How exactly to State Brother inside the Japanese: Oneesan versus Ane vs Imouto

Understanding just how to reference household members is going to be a beneficial absolutely nothing problematic when you look at the Japanese! Fundamentally, there have been two important Japanese words getting sibling: ane (? / ??) getting ‘elderly sister’ and you will imouto (? / ????) to own ‘more youthful sister’.

These two terms, yet not, enjoys more variations based on perspective, years, who you are speaking to, and you will who you really are writing on.

For the several months before the Meiji point in time, anybody utilized an alternate adaptation to refer in order to sisters. These are sisters-in-law is also a small challenging, but with the help of every piece of information less than, you’ll receive the hang from it.

  1. Oneesan
  2. Ane
  3. Imouto
  4. Shimai
  5. Ane ue
  6. Aneki
  7. Giri zero ane/Giri zero imouto


Which Japanese term to have sibling is one of the most extensively-used conditions. Oneesan is utilized when speaking to the old aunt otherwise somebody else’s. This is exactly plus the right word to use whenever speaking of anyone’s more mature brother, including your very own.

Suzuki-san no oneesan wa mai asa puru de suiei shiteimasu.???????????????????????? ??? ?? ? ? ???? ? ???? ??? ? ??????????Suzuki’s more mature sister goes toward the latest pond to move each morning.

Also among nearest and dearest, steps is an important thing in Japan. If you find yourself a younger cousin, it is uncommon to mention to help you more mature siblings by the considering term, instead of regarding West.

Little children typically address their elderly siblings by oneechan (????? / ??????) and you may neechan (???? / ?????) up to they turn 10 years dated approximately. (-chan try a far more caring Japanese honorific compared to the basic -san.) When young sisters grow older, they often switch to oneesan.

Oneesama (??? / ?????) try a highly polite treatment for address anybody. This really is used in formal conferences or festivals to speak in the another person’s more mature sister.

While doing so, oneesan could also be used with people outsiders or those who are not element of the ones you love. Some individuals use this word to mention so you’re able to young ladies, for instance the amicable people protect within train station or a waitress.

Ane (? / ??)are an excellent Japanese keyword made use of when speaking of your old sis for other anybody, eg loved ones otherwise supervisors. It’s a polite form generally speaking utilized by people. Ane normally found in authored correspondences otherwise posts it comes to help you old sisters overall.


The high quality Japanese phrase to own more youthful otherwise nothing brother was imouto (? / ????). Usually, you might make use of this when talking about your more youthful brother. This is used around household members, colleagues, or anybody outside the ones you love.

Inside Japan, more youthful sisters usually are managed by the its labels whenever talking directly on them. Thanks to this, it’s too many to-name the little sibling imouto, in the place of possible having oneesan getting old sisters or oniisan having old brothers.

At the same time, imoutosan (??? / ??????) is employed whenever discussing somebody else’s younger sis. Brand new suffix -san are added to create a lot more polite. It is rude to refer so you can a keen acquaintance’s younger sibling by imouto merely.

Watashi zero imouto wa bareedansaa ni naritai desu.??????????????????? ??? ? ???? ? ??? ???? ? ???? ???My personal more youthful aunt desires feel a dancing performer.

Kare zero imoutosan wa doitsu ni sunde imasu.????????????????? ?? ? ???? ?? ? ??? ? ???????His young brother lives in Germany.


In the event kyoudai (?? / ?????) was a popular word meaning ‘siblings’ when you look at the Japanese, shimai (?? / ???) is substantially female. In reality, if you’ve got a-sharp eyes, you could have currently noticed that it’s comprised of the fresh kanji to own elderly sis (?) and you can young sister (?)!

Shimai may be used when speaking of their otherwise anybody’s siblings, whether they try more mature or young. At the same time, kyoudai can be utilized no matter gender, whether or not it’s made up of new kanji getting earlier sibling (?) and you will young sibling (?).

Ane ue

That is a keen archaic Japanese word one to virtually usually means that ‘honorable earlier sister’. This might be uncommon in the progressive words, however might have read it from inside the historical dramas otherwise movies.

Ane ue (?? / ????) is considered as an honorific or respectful name. It had been utilized by the brand new samurai and you may good group inside The japanese before Meiji time. Ue (?) mode ‘above’ or ‘up’, implying that the elderly cousin was out-of large reputation compared to presenter or is extremely recognized.


Compared to the all terms on this subject list, aneki (?? / ???) is far more casual. This might be generally utilized by teenage boys when talking straight to otherwise speaking of their old sisters in order to co-workers. This will plus consider older females loved ones or ladies who are not blood-about the newest speaker.

Aneki had previously alua sign in been a keen honorific term like ane ue, however, unlike the second, it located the method to the modern-to-go out address but in a everyday function. New ki (? / ?) for the aneki function ‘precious’, ‘value’, otherwise ‘honor’.

Giri no ane/Giri zero imouto

From inside the Japanese, in-regulations was recognized for the best prefix giri zero (??? / ???), which means that ‘in-law’ otherwise ‘family members by marriage’. Sisters-in-rules, are called giri no ane (????) otherwise giri no imouto (????).

Giri no ane or imouto is employed whenever speaking of a good sister-in-laws in place of when privately speaking to them. Japanese relatives typically target him or her because of the offered term and attaching –neesan as an alternative (ex. Michiko-neesan)

Some other keyword, kojuuto (?? / ?????) is obtainable, yet not, this has been found in negative issues. Even though it literally translates to ‘little mommy-in-law’, kojuuto can be used when speaking of frustrating more youthful aunt/s-in-laws whom display a bad thoughts otherwise has busybody inclinations.

Eventually, giri zero also can indicate ‘step’ such as ‘stepsister’. The japanese possess an old-fashioned posture into splitting up, which, there is no right phrase getting step siblings. You might reference your own sibling, however, having iboshimai (???? / ?????) if you have some other parents or ifushimai (???? / ?????) for various fathers.

Sis from inside the Japanese

As you can plainly see, these are sisters for the Japanese is a bit more challenging than just during the English because you need think about the cousin ages of your own brother, together with formality quantity of the fresh new talk! Hopefully this information features helped to clear right up a number of your questions concerning the conditions to own cousin during the Japanese.

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Thea is a freelance author, currently majoring from inside the Japanese knowledge. She loves to create artwork and you can pulls motivation of motion picture and you can songs. Thea try passionate to review Japanese language and you can community by the understanding the fresh new books out-of Haruki Murakami and you can Edogawa Ranpo.

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