10 Awesome Japanese Words That Don’t Exist In English

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There are a many untranslatable words throughout different cultures that have a lot to do with their culture’s uniqueness.

In Japan there is a strong appreciation for nature, and a lot of importance in being polite.
When we combine these two traits we get some beautiful words that cannot be translated directly into english.

1 Otsukaresama おつかれさま

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos

This word basically means “you’re tired.” People use it in the workplace at the end of the day when their co-workers leave to show recognition and thanks for their peers hard work.

2 Komorebi 木漏れ日

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[CooL GuY] {{a2zRG}}
“Komorebi” refers to sunlight filtering through the trees.

3 Itadakimasu いただきます

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“Itadakimasu” means “I will have this.” It is used to show appreciation for those that prepared and served the food. “Itadakimasu” will be said before consuming any food.

4 Mononoaware 物の哀れ

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“Monoaware” literally “the pathos of things”, and also interpreted as “an empathy toward things”. A term for the awareness of impermanence and wistfulness at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.

5 Kogarashi 木枯らし

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“Kogarashi” the cold wind that tells of the arrival of the winter season.

6 Yuugen 幽玄

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“Yuugen” an awareness of the universe that triggers mysterious and deep emotional responses that cannot be translated to words.

7 Shinrinyoku 森林浴

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“Shinrinyoku” (“forest bathing”) or going into deep woods where it is silent and peaceful and relaxing.

8 kintsuki/kintsukuroi 金継ぎ/金繕い

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“Kintsukuroi” the art of pottery repair with gold or silver joining the pieces. Understanding that the piece is even more beautiful after it had been broken.

9 Shoganai しょうがない

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“Shoganai” meaning “it cannot be helped.” not includding things that are despairing. It is a word of accepting that something was out of your control. It cannot be helped so do not regret it.

10 Wabi-sabi わびさび

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“Wabi-sabi” is a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life, and finding the peace within the fact that we all grow and decay naturaly.

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