Kohakuiro — 琥珀色 (こはくいろ)

Purple — Murasaki — (むらさき)

One other means of claiming purple is パープル — pāpuru — (ぱーぷる). 

Extra Vocabulary:

Lavender — Rabendaa — ラベンダー (らべんだー)

Ultraviolet rays – Shigaisen – 紫外線 (しがいせん)

Hydrangea – Ajisai – 紫陽花 (あじさい) 

Mauve – Fujiiro – 藤色 (ふじいろ) 

Inexperienced — Midori — (みどり)

緑 is a noun that you should utilize as an adjective by inserting the particle の (of) after the colour. E.g., 緑の本 — midorinohon — (みどりの ほん — the inexperienced guide).

Extra Vocabulary:

Japanese inexperienced tea – Ryokucha – 緑茶 (りょくちゃ)

Orange — Orenjiiro — オレンジ色 (おれんじいろ)

For instance, each the colour and the fruit “orange” are オレンジ — orenji — (おれんじ), clearly taken from English. 

White — Shiro — (しろ)

Extra Vocabulary:

Clean paper, white paper — Hakushi — 白紙 (はくし) 

White board, dry erase board — Hakuban — 白板 (はくばん)

Swan — Hakuchou — 白鳥 (はくちょう)

Egg whites — Ranpaku — 卵白 (らんぱく)

Ivory — Zougeiro — 象牙色 (ぞうげいろ)

Black — Kuro — (くろ)

Extra Vocabulary:

Pitch black, deep black — Makkuro真っ黒 (まっくろ)

Darkish, blackish— Kuroppoi — 黒っぽい (くろっぽい)

Blackboard, chalkboard — Kokuban —黒板 (こくばん)

Black tea— Koucha — 紅茶 (こうちゃ)

Pink — Pinku — ピンク

Extra Vocabulary:

Pink — Momoiro — 桃色 (ももいろ)

Cherry blossom — Sakurairo — 桜色 (さくらいろ)

sakura (さくら) means “cherry blossom,” so that is the kind of light pink you’d see within the early spring when cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Grey — Hai — 灰色 (はいいろ)

Some phrases, like 灰色 (grey — haiiro — はいいろ) and 桃色 (pink — momoiro — ももいろ) come from the objects they describe: hai (はい) means “ash,” so 灰色 is the colour of grey ash, and momo (もも) is “peach,” and since Japanese peaches are pinkish-white, this coloration means the pale pink pink.

Extra Vocabulary: 

Grey hair — Hakuhatsu — 白髪 (はくはつ) 

Brown — Cha — 茶色 (ちゃいろ)

cha —(ちゃ) means “tea,” and since most tea in Japan is brownish (even inexperienced tea is typically brown), “brown” is “tea coloration,” or 茶色 chairo.

These phrases are used for many issues which might be brown, with just a few different choices relying on the hue of brown to which you’re referring, however one exception which will throw you off is with pores and skin coloration.

In Japan, “brown pores and skin” is definitely known as “black pores and skin,” which means individuals with darkish pores and skin or tans are sometimes called “black.”

If you wish to go get a suntan, you’d say “I need to make my pores and skin black.” (肌を黒くしたい。/はだをくろくしたい。)

fuji — (ふじ) means “wisteria,” just like the lavender-budded bushes that type the wisteria tunnel in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Gold — Kin — (きん)

Extra Vocabulary:

Golden — Kiniro — 金色 (きんいろ)

Silver — Gin (ぎん)

Extra Vocabulary:

Silver — Giniro — 銀色 (ぎんいろ)

Multicolored — Tashoku 多色の (たしょくの)

Extra Vocabulary:

Varicolored — Irotoridori — 色とりどりの (いろとりどりの)

Colourful — Karafuru カラフルな (からふるな)

Learn how to Use Japanese Shade Phrases

Japanese coloration phrases could be い-adjectives, な-adjectives, の-adjectives (nouns was adjectives) or nouns. For instance, “pink” can both describe an object (“a pink apple”) or act by itself as a noun (“pink is my favourite coloration”).

Due to this fact, you should utilize the colours in the identical means you’d use another noun or adjective.


It’s a pink flower.

The flower is pink.

好きな色はです。(すきないろは あかです。)
My most popular coloration is pink.

I like pink.


If you wish to uncover different attention-grabbing methods of utilizing coloration phrases in Japanese, attempt watching genuine movies with the educational program FluentU.

Watching movies with native audio system and interactive subtitles, in addition to customized quizzes can assist take your studying to the subsequent degree. FluentU is out there on each internet and cell (Android and iOS). 

With all these vibrant new Japanese phrases at your disposal, you may impress native audio system along with your stunning descriptions of nature!