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TYJ Body parts

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This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese

8.3. Body parts

8.3.1. Head


Kana:あたま
Romanization:a ta ma
Meaning:head

Kana:かお
Romanization:ka o
Meaning:face

Kana:かお
Romanization:ka o
Meaning:face

Kana:
Romanization:me
Meaning:eye

For your interest: In Japanese culture, the eyes are the most important part of the face. Japanese has many proverbs about eyes, and one of them says "the eye talks as much as the mouth does", which means you can express and read emotions through eyes. This is one reason why eyes of Japanese manga and animation characters are exaggerated.

Kana:はな
Romanization:ha na
Meaning:nose

For your interest: The nose is the least important part of the face in Japanese culture.

Kana:くち
Romanization:ku ti
Meaning:mouth

Kana:くちびる
Romanization:ku ti bi ru
Meaning:lips

Kana:
Romanization:ha
Meaning:tooth

Kana:した
Romanization:si ta
Meaning:tongue

Note: In colloquial Japanese, the word べろ "bero" is more commonly used for tongue.

Kana:みみ
Romanization:mi mi
Meaning:ear

Kana:ほお
Romanization:
Meaning:cheek

Kana:ひたい
Romanization:hi ta i
Meaning:forehead

Note: In colloquial Japanese, the word おでこ "odeko" is more commonly used for forehead.

Kana:くび
Romanization:ku bi
Meaning:neck

For your interest: This word also means firing a person. It comes from decapitation as a metaphor for dismissal.

Kana:のど
Romanization:no do
Meaning:throat

Kana:あご
Romanization:a go
Meaning:chin

Kana:かみのけ
Romanization:ka mi no ke
Meaning:hair (on the head)

Note: The word かみ "kami" means hair on the head, but the word above is more clear because かみ also means paper. They happen to share the same pronunciation. の "no" is the genitive marker and け "ke" means hair (not necessarily on the head).

Kana:まゆげ
Romanization:ma yu ge
Meaning:eyebrow

Note: The word まゆ "mayu" also means eyebrow. げ "ge" is a suffix form of け "ke", which means hair.

Kana:まつげ
Romanization:ma tu ge
Meaning:eyelash

Kana:ひげ
Romanization:hi ge
Meaning:mustache, beard

8.3.2. Hand


Kana:
Romanization:te
Meaning:hand

Kana:てのひら
Romanization:te no hi ra
Meaning:palm

Note: This word consists of three parts: て (hand), the genitive marker の, and ひら "hira" (flat surface).

Kana:てのこう
Romanization:te no kô
Meaning:the back of a hand

Note: This word consists of three parts: て (hand), the genitive marker の, and こう "" (tortoiseshell).

Kana:ゆび
Romanization:yu bi
Meaning:digit (finger, toe)

Note: This word includes twenty digits - ten fingers and ten toes.

Kana:おやゆび
Romanization:o ya yu bi
Meaning:thumb, big toe

Note: The word おや "oya" means parent, so it means parent finger.

Kana:ひとさしゆび
Romanization:hi to sa si yu bi
Meaning:index finger, second toe

Note: This word comes from ひと "hito" (person), さし "sasi" (the noun form of the verb さす "sasu", which means point), and ゆび (finger), so its literal meaning is person-pointing finger.

Kana:なかゆび
Romanization:na ka yu bi
Meaning:middle finger

Note: Since the word なか "naka" means middle, this word is the same as middle finger.

Kana:くすりゆび
Romanization:ku su ri yu bi
Meaning:ring finger

Note: The word くすり "kusuri" means medicine, and this word means medicine finger. The ring finger often has a strange name in many languages, such as ring finger in English and "wúmíngzhî" in Mandarin, which means nameless finger. Those names are probably related; ancient people thought the ring finger was a magic finger.

Kana:こゆび
Romanization:ko yu bi
Meaning:little finger

Note: The prefix こ "ko" means little, so it is the same as little finger.

Kana:つめ
Romanization:tu me
Meaning:nail

8.3.3. Other body parts


Kana:かた
Romanization:ka ta
Meaning:shoulder

Kana:うで
Romanization:u de
Meaning:arm

Kana:ひじ
Romanization:hi zi
Meaning:elbow

Kana:てくび
Romanization:te ku bi
Meaning:wrist

Note: This word is a combination of て (hand) and くび (neck).

Kana:あし
Romanization:a si
Meaning:leg, foot

Kana:ひざ
Romanization:hi za
Meaning:knee

Kana:あしくび
Romanization:a si ku bi
Meaning:ankle

Note: This word is a combination of あし (foot) and くび (neck).

Kana:むね
Romanization:mu ne
Meaning:chest, breast

Kana:おなか
Romanization:o na ka
Meaning:abdomen

Kana:こし
Romanization:ko si
Meaning:waist

Kana:おしり
Romanization:o si ri
Meaning:buttocks

8.3.4. Internal organs


The Japanese word for internal organs is ないぞう "naizô". The suffix ぞう "zô" is commonly used for organs.

Kana:のう
Romanization:
Meaning:brain

Kana:しんぞう
Romanization:si n zô
Meaning:heart

Kana:はい
Romanization:ha i
Meaning:lung

Kana:
Romanization:i
Meaning:stomach

Kana:ちょう
Romanization:chô
Meaning:intestines

Kana:かんぞう
Romanization:ka n zô
Meaning:liver

Kana:じんぞう
Romanization:zi n zô
Meaning:kidney

Kana:ぼうこう
Romanization:bô kô
Meaning:bladder

Kana:
Romanization:ti
Meaning:blood

Kana:
Romanization:ti
Meaning:blood

Note: The word けつえき "ketueki" also means blood. It is a scientific term.

Kana:ほね
Romanization:ho ne
Meaning:blood

Kana:きんにく
Romanization:ki n ni ku
Meaning:muscle

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Takasugi
My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

I work as a display engineer.

One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.

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