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.

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. 獅子 しし shishi Lion
43. チーター chi-ta- Cheetah
44. サイ sai Rhinoceros
45. クマ kuma Bear
46. ゾウ zou Elephant
47. ヘビ hebi Snake
48. ワニ wani Crocodile / Alligator
49. カメ kame Tortoise / Turtle
50. カエル kaeru Frog
51. さかな sakana Fish
52. 烏賊 イカ ika Cuttlefish / Squid
53. 牡蠣 カキ kaki Oyster
54. アワビ awabi Abalone
55. 蝦 / 海老 エビ ebi Shrimp / Prawn
56. カニ kani Crab
57. 蛸 / 章魚 タコ tako Octopus
58. ペンギン pengin Penguin
59. 人鳥 じんちょう jinchou Penguin (Rarely used)
60. 海豚 イルカ iruka Dolphin
61. クジラ kujira Whale
62. サメ same Shark
63. むし mushi Insect
64. 昆虫 こんちゅう konchuu Insect / Bug
65. アリ ari Ant
66. ka Mosquito
67. ハエ hae Fly
68. ゴキブリ gokiburi Cockroach
69. 蝸牛 カタツムリ katatsumuri Snail
70. 蜘蛛 クモ kumo Spider
71. 百足 ムカデ mukade Centipede
72. ホタル hotaru Firefly
73. セミ semi Cicada
74. 蜻蛉 トンボ tonbo Dragonfly
75. 蝶蝶 チョウチョウ chouchou Butterfly
76. ハチ hachi Bee
77. 毛虫 けむし kemushi Caterpillar
78. 蚯蚓 ミミズ mimizu Earthworm
79. 守宮 ヤモリ yamori Gecko / House Lizard
80. 蜥蜴 トカゲ tokage Lizard
81. 川獺 かわうそ kawauso Otter
82. 孔雀 クジャク kujaku Peafowl (male peacock, female peahen)
83. 七面鳥 しちめんちょう shichimenchou Turkey
84. 馴鹿 トナカイ tonakai Reindeer
85. ハヤブサ hayabusa Falcon
86. 狒狒 / 狒々 ヒヒ hihi Baboon
87. 白鼻心 ハクビシン hakubishin Masked Palm Civet

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.

And if you want to listen to the sounds that animals make in Japanese, make sure to check out this page on 動物の鳴き声 (doubutsu no nakigoe).

By the way, this link above is an affiliate link, which means that I would earn a commission if you do end up purchasing the related learning course. It's at no extra cost to you, and please if you have any questions related to this learning course, please let me know and I would be happy to answer them for you.



Buy me a coffee

Like This Page?

Facebook Comments

Don’t see the comments box? Log in to your Facebook account, give Facebook consent, then return to this page and refresh it.
Enjoy this page? Please tell others about it. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.