Months in Japanese with kanji

Months in Japanese, a カレンダー (Calender)Today’s lesson is going to be about how to say each months in Japanese with modern and traditional readings. Now this topic doesn’t seem so complex, but what many people don’t know is that there is actually a name for each month, just like in English (January, February and so forth). Instead of just saying number and month, for example: 一月, the first month, meaning January, there is the traditional way.

Standard way of saying months in Japanese

The ordinary, modern way of saying each month of the year can be see down below.

Meaning Kanji Kana Romaji
January 一月 いちがつ ichigatsu
February 二月 にがつ nigatsu
March 三月 さんがつ sangatsu
April 四月 しがつ shigatsu
May 五月 ごがつ gogatsu
June 六月 ろくがつ rokugatsu
July 七月 しちがつ shichigatsu
August 八月 はちがつ hachigatsu
September 九月 くがつ kugatsu
October 十月 じゅうがつ jūgatsu
November 十一月 じゅういちがつ jūichigatsu
December 十二月 じゅうにがつ jūnigatsu

If you didn’t know already, you can both write the numbers with kanji or without, it’s all up to your own choice. Like this. This means that this would have the same reading as the one with kanji.

1月
2月
3月
4月
5月
6月
7月
8月
9月
10月
11月
12月

Months in Japanese with kanji traditionally

Now the traditional way, can be seen in this next table. These were used back in the Heian period.

English Kanji Hiragana Romaji Meaning
January 睦月 むつき Mutsuki Month of harmony
February 如月 きさらぎ kisaragi Month of wearing extra layers of clothes
March 弥生 やよい yayoi Month of growth
April 卯月 うずき uzuki Month of Deutzia (unohana)
May 皐月 さつき satsuki Month of planting rice sprouts
June 水無月 みなづき mina zuki Month of no water
July 文月 ふづき fuzuki Month of literary
August 葉月 はづき wa zuki Month of leaves
September 長月 ながつき na ga tsuki Autumn long month
October 神無月 かんなづき kanna zuki Month of no Gods
November 霜月 しもつき shimo tsuki Month of frost
December 師走 しわす shiwasu Month of running priests

Source of month’s meanings.