Japanese Colors Words and Vocabulary

This section covers the words and vocabulary used to describe Japanese colors.

Japanese Colors Vocabulary

Most of the colors in Japanese are ended with the word 色 (iro) with a few exceptions. There are no kanji equivalents for colors using katakana as they are direct translation from English.

It's always interesting to learn the perception of different colors among different cultures.

You probably notice that on the Japanese flag, it's a sun painted in red 赤い日 (akai hi - red sun). But in most other countries, the sun is always yellow or orange.

In funeral the Japanese wear black from head to toe, including men's ties. I just wonder if every man always has a black suit ready in their wardrobe anticipating that he will be wearing it to attend funerals. On the other hand, white color, which is an auspicious color, is always used in weddings.

Let's check out what is the word list for colors in Japanese.

Kanji Hiragana or
Romaji Meaning
1. いろ iro Color
2. しろ shiro White
3. ホワイト howaito White
4. くろ kuro Black
5. ブラック burakku Black
6. あか aka Red
7. レッド reddo Red
8. あお ao Blue
9. ブルー buru- Blue
10. みどり midori Green
11. グリーン guri-n Green
12. むらさき murasaki Purple / Violet
13. パープル pa-puru Purple
14. 黄色 きいろ ki iro Yellow
15. イエロー iero- Yellow
16. 茶色 ちゃいろ cha iro Brown
17. ブラウン buraun Brown
18. 金色 きんいろ kin iro Gold
19. ゴールド go-rudo Gold
20. 銀色 ぎんいろ gin iro Silver
21. シルバー shiruba- Silver
22. 桃色 ももいろ momo iro Pink
23. ピンク pinku Pink
24. 灰色 はいいろ hai iro Gray
25. グレー gure- Gray
26. 橙色 だいだいいろ daidai iro Orange
27. オレンジ orenji Orange
28. 水色 みずいろ mizu iro Light Blue
29. 紺色 こんいろ kon iro Deep Blue / Navy Blue / Dark Blue
30. 藍色 あいいろ ai iro Indigo Blue
31. 藤色 ふじいろ fuji iro Light Purple
32. 焦げ茶色 こげちゃいろ kogecha iro Dark Brown
33. 山吹色 やまぶきいろ yamabuki iro Bright Golden Yellow
34. 黄土色 おうどいろ oudo iro Yellow Ocher
35. 黄緑 きみどり ki midori Yellow Green
36. 深緑 ふかみどり fuka midori Dark Green
37. ダークグリーン da-ku guri-n Dark Green
38. ベージュ be-ju Beige
39. 朱色 しゅいろ shu iro Vermilion / Scarlet
40. 茜色 あかねいろ akane iro Madder Red
41. 銅色 あかがねいろ akagane iro Copper
42. 青銅色 せいどういろ seidou iro Bronze
43. ライラック rairakku Lilac
44. ターコイズ ta-koizu Turquoise
45. 無色 むしょく mushoku Colorless
46. カラフル karafuru Colorful
47. 透明 とうめい toumei Transparent / Clear
48. 淡い あわい awai Light / Pale
49. 明るい あかるい akarui Bright
50. 鮮やか あざやか azayaka Vivid / Vibrant
51. 薄い うすい usui Light / Faint
52. 濃い こい koi Dark / Deep Color

One thing to take note is that the above colors are all nouns. Therefore, when you describe an object with a color, you should add the particle の (no) in between. This is description of noun (NounA no NounB) as taught in basic lesson 3.

For example, 青の車 (ao no kuruma - a blue car), 赤の箱 (aka no hako - a red box), ベージュのかばん (be-ju no kaban - a beige bag), 紺色のシャツ (kon iro no shatsu - a dark blue shirt).

However, a few of the colors have their i-adjective equivalents, they are 白い (shiroi), 黒い (kuroi), 赤い (akai), 青い (aoi), 黄色い (kiiroi). For these few colors, you can describe the object directly without using the の (no) particle.

For example, 白い車 (shiroi kuruma - a white car), 黒い靴 (kuroi kutsu - a black shoe), 赤いぺん (akai pen - a red pen), 青い椅子 (aoi isu - a blue chair), 黄色い紙 (kiiroi kami - a yellow paper).

The above is the word list commonly used to describe Japanese colors. I will continue to collect more color words and add them to the above list.

And if you want to study more vocabulary about colors in Japanese and also how to read them in Japanese, make sure you check out this page talking about more colors.

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.



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