Japanese Animals
Words and Vocabulary

This section covers the words and vocabulary used for Japanese animals.

Japanese Animals Vocabulary

Usually animals are written in katakana but sometimes they can also be written in hiragana.

When the animal name is translated from other languages, there is no kanji equivalent. For examples, ライオン (raion - lion) and パンダ (panda - panda).

If you like Japanese manga or anime, you will notice that many characters are created based on various Japanese animals.

Besides, there are also quite a number of Japanese movies which are about touching stories between the leading characters and their pets.

One of the most popular manga/anime character is none other than ドラえもん (doraemon). It's a cat but it's afraid of mouse, funny isn't it! And don't forget about Hello Kitty which is very popular among the young girls though Hello Kitty is not a manga character.

Let's study the names of different Japanese animals from the following vocabulary list.

Increase your vocabulary with a Japanese electronic translator.

Kanji Hiragana or
Romaji Meaning
1. 動物 どうぶつ dou butsu Animal
2. ネズミ nezumi Mouse / Rat
3. ねこ neko Cat
4. 子猫 / 小猫 こねこ ko neko Kitten
5. いぬ inu Dog
6. 子犬 / 小犬 こいぬ ko inu Puppy
7. ニワトリ niwatori Chicken
8. 家鴨 アヒル ahiru Domestic Duck
9. カモ kamo Wild Duck
10. とり tori Bird
11. スズメ suzume Sparrow
12. ツバメ tsubame Swallow
13. ハト hato Dove / Pigeon
14. 烏 / 鴉 カラス karasu Crow
15. 白鳥 ハクチョウ hakuchou Swan
16. 蝙蝠 コウモリ koumori Bat
17. フクロウ fukurou Owl
18. ワシ washi Eagle
19. タカ taka Falcon / Hawk
20. ツル tsuru Crane
21. ウサギ usagi Rabbit / Hare
22. 栗鼠 リス risu Squirrel
23. サル saru Monkey
24. ウシ ushi Cow / Cattle
25. ウマ uma Horse
26. 縞馬 シマウマ shimauma Zebra
27. ヒツジ hitsuji Sheep
28. 山羊 ヤギ yagi Goat
29. 鹿 シカ shika Deer
30. ブタ buta Pig
31. イノシシ inoshishi Wild Boar
32. 河馬 カバ kaba Hippopotamus
33. パンダ panda Panda
34. 麒麟 キリン kirin Giraffe
35. カンガルー kangaru- Kangaroo
36. 駱駝 ラクダ rakuda Camel
37. キツネ kitsune Fox
38. タヌキ tanuki Raccoon Dog
39. オオカミ ookami Wolf
40. トラ tora Tiger
41. ライオン raion Lion
42. チーター chi-ta- Cheetah
43. サイ sai Rhinoceros
44. クマ kuma Bear
45. ゾウ zou Elephant
46. ヘビ hebi Snake
47. ワニ wani Crocodile / Alligator
48. カメ kame Tortoise / Turtle
49. カエル kaeru Frog
50. さかな sakana Fish
51. 烏賊 イカ ika Cuttlefish / Squid
52. 牡蠣 カキ kaki Oyster
53. アワビ awabi Abalone
54. 蝦 / 海老 エビ ebi Shrimp / Prawn
55. カニ kani Crab
56. 蛸 / 章魚 タコ tako Octopus
57. ペンギン pengin Penguin
58. 人鳥 じんちょう jinchou Penguin (Rarely used)
59. 海豚 イルカ iruka Dolphin
60. クジラ kujira Whale
61. サメ same Shark
62. むし mushi Insect
63. 昆虫 こんちゅう konchuu Insect / Bug
64. アリ ari Ant
65. ka Mosquito
66. ハエ hae Fly
67. ゴキブリ gokiburi Cockroach
68. 蝸牛 カタツムリ katatsumuri Snail
69. 蜘蛛 クモ kumo Spider
70. 百足 ムカデ mukade Centipede
71. ホタル hotaru Firefly
72. セミ semi Cicada
73. 蜻蛉 トンボ tonbo Dragonfly
74. 蝶蝶 チョウチョウ chouchou Butterfly
75. ハチ hachi Bee
76. 毛虫 けむし kemushi Caterpillar
77. 蚯蚓 ミミズ mimizu Earthworm
78. 守宮 ヤモリ yamori Gecko / House Lizard
79. 蜥蜴 トカゲ tokage Lizard
80. 川獺 かわうそ kawauso Otter

Although there are kanji characters for most of the Japanese animals, they are not commonly used when writing. Most of the time katakana or hiragana will still be used. Study this "Japanese animals" vocabulary list to know how animals are called in Japanese.

This Japanese vocabulary list is not exhaustive but should be enough for most people.

Update: A reader living in Japan suggested me to add in another name for Penguin (no. 58 above) which is called 人鳥 (じんちょう - jinchou). Well, as I found out, this word is rarely used now to describe Penguin. You probably cannot find it in the dictionary. Anyway, I have added it in for your reference.

Looking for more Japanese words on animals? Get a Japanese electronic translator!

Want to increase your vocabulary? Check out the Japanese English dictionary.

› Japanese Animals

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