Emotions in Japanese

Emotions in Japanese: joy_yorokobiToday’s lesson is going to be about emotions in Japanese. According to psychologist Robert Plutchik’s theory humans has eight main emotions. Mastering these eight emotions from English to Japanese is today’s goal. Since there isn’t too many emotions in Japanese we hope you can learn them all.

Down below is the table we’re going to work with consisting of the eight main emotions according to Robert Plutchik. We’ve taken these and translated them.

List of main emotions in Japanese
Meaning Kanji Kana Romaji
Fear 恐怖 きょうふ kyoufu
Anger 怒り おこり okori
Sadness 悲しみ かなしみ kanashimi
Joy 喜び よろこび yorokobi
Disgust 嫌悪 けんお keno
Trust 信頼 しんらい shinrai
Anticipation 期待 きたい kitai
Surprise 驚き おどろき odoroki

The eight emotions in Japanese


恐怖 Is simply two very similar kanji together, making what is the word for fear..
恐ろしい(おそろしい) + 怖い(こわい). Basically dreadful + scary. Depending on context these adjectives can always mean different meanings. 恐 goes more into the direction of dreadful, horrible  or terrible.


There are many ways to express your anger. The basic word of being angry is 怒る(おこる) or 怒る(いかる). Another way is to say イライラする, using onomatopoeia. However, this is meaning more in a way that you are annoyed or frustrated rather than angry.


The word for sadness is 悲しみ. By making 悲しい to a noun you can convert it by just changing the the last character of the adjective. You can either make it into 悲しみ or 悲しさ nouns, both means sadness. 悲しみ is implying the general concept of sadness while 悲しさ on the other hand implying the (amount of) sadness.


喜び is a word made into a noun from the verb 喜ぶ(よろこぶ)meaning be glad, be pleased or be delighted.


嫌悪(けんお)is made by setting together the kanji for hate,  嫌い(きらい), and (悪い)bad or evil. Together they represent disgust.


信頼. Settings together 信じる(しんじる) meaning to believe and 頼む(頼む)to ask or to request, constructs the noun trust.


期待する(きたい)meaning you are looking forward to something, or to expect something. This word has a positive tone to it which 予想する doesn’t have. 予想する is a similar word but containing a more natural meaning of to expect.


驚き is another noun derived from a verb, 驚く(おどろく). Another common way you can say you are surprised instead 驚く is by saying びっくりする.

Source for み and さ difference
Answer from Yahoo chiebukuro.
Answer from japanese.stackexchange.