Colors in Japanese

Colors in JapaneseWith today’s lesson you’ll get to learn colors in Japanese alongside with some related words. 16 basic colors that are essential to your Japanese vocabulary. Can you get them all memorized?

Words with the 色 (color) kanji

Before jumping in to the colors in Japanese, let us get to know some words regarding color itself. The kanji for color 色 has so many usages it’s truly a lot if you would list them all. However, the meaning is quite simple isn’t it? Everything is concerning the color, since that’s what the kanji meaning is. The only thing you need to remember more than that is that the kanji has two onyomi readings, オン and シキ. Both are being used quite frequently as seen below.

Meaning Kanji Kana Romaji
Color いろ Iro
Scenery 景色 けしき keshiki
Color Tone 色調 しきちょう shikichou
Color of the face, complexion 顔色 かおいろ kaoiro
Complexion 血色 けっしょく kesshoku

We’ve listed 16 different colors that we think are basic colors that are good for your vocabulary to know.

The colors in Japanese

Colors in Japanese
Color name Kanji Kana Romaji
Orange オレンジ orenji
Yellow 黄色 きいろ kiiro
Blue あお ao
Red あか aka
Green みどり midori
Brown 茶色 ちゃいろ chairo
Purple, violet むらさき murasaki
White しろ shiro
Grey 灰色 はいいろ haiiro
Gold 金色 きんいろ kiniro
Silver 銀色 ぎんいろ giniro
Bronze ブロンズ色 ぶろんずいろ buronzuiiro
Pink ピンク Pinku
Black くろ Kuro
Rainbow にじ niji
Multi-colored 多色の たしょくの tashokuno

Dark colors

Bonus words! With the kanji 真, meaning true or reality can be applied for colors too. Making white or black color become true black or true white. See the list below of colors that are now stronger version of each color because of 真. As you can see 濃い(こい), meaning concentrated, can also be used for colors for saying a color is dark or deep.

Dark colors
Color Kanji Kana Romaji
Dark black 真っ黒 まっくろ makkuro
Pure white 真っ白 まっしろ masshiro
Deep red 真っ赤 まっか makka
Deep blue 真っ青 まっさお massao
Dark green 濃緑色 のうりょくしょく nouryokushoku