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
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
“Komorebi” refers to sunlight filtering through the trees.
3 Itadakimasu いただきます
“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
“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
“Kogarashi” the cold wind that tells of the arrival of the winter season.
6 Yuugen 幽玄
“Yuugen” an awareness of the universe that triggers mysterious and deep emotional responses that cannot be translated to words.
7 Shinrinyoku 森林浴
“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
“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
“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
“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.