AniDB Definition:Romanisation

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Note For Chinese text, refer to our AniDB Definition:Romanisation for Chinese guide.
Note See also our our Anime and Episode Titles guide.

The information on this page is provided as guidelines on the use of romanised Japanese (rōmaji) in AniDB. Please be aware that this is not an exact science, there are many viable solutions to the same problem, though when submitting change requests on romanised titles users are expected to adhere to the 'house style' of the database. When there is contention over a particular issue, this page will provide both alternatives. External links to Wikipedia are provided throughout for ideas and terms that might be unfamiliar.

What romanised titles are for

  • Primarily, to provide a transcription of the Japanese title that is aurally recognisable and readable by a user with little or no knowledge of the language. In using Roman script, this is obviously targeted at speakers of European languages, however as this constitutes a majority of the population of AniDB users, this is a fair restriction.
  • Secondary purposes include enabling rough pronunciation of titles, providing an alternative method of searching for a Japanese title, assisting novices in reading unfamiliar words, and clarification of the reading of a particular word or phrase where it might be ambiguous.

What romanised titles aren't for

  • There is no requirement to be able to reconstruct the original title from romanised form. With three distinct scripts plus Roman, a wide range of homophones, and typographic intricacies such as furigana usage, this is beyond the scope of a 26 letter alphabet. In all cases the Japanese title should be presented as well, a romanised form is in no way a replacement for this.
  • Further more, the romanisation need not be a lossless transliteration of Japanese spelling. Though less so than English, Japanese pronunciation deviates somewhat from the phonemic spelling. As the aim is to provide an aurally recognisable transcription, it is more important to better reflect the sound than exact spelling.
  • Romanised titles do not need to provide a basis for correct Japanese collation of titles. This is a technical problem that would be better handled correctly through its own system, and would interfere with the primary purpose of the romanisation.
  • Romanisations need not have an 'official' status. Though both the Japanese makers and international licensees might provide a romanised title/name, this is irrelevant to a transcription of the Japanese title/name.

Hepburn romanisation

The Hepburn romanisation system was devised for a Japanese–English dictionary, published in 1867. Despite having no official status, variations of it are used for a vast majority of transcriptions, both inside and outside Japan. Unlike the two other main romanisation schemes, it concentrates of representing Japanese phonology rather than the underlying spelling.

Table of kana romanisation

Each mora represented in the kana spelling of a Japanese word can be transcribed into Roman letters according to the table below, with a few special cases that are listed in the following sections. The hiragana is on the left, katakana is on the right.

Table adapted from wikipedia article on Hepburn. Obsolete kana are shown in red.

a i u e o (ya) (yu) (yo)
ka ki ku ke ko きゃ kya キャ きゅ kyu キュ きょ kyo キョ
sa shi su se so しゃ sha シャ しゅ shu シュ しょ sho ショ
ta chi tsu te to ちゃ cha チャ ちゅ chu チュ ちょ cho チョ
na ni nu ne no にゃ nya ニャ にゅ nyu ニュ にょ nyo ニョ
ha hi fu he ho ひゃ hya ヒャ ひゅ hyu ヒュ ひょ hyo ヒョ
ma mi mu me mo みゃ mya ミャ みゅ myu ミュ みょ myo ミョ
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro りゃ rya リャ りゅ ryu リュ りょ ryo リョ
wa wi we wo
ga gi gu ge go ぎゃ gya ギャ ぎゅ gyu ギュ ぎょ gyo ギョ
za ji zu ze zo じゃ ja ジャ じゅ ju ジュ じょ jo ジョ
da (ji) (zu) de do ぢゃ (ja) ヂャ ぢゅ (ju) ヂュ ぢょ (jo) ヂョ
ba bi bu be bo びゃ bya ビャ びゅ byu ビュ びょ byo ビョ
pa pi pu pe po ぴゃ pya ピャ ぴゅ pyu ピュ ぴょ pyo ピョ
Extended Katakana - These are used mainly to represent the sounds in words in other languages. Most of these are not formally standardized and some are very rarely used.
ye イェ
wi ウィ we ウェ wo ウォ
va ヷ vi ヸ ve ヹ vo ヺ
va ヴァ vi ヴィ vu ヴ ve ヴェ vo ヴォ
she シェ
je ジェ
ti ティ tu トゥ che チェ tyu テュ
di ディ du ドゥ dyu デュ
tsa ツァ tsi ツィ tse ツェ tso ツォ
fa ファ fi フィ fe フェ fo フォ fyu フュ

General rule for dictionary words

When transcribing, glue transcriptions together only for names and dictionary terms. The following are good online dictionaries to reference:

Special cases

Hepburn also has a few extra rules to deal with particular cases, the ones below the AniDB house style adheres to.

The particle spelling rules exist to reflect modern Japanese pronunciation, note there are other features that Hepburn does not attempt to reflect, for instance the frequent dropping of the vowel /u/ (です is only pronounced 'desu' by kids), largely because there's no easy rule that could always be applied. The 'small tsu' rules reflect the fact it used in two rather different ways, and the syllabic n case is to deal with the problem that transcription might be ambiguous in a few cases.

Particle は as wa

Intro to は by Tae Kim

This rule is basically accepted by everyone, generally only ignored in error.

When used as a particle, transcribe は as 'wa' rather than 'ha'

  • Better represents the pronunciation
  • Common practice everywhere

Particle へ as e

Intro to へ by Tae Kim

Sometimes contested, as romanisations that ignore this rule are somewhat common. Use 'e' in preference, but if adding an anime title where 'he' is sometimes used, add that alternative as a synonym.

When used as a particle, transcribe へ as 'e' rather than 'he'.

  • Better represents the pronunciation.
  • Established Hepburn rule, and widespread usage by those who follow transcription rules strictly.
  • Titles will save one character per へ particle.

Particle を as o

Intro to を by Tae Kim

When used as a particle (you won't ever see it used in a normal word, so this means always (exceptions can come with names) transcribe を as 'o' rather than 'wo'.

  • Better represents the pronunciation.
  • Established Hepburn rule, and widespread usage by those who follow transcription rules strictly.

Discussion: 2004.06 (old forum) / 2004.06 (old forum) / 2005.07 (old forum) (warning: profanity)

っ when geminate consonant

Really a very simple rule, complicated by one particular case. When っ is indicating a stop, the easy way to show that in the Roman alphabet is with a doubled consonant. However for っち/っちゃ/っちゅ/っちょ the cluster tch is a probably a better transcription than cch (which is also confused by use in Italian) - but which is used tends to come down to individual words, which makes applying a general rule very difficult.

When part of a word, always transcribe っ by doubling the following consonant.

  • One less rule to remember.
  • Some common words are best known with a 'cch' transcription.
Futari Ecchi (ふたりエッチ) Ecchi has been borrowed back into English, and almost always spelt with the 'cch' - though this particular title is arguably just 'Futari H'.

っ when exclamation

Commonly either given as an exclamation mark or just dropped, the former is preferable.

Transcribe っ at the end of a word as '!', unless followed by one anyway, in which case drop.

  • The っ as surprise/intonation marker is broadly equivalent to an exclamation mark.
  • !! is っ! is ! semanticly, typography isn't important for transcriptions.
AA! Megami-sama! (ああっ女神さまっ)
Tsuruhime Ja! (つる姫じゃーっ!)

ん before vowels as n'



  • れんあい (ren'ai)
  • 小泉ジュンイチロー (Koizumi Jun'ichirou)

Deviations from Hepburn

Note These are rules in Hepburn that the AniDB house style does not follow, for the reasons given.

Macron usage for long vowels

Not accepted.

ん before labial consonants as m

Not accepted.

Guidance for Using External Sources to Support Romanisations and Translations

This policy was confirmed on 25-Jan-2020 as discussed here .

Anime Titles

English Main Transcription Title

"Officially" provided Japanese romanisations should not be added as the main transcription title for AniDB purposes; the main transcription title should always follow AniDB transcription rules as set out here. Add the "official" transcription as a synonym if needed.

English Official Title

3rd party "official" sources may be acceptable for English titles when there is no 1st party English licencor, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
For example, My Big Emergency is an animation from 1936. As part of the National Project for the Sustainability of Born-Digital Cinema, supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, in 2016 The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo re-released the animation on their website with an English translation and English title. The translation was provided as "My Big Emergency". This can be accepted as an official English title for AniDB purposes.

Native Japanese Words and Names, Non-Native Japanese Words

  1. For native Japanese words and names (e.g. 星界の紋章 Seikai no Monshou , 衛宮士郎 Emiya Shirou ), always use AniDB house rules.
  2. For non-native Japanese words (e.g. コードギアス Code Geass ), always use AniDB house rules.

Non-Native Japanese Names

For non-native Japanese names (e.g. ルルーシュ・ヴィ・ブリタニア Lelouch vi Britannia ):

  1. If the Japanese producer provides an official spelling of the non-native name ("Lelouch vi Britannia"), use the official spelling.
    1. However, for foreign (non-Japanese) names where the correct foreign spelling is known, and/or there exists a standard Latin transcription (e.g. Chinese transcriptions): use that as the main name for the entry, instead of the Japan-provided spelling.
      1. In such a scenario, add the Japan-provided official spelling as an alternate name of Type: Other, under the corresponding foreign language.
    2. Exceptions may (or may not) apply for completely senseless spellings or spellings that run greatly afoul of our house rules.
      1. ネロ・カオス Nrvnqsr Chaos is the official spelling. Since the name is essentially unreadable, the transcription used as the main name is Nero Chaos; this matches the pronunciation in the anime, is accepted by fans and other third parties without dispute over its correctness, is routinely used by third parties, and is aurally sound when compared to the katakana.
      2. クワトロ・バジーナ Quattro Vajeena is an accepted official spelling despite being phonetically questionable and considered non-ideal by large parts of the community (which prefers Quattro Bajeena).
  2. If the Japanese producer does not provide an official spelling of the non-native name (i.e. lack of primary evidence), use AniDB house rules and write a transcription that makes the most sense.
    1. Remember, transcriptions should generally be aurally recognisable.
    2. As always, use AniDB's house rules described in this article when writing any transcribed Japanese titles in AniDB; AniDB's house rules consider official spellings from the Japanese producer as primary evidence.
    3. The English translation of the full script from international licensee (for example: Crunchyroll for anime, Yen Press for manga and light novel) is usually acceptable as secondary evidence to an official source, to help determine a romanisation; it is a good starting point to use as a basis for the Japanese transcription on AniDB. The English translation of the script is not, however, a definitive Japanese transcription and should not be used as such.
      1. However, official Japanese source transcriptions will always override (unless 1.1 applies).
      2. Further, do not use an international licensee's translation as a Japanese transcription if it significantly differs from the phonetic katakana reading, or if it significantly differs from the commonly accepted reading if the original language and reading is known; staff discretion (maintainer, moderator) is used on a case-by-case basis.
        1. For example, トーマス is commonly accepted as a katakana transcription for "Thomas". If the international licensee (e.g. Crunchyroll, Daisuki, Hulu, Netflix, Yen Press, etc) gave the character's name instead as "Tonas", we would not use this as the Japanese transcription on AniDB; at the bare minimum, transcribe the katakana exactly as it is written and use "Toumas" as use transcription. Further, if there is a known and commonly accepted transcription such as "Thomas", this can be used instead as appropriate on a case-by-case basis.
    4. Historically, licensees have also been prone to making mistakes as anyone else would, which is why they are only considered secondary sources for transcriptions. The term "licensee" includes official English translations for all media types, including anime, manga, light novels, etc.
  3. Do not blindly copy transcriptions from fansubs, fan scanlations, and other similar fan sources.

Loanwords and Transcribed Words in Japanese

The description is missing or severely incomplete.
If you can, please help by explaining it.

For more information, see Wikipedia's page on Gairaigo.

Spell in original language where possible

For foreign loanwords and foreign words transcribed to Japanese, spell the word as the original language would spell it where possible, while maintaining the word to be aurally recognizable to English speakers. Do NOT write it as a Japanese romanisation.

For foreign names, refer to guidance earlier in this article.

Please remember that some loanwords may have variant spellings in the original language, to account for gender (masculine/feminine/neuter), number (singular/plural), and other grammatical considerations. When feasible, try to adhere to the original language's usage when picking the spelling variant.


  • ウォーター (uootaa): this is the word 'water' transcribed to Japanese. Spell it as 'water' in the transcription title.
  • ラッキー (rakkii), this is the word 'lucky' transcribed to Japanese. Spell it as 'lucky' in the transcription title.
  • アイスクリーム (aisu kuriimu): this is the words 'ice cream' transcribed to Japanese. Spell it as 'ice cream' in the transcription title.
  • たまごっち (tamagocchi): this has a widely used English spelling of 'Tamagotchi'. Spell it as 'Tamagotchi' in the transcription title.
  • テーマ (teema): this is the German word 'thema', but it is more aurally recognizable as the English word 'theme', such as when used in 'opening theme'. Spell it as 'theme' in the transcription title.
  • ぷち / ぷちっと (petit / puchitto), this is the French word 'petit' or 'petite' transcribed to Japanese. Spell it as 'petit' (masculine) or 'petite' (feminine) (as appropriate, in the usage context) in the transcription title.
    • ぷちます! ('Puchimas! '), Japanese usage is as a proper noun. Do not transcribe as 'Petitmas'.
    • ぷちこ ('Puchiko '), Japanese usage is as a proper noun. Do not transcribe as 'Petitko'.
  • スカトロ(ジー) (katakana) / すかとろ(じい) (hiragana) ('sukatoro(jii)', 'scatolo(gy)' (English)), Japanese usage is a short form of "scatology", and is consistent with the definition of scatology. Spell it as 'scatolo' for the contracted version (it's just an abbreviation of the loanword) and 'scatology' for the full version.

Drop all diacritics (umlauts [ ¨ ], accents [ ˝ ], etc)

For all foreign words with diacritics, AniDB follows the simplest and most common English-language convention: drop all diacritics without the use of sound-substitutions. This rule applies to all foreign languages without exception.


  • Walküre: spell as Walkure (drop all diacritics) and not Walkuere (do not use sound-substitutions).

What to do with Wasei-eigo terms, and invented words using other languages (ie Wasei-xxx)

The description is missing or severely incomplete.
If you can, please help by explaining it.

For more information, see Wikipedia's page on Wasei-eigo. In general, spell in the foreign language if it makes sense to do so, i.e. when the foreign word is directly recognizable. If it is not directly recognizable, transcribe the reading directly without trying to map to the foreign language.


  • レベルアップ (reberu appu, 'level up'): Japanese usage means "raise a level". Spell it as 'level up' in the transcription title, as it readily maps to English.
  • カンニング (kanningu, 'cunning'): Japanese usage means "cheating". Spell it as 'cunning' in the transcription title, as it readily maps to English.
  • スキンシップ (sukinshippu, 'skinship'), Japanese usage means "physical contact" and appears to have been coined from skin and kinship. Spell it as 'skinship' as it readily maps to existing words in English.
  • アパートメントハウス (apaatomentohausu, 'apartment house'), Japanese usage means "apartment building" and appears to have been coined from apartment and house. Spell it as 'apartment house' as it readily maps to existing words in English.
    • アパート ('apaato', 'apart(ment)'), Japanese usage is a short form of "apartment house". Spell it as 'apaato' as it does not readily map to existing words in English with the meaning of "apartment".
  • アルバイト (arubaito, 'arbeit' (German)), Japanese usage means "work or job", and is borrowed from German. Spell it as 'arbeit' in the transcription title, as it readily maps to German.
    • バイト ('baito', '(ar)beit' (German)), Japanese usage is a short form of "arbeit". Spell it as 'baito' as it does not readily map to existing words in German with the meaning of "arbeit".

Other orthography issues

The description is missing or severely incomplete.
If you can, please help by explaining it.

Anything that doesn't fit into the above major categories.


Use an initial capital letter for 単語.

See the Capitalisation guide.


Use international punctuation rules:

  • space after comma (,) but not before
  • space after last full stop (.), questionmark (?), exclamation mark (!)
  • use no space after the aforementioned if it's the end of the sentence/expression

For Japanese titles:

  • replace any Japanese fullwidth characters with equivalent halfwidth character
  • replace Japanese comma (、), Japanese full stop (。), questionmark (?), exclamation mark (!) and, where applicable, space to meet punctuation rules


Separate each word (単語 (Tango)) and particle (助詞 (Joshi)).


大雪山勇者 牙王 - Daisetsuzan no Yuusha Kibaou (の "no" is the particle)

Exception: (Question) Particle: か (ka) When か is used as an indicator for a question (most of the times at the end of a sentence), it will be assimilated to the Verb. Example: 私の家へ行きますか - Watashi no Uchi e Ikimasuka
When か is used to indicate a choice in the middle of a sentence, which includes a noun, it will be split. Example: コーヒーか茶か - Kohi ka Cha ka

隊 (tai)

Separate 隊 (Tai ("Group")), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 軍隊 (Guntai (Army/Troops)). Don't hyphenate.


少女隊 - Shoujo Tai (Shoujo Tai , a Japanese girl band from the 80's)

Note: not to be confused with 対 (tai, "versus"), which is always lowercase

号 (gou)

Separate 号 (Gou ("Vessel" / "Ship" / "Issue" / [...]), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 暗号 (Angou (Code/Cypher))). Don't hyphenate.


ベザン・ブラック号 - Bezan Black Gou (Bezan Black Gou , character/ship from One Piece)

編 / 篇 (hen / hen)

Separate 編 / 篇 ("Volume" / "Version" / [...]), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 完結編 (Kanketsuhen (Last program of a series)), 予告編 / 予告篇 (Yokokuhen (trailer / advanced notice))). Don't hyphenate.


魔動王グランゾート 冒険編 - Madou King Grandzort: Bouken Hen (Madou King Grandzort: Bouken Hen , an OVA from the 90s)
予告篇 - Yokokuhen (Yokokuhen , a preview/trailer for Tenjou Tenge )

版 (ban)

Separate 版 ("Edition" / "Version" / [...]), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 劇場版 (Gekijouban (Movie edition))). Don't hyphenate.


アニメPV [ノンテロップ版] - Anime PV [Non-Telop Ban] (Kakuchou Shoujo Kei Trinary - T1 - Anime PV 01 (0:35) (Anime PV [Non-Telop Ban]) , the Non-TELOP version PV)
ノンテロップ版 38.PHASE-40 - Non-Telop Ban 38.PHASE-40 (Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED - S8 - Special 8 (Non-Telop Ban 38.PHASE-40) , the Non-TELOP version episode (which was included in the BD/DVD))

弾 / 話 (dan / wa)

Separate 弾 ("Volume") and 話 ("Episode"/"Story"), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 爆弾 (Bakudan (Bomb)), 会話 (Kaiwa (Conversation))). Don't hyphenate.


『コードギアス 復活のルルーシュ』TVCM第1弾 ルルーシュ編 (15秒) - "Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch" TVCM Dai 1 Dan Lelouch Hen (15 Byou) (Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch - T5 - "Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch" TVCM No. 1 Lelouch Version (0:15)) , the 1st Lelouch version PV)
Lite 第1話 こたつむり - Lite Dai 1 Wa: Kotatsumuri (Lite 1: Kotatsnail , the 1st episode of the Lite series of specials)

部 (bu)

Separate 部 ("Part" / "Section" / [...]), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 帰宅部 (Kitakubu (Students who do not participate in club activities of the school))). Don't hyphenate.


柔道部物語 - Judo Bu Monogatari (Judo Bu Monogatari , an OVA from the 90s)

Exception: If the term preceding 部 is not a word, use a hyphen. Examples:

する (suru)

Always split


べんきょうする - Benkyou Suru
べんきょうします - Benkyou Shimasu
べんきょうしました - Benkyou Shimashita

品 (hin / ひん)

Separate 品 (Hin ("article, item​")), except when it's actually part of another word (e.g. 作品 (Sakuhin (Work/Performance)). Don't hyphenate.


实验品 - Jikken Hin (Jikken Hin Kazoku , lit: "Experimental Product Family")

ではありません (de wa Arimasen)

This phrase is composed of particle + particle + verb + negation. It can be translated as "is not".

There is a special bastardization (じゃない) of this phrase which should be transcribed in the following way:

じゃ = de wa = ja

The particles de wa have been merged into ja

ない = Arimasen = Nai

The verb and negation Arimasen have been turned into Nai

Thus de wa Arimasen is turned into ja Nai.

Honorifics and Suffixes expressing status/job

Honorifics and such are widely used in Japanese.

Our rules on that are:

  • use dictionary word if applicable
  • use dash (-) to separate word from honorific
  • use lowercase on the honorific

(Incomplete) List of Suffixes

  • -bokushi (牧師)
  • -chan (and all its variations) (ちゃん)
  • -chi (ち)
  • -denka (殿下)
  • -fujin (夫人)
  • -hakase (博士)
  • -hakushaku (伯爵)
  • -heika (陛下)
  • -hime (姫)
  • -kakka (閣下)
  • -keibu (警部)
  • -keibuho (警部補)
  • -kouhai (後輩)
  • -kun (君/くん)
  • -kyou (卿)
  • -kyouju (教授)
  • -megami (女神)
  • -ojou (お嬢)
  • -sama (さま)
  • -san (さん)
  • -senpai (先輩)
  • -sensei (先生)
  • -shi (氏)
  • -shimai (姉妹)
  • -shinpu (神父)

(Incomplete) List of dictionary words

  • お父さん - Otousan ("Papa"), but Otou-chan
  • お母さん - Okaasan ("Mama"), but Okaa-chan
  • 父上 - Chichiue ("Father")
  • 母上 - Hahaue ("Mother")
  • 父親 - Chichioya ("Father")
  • 母親 - Hahaoya ("Mother")
  • おじさん - Ojisan ("Uncle"), but Oji-chan
  • おばさん - Obasan ("Aunt"), but Oba-chan
  • おじいさん - Ojiisan ("Grandpa"), but Ojii-chan
  • おばあさん - Obaasan ("Grandma"), but Obaa-chan
  • 赤ちゃん - Akachan ("Baby")
  • 神様 - Kamisama ("God")
  • 白雪姫 - Shirayukihime ("Snow White"), but Akagami no Shirayuki-hime because Shirayuki is the actual name of the title character (see creq)
  • 歌姫 - Utahime ("Songstress")
  • 人魚姫 - Ningyohime ("Mermaid Princess")
  • 雪男 - Yukiotoko ("Snow man")
  • 雪女 - Yukionna ("Snow woman")
  • 殿様 - Tonosama ("Lord")
  • 機関車先生 - Kikanshasensei

たち (tachi)

Always split from the associated word and set '-', unless the word is a pronoun or dictionary word, in which case keep glued.

Elf o Karu Mono-tachi
but: kimitachi, oretachi, anatatachi, omaetachi, watashitachi, hitotachi, and so on.

色 (iro)

Dictionary Words

A list of real Japanese composita that you can find in a dictionary will be seen as one word on AniDB:

藍色 - Aiiro ("Indigo Blue")
茜色 - Akaneiro ("Madder Red")
赤色 - Akairo ("Red")
薔薇色/バラ色/ばら色 - Barairo ("Rose Coloured")
橙色 - Daidaiiro ("Orange")
艶色 - Enshoku ("Charming / Wonderful Colour")
銀色 - Gin'iro ("Silver Coloured")
灰色 - Haiiro ("Grey")
緋色 - Hiiro, Hishoku ("Scarlet", "Cardinal")
黄色 - Kiiro ("Yellow")
金色 - Kin'iro ("Golden")
金色/こんじき - Konjiki ("Golden")
水色 - Mizuiro ("Light Blue")
桃色 - Momoiro ("Pink", "Rosy")
七色/なないろ - Nanairo (describes the seven colours of the rainbow)
鈍色/にびいろ - Nibiiro ("Gray Mouse Coloured")
音色 - Neiro ("Tone colour", "tone (quality)")
瑠璃色 - Ruriiro ("Azure")
緑色 - Ryokushoku/Midoriiro ("Green")
桜色 - Sakurairo ("Pink", "Cherry Blossom Coloured")
真珠色 - Shinjuiro ("Pearl Grey")
秋色 - Shuushoku ("Autumn/Fall Scenery")
空色/そらいろ - Sorairo ("Sky Coloured")
鴇色/ときいろ - Tokiiro ("Pale Pink", "Pale Rose")
山吹色/やまぶきいろ - Yamabukiiro ("Bright Yellow")

Non-Dictionary Words

A list of composita with 色 that you can't find in a Japanese dictionary will be separated with "-":

雨色 - Ame-iro ("Rain Coloured")
あなた色 - Anata-iro ("You-Coloured")
朝色 - Asa-iro ("Morning Coloured")
不思議色 - Fushigi-iro ("Mysterious Coloured")
グンジョ色 - Gunjo-iro (群青, Gunjou: Ultramarine)
初色 - Hatsu-iro ("First (Time) Coloured")
枯れ葉色 - Kareha-iro ("Colour of Dead/Dry Leaves")
君色 - Kimi-iro ("You-Coloured")
恋色 - Koi-iro ("Love Coloured")
ココロいろ - Kokoro-iro (Kokoro means Heart, but can also be Soul, thus it's either "Heart Coloured" or "Soul Coloured")
マーブル色 - Marble-iro ("Marble Coloured")
モーブ色 - Mauve-iro (Mauve Coloured)
みらいいろ - Mirai-iro ("Future-Coloured")
紫水晶色 - Murasakisuishou-iro ("Amethyst Coloured")
ナミダイロ - Namida-iro ("Wave Coloured")
夏色 - Natsu-iro ("Summer Coloured")
ニビイロ - Nibi-iro ("Nibi Coloured")
虹色 - Niji-iro ("Rainbow Coloured")
オレンジ色 - Orange-iro ("Orange (Coloured)")
セピア色 - Sepia-iro ("Sepia Coloured")
修羅色 - Shura-iro ("Fighting/Battle Coloured")
ときめき色 - Tokimeki-iro (ときめく, tokimeku: to throb, to flutter, to palpitate; send your throb-coloured things to us!)
夢色 - Yume-iro ("Dream Coloured")
百合色 - Yuri-iro ("Lily Coloured")
ユウヤケイロ - Yuuyake-iro ("Sunset Coloured")

Special Guests

A list of anime specific "colours" that are purely fictional:

ラメ色 - Lum-iro (Lum , a character from Urusei Yatsura)
トモカネいろ - Tomokane-iro (Tomokane , a character from GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)
ノダミキいろ - Noda Miki-iro (Noda Miki , a character from GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)
ナミコいろ - Namiko-iro (Namiko , a character from GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)
キョージュいろ - Kyoju-iro (Kyoju , nickname for a character from GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)
キサラギいろ - Kisaragi-iro (Kisaragi , a character from GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class)

This list is of course not complete and will get new colours added when they are encountered


When making a combination between a number and one of the many many many Japanese counters, the two words merge into one, thus creating a compound.

Here you will find a list of some (!) useful counters and how they should be transcribed on AniDB.

Please note that there is a whole lot more of counters used in the Japanese language that are not included in this list, making this list expandable.

Arabic Numerals and Counters -- General Rule

As a general rule, Arabic numbers should be written as Japanese words when part of a word; see examples below.

While incorrect, the Alternate Transcription can be added as a synonym/alias transcription, to allow for searchability of the entry.

Text Hiragana Correct (Preferred) Transcription Incorrect (Alternate) Transcription Incorrect Transcription
3つ みっつ Mittsu 3-tsu 3tsu
3月 さんがつ Sangatsu 3-gatsu 3gatsu

Rules for Transcribing Dates

The following are general guidelines for transcribing dates, both when used to refer to specific calendar dates (i.e. 25.06.2018), and when counting dates as units (i.e. "it has been 20 years", "2 months until the deadline", "I leave in 17 days").

-- "Full" Dates

If a "full" date is given without Arabic numerals, transcribe the kanji in full.

Text Hiragana Transcription
二〇一六年十二月十一日 にせんじゅうろくねん じゅうにがつ じゅういちにち nisenjuurokunen juunigatsu juuichinichi
二〇一六年十二月 にせんじゅうろくねん じゅうにがつ nisenjuurokunen juunigatsu
十二月十一日 じゅうにがつ じゅういちにち juunigatsu juuichinichi

If a "full" date is given with Arabic numerals, leave the numerals in the transcription.

Text Hiragana Transcription
2016年12月11日 2016ねん12がつ11にち 2016-nen 12-gatsu 11-nichi
2016年12月 2016ねん12がつ 2016-nen 12-gatsu
12月11日 4がつ11にち 12-gatsu 11-nichi

-- Year (Counter: 年, -nen)

If 年 is being used to count the number of years as a counter object, ie 12年 as in "twelve years", transcribe in full: juuninen.

This policy does not apply to the 年 (nen, year) counter, when being used as a date. For dates regarding specific calendar years, such as "2016年" meaning "the calendar year 2016", transcribe as "2016-nen". If given in kanji, such as "二〇一六年", transcribe in full as "nisenjuuroku-nen".

-- Month (Counter: 月, -gatsu)

The 12 months of the year are considered dictionary terms, always transcribe in full. Similar to how the months in English are named January through December, the Japanese months are named 一月/1月 through 十二月/12月. When used to refer to the month, transcribe in full, such as ichigatsu and juunigatsu.

--- Specific Exception: Month as a counter: (ヶ月, kagetsu)

If 月 is being used to count the number of months as a counter object, ie 12月 as in "twelve months", transcribe in full: juunikagetsu.

List of the 12 dictionary months:

# Text Hiragana Transcription
1 一月 いちがつ Ichigatsu
2 二月 にがつ Nigatsu
3 三月 さんがつ Sangatsu
4 四月 しがつ Shigatsu
5 五月 ごがつ Gogatsu
6 六月 ろくがつ Rokugatsu
7 七月 しちがつ Shichigatsu
8 八月 はちがつ Hachigatsu
9 九月 くがつ Kugatsu
10 十月 じゅうがつ Juugatsu
11 十一月 じゅういちがつ Juuichigatsu
12 十二月 じゅうにがつ Juunigatsu

-- Day (Counter: 日, -nichi)

If 日 is being used to count the number of days as a counter object, ie 11日 as in "eleven days", transcribe in full: juuichinichi.

However, 1st to 10th, 14th, 20th, and 24th, are irregular.

This policy does not apply to the 日 (nichi, day) counter, when being used as a date. For dates regarding specific calendar days, such as "11日" meaning "the calendar date of the 11th", transcribe as "11-nichi". If given in kanji, such as "十一日", transcribe in full as "juuichinichi".

# Text Hiragana Transcription
1 一日 ついたち Tsuitachi
2 二日 ふつか Futsuka
3 三日 みっか Mikka
4 四日 よっか Yokka
5 五日 いつか Itsuka
6 六日 むいか Muika
7 七日 なのか Nanoka
8 八日 ようか Youka
9 九日 ここのか Kokonoka
10 十日 とおか Tooka
14 十四日 じゅうよっか Juuyokka
20 二十日 はつか Hatsuka
24 二十四日 にじゅうよっか Nijuuyokka

Japanese Addresses and Arabic Numerals

When Arabic numerals are given in a Japanese address, do NOT transcribe the Arabic numeral. If the address contains non-Arabic numbers, transcribe into Arabic numbers.

Japan Post has also defined a standard English address format. The order is reversed when writing in roman letters, to better suit Western conventions.

More info can be found on this Wikipedia article.


Description Japanese Transcription Japan Post Standard English
Full address 〒100-8994
Tokyo-to Chuuou-ku Yaesu 1-Choume 5-ban 3-gou
Tokyo Chuuou Yuubin-kyoku
Tokyo Central Post Office
5-3, Yaesu 1-Chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 100-8994
District, block, and building number (choume and bangou) 八重洲一丁目5番3号 Yaesu 1-Choume 5-ban 3-gou 5-3, Yaesu 1-Chome
District, block, and building number (choume and bangou) 八重洲1丁目5番3号 Yaesu 1-Choume 5-ban 3-gou 5-3, Yaesu 1-Chome

Counting in General (Counter: つ, -tsu)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一つ ひとつ Hitotsu
2 二つ ふたつ Futatsu
3 三つ みっつ Mittsu
4 四つ よっつ Yottsu
5 五つ いつつ Itsutsu
6 六つ むつ Mutsu
7 七つ ななつ Nanatsu
8 八つ やっつ Yattsu
9 九つ ここのつ Kokonotsu
10 とお Too
20 二十 はたち Hatachi

Positioning / # (Counter: 番, -ban) 

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一番 いちばん Ichiban
2 二番 にばん Niban
3 三番 さんばん Sanban
4 四番 よんばん Yonban
5 五番 ごばん Goban
6 六番 ろくばん Rokuban
7 七番 ななばん Nanaban
8 八番 はちばん Hachiban
9 九番 きゅうばん Kyuuban
10 十番 じゅうばん Juuban

People (Counter: 人, -hito/-nin)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一人 ひとり Hitori
2 二人 ふたり Futari
3 三人 さんにん Sannin
4 四人 よにん Yonin
5 五人 ごにん Gonin
6 六人 ろくにん Rokunin
7 七人 ななにん / しちにん Nananin / Shichinin
8 八人 はちにん Hachinin
9 九人 きゅうにん Kyuunin
10 十人 じゅうにん Juunin

Age (Counter: 歳 / 才, -sai)

If age (歳 / 才) is given with an Arabic numeral, it should NOT be merged.

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 1歳 / 1才 1さい 1-sai
2 2歳 / 2才 2さい 2-sai
12 12歳 / 3才 12さい 12-sai

Otherwise, merge if given in kana.

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一歳 / 一才 いっさい Issai
2 二歳 / 二才 にさい Nisai
3 三歳 / 三才 さんさい Sansai
4 四歳 / 四才 よんさい Yonsai
5 五歳 / 五才 ごさい Gosai
6 六歳 / 六才 ろくさい Rokusai
7 七歳 / 七才 ななさい Nanasai
8 八歳 / 八才 はっさい Hassai
9 九歳 / 九才 きゅうさい Kyuusai
10 十歳 / 十才 じゅうさい Juusai
20 二十歳 / 二十才 はたち Hatachi

Small Animals + rolls of cloth (Counter: 匹, -hiki)

Small Animals (up until the size of a dog); also rolls of cloth.

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一匹 いっぴき Ippiki
2 二匹 にひき Nihiki
3 三匹 さんびき Sanbiki
4 四匹 よんひき Yonhiki
5 五匹 ごひき Gohiki
6 六匹 ろっぴき Roppiki
7 七匹 ななひき / しちひき Nanahiki / Shichihiki
8 八匹 はっぴき Happiki
9 九匹 きゅうひき Kyuuhiki
10 十匹 じゅっぴき Juppiki

Large Animals (Counter: 頭, -tou)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一頭 いっとう Ittou
2 二頭 にとう Nitou
3 三頭 さんとう Santou
4 四頭 よんとう Yontou
5 五頭 ごとう Gotou
6 六頭 ろくとう Rokutou
7 七頭 ななとう Nanatou
8 八頭 はっとう / はちとう Hattou / Hachitou
9 九頭 きゅうとう Kyuutou
10 十頭 じゅっとう Juttou

Stories/Tales (Counter: 話, -wa)

Birds and Rabbits (Counter: 羽, -wa)

Bunches, Bundles, Sheaves, Letters (Counter: 把, -wa)

All 3 of these counters are pronounced the same; hence, they are transcribed the same as well.

  • Stories/Tales (Counter: 話, -wa)
  • Birds and Rabbits (Counter: 羽, -wa)
  • Bunches, Bundles, Sheaves, Letters (Counter: 把, -wa)
# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一話 いちわ Ichiwa
2 二話 にわ Niwa
3 三話 さんわ Sanwa
4 四話 よんわ Yonwa
5 五話 ごわ Gowa
6 六話 ろくわ / ろっぱ Rokuwa / Roppa
7 七話 ななわ / しちわ Nanawa / Shichiwa
8 八話 はちわ / はっぱ Hachiwa / Happa
9 九話 きゅうわ Kyuuwa
10 十話 じゅうわ / じゅっぱ Juuwa / Juppa

Long Thin Objects (Counter: 本, -hon)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一本 いっぽん Ippon
2 二本 にほん Nihon
3 三本 さんぼん Sanbon
4 四本 よんほん Yonhon
5 五本 ごほん Gohon
6 六本 ろくほん / ろっぽん Rokuhon / Roppon
7 七本 ななほん Nanahon
8 八本 はっぽん Happon
9 九本 きゅうほん Kyuuhon
10 十本 じゅっぽん Juppon

Small Objects (Counter: 個, -ko)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一個 いっこ Ikko
2 二個 にこ Niko
3 三個 さんこ Sanko
4 四個 よんこ Yonko
5 五個 ごこ Goko
6 六個 ろっこ Rokko
7 七個 ななこ Nanako
8 八個 はっこ Hakko
9 九個 きゅうこ Kyuuko
10 十個 じゅっこ Jukko

Machines and Vehicles (Counter: 大, -dai)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一大 いちだい Ichidai
2 二大 にだい Nidai
3 三大 さんだい Sandai
4 四大 よんだい Yondai
5 五大 ごだい Godai
6 六大 ろくだい Rokudai
7 七大 ななだい / しちだい Nanadai / Shichidai
8 八大 はちだい Hachidai
9 九大 きゅうだい Kyuudai
10 十大 じゅうだい Juudai

Flat Objects (Counter: 枚, -mai)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一枚 いちまい Ichimai
2 二枚 にまい Nimai
3 三枚 さんまい Sanmai
4 四枚 よんまい Yonmai
5 五枚 ごまい Gomai
6 六枚 ろくまい Rokumai
7 七枚 ななまい / しちまい Nanamai / Shichimai
8 八枚 はちまい Hachimai
9 九枚 きゅうまい Kyuumai
10 十枚 じゅうまい Juumai

Floors (of a Building) (Counter: 回, -kai)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一回 いっかい Ikkai
2 二回 にかい Nikai
3 三回 さんがい Sangai
4 四回 よんかい Yonkai
5 五回 ごかい Gokai
6 六回 ろっかい Rokkai
7 七回 ななかい Nanakai
8 八回 はちかい / はっかい Hachikai / Hakkai
9 九回 きゅうかい Kyuukai
10 十回 じゅっかい Jukkai

Glasses (of Liquid) (Counter: 杯, -hai)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一杯 いっぱい Ippai
2 二杯 にはい Nihai
3 三杯 さんばい Sanbai
4 四杯 よんはい Yonhai
5 五杯 ごはい Gohai
6 六杯 ろくはい / ろっぱい Rokuhai / Roppai
7 七杯 ななはい Nanahai
8 八杯 はちはい / はっぱい Hachihai / Happai
9 九杯 きゅうはい Kyuuhai
10 十杯 じゅっぱい Juppai

Books (Counter: 冊, -satsu)

# Kanji Hiragana Transcription
1 一冊 いっさつ Issatsu
2 二冊 にさつ Nisatsu
3 三冊 さんさつ Sansatsu
4 四冊 よんさつ Yonsatsu
5 五冊 ごさつ Gosatsu
6 六冊 ろくさつ Rokusatsu
7 七冊 ななさつ Nanasatsu
8 八冊 はっさつ Hassatsu
9 九冊 きゅうさつ Kyuusatsu
10 十冊 じゅうさつ Juusatsu

Practical guide

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