A concern I am generally asked is, “What is the Japanese word because that ghost?” However, what appears a an easy question is actually complicated.

You are watching: How to say ghost in japanese

Ghost. Spirit. Specter. Wraith. Revenant. Several indigenous in the English language define souls that the dead who have actually not relocated on come the afterlife. Many of these come from other languages; like ghost, which has actually its probable roots in the pre-Germanic native ghoizdoz, an interpretation fury or anger; or spirit from the Latin spiritus meaning breath. Then there are more direct loan words, such as the netherlands spōk (spook), or the French phantom, or the Scottish wraith. Each word deserve to mean “ghost,” however each indigenous carries a various nuance or flavor.

Some words room even much more specific. Poltergeist combine the German words poltern meaning to rumble or to make noise and also geist definition spirit or ghost. Put the 2 words together and you have a very particular entity that cannot it is in mistaken for part other type of ghost. A poltergeist is only ever before a poltergeist.

A country as obsessed v ghosts together Japan is obviously going to have much more than a single word. Just as in English, over there are several words meaning “ghost,” but each v a various usage and also feel.

All(most) every Japanese words because that ghost usage some sports on the kanji . 霊 have the right to be read as either –rei or –ryō (or tama, or mitama, or –ki — no one ever before said Japanese was easy). Every little thing the pronunciation, 霊 always retains the rough definition of spirit.

Here is a perform and definition of all the Japanese words for ghost that ns know. Ns am certain the list must be incomplete:


幽霊 – yūrei – 幽 (dim) +霊 (spirit) – most likely the most usual Japanese word for ghost, yūrei converts pretty happy as…

For the entire list of Japanese words for ghost, please see Zack’s full write-up on this page.

Finally discover out the difference in between 幽霊 and 化け物. Discover out which Japanese word for ghost is supplied when explicate Hamlet’s father.

Then go check out the remainder of his site. Find out which mysterious animal will come and eat your dreams. Or maybe discover what those monster bobble-head creatures room in the movie Princess Mononoke. Most importantly, uncover out all about the ever-intriguing, um, Eyeball Butt.

Many many thanks to Zack Davisson for enabling us come reprint a part of his article, “How carry out You speak Ghost in Japanese?”

Good luck through your studies, everyone.

Keep swimming!


p.s. Here’s my complimentary course, bundled through awesomeness (and love):



Yo! I"m Niko, the founder that ptcouncil.net. I"m likewise a Japanese translator, writer, and also all-around language nerd.

See more: Calories In 1 2 Cup Brown Sugar Blend, Brown Sugar Nutrition Facts

I produced this website to help as many people master Japanese (any language, really) as possible.

Uh, what else? Well... Ns live in Tokyo, Bangkok, Sapporo, Saigon, mountain Diego, Tokyo, Chiang Mai, Portland, Oregon! for this reason if anyone wants to fulfill up for a update nama beer, I"m more than likely down for that. Or a coffee. Discovering Japanese is tricky-tikki-tavi. Yet we"re in this together. ファイト!