9 Best Ways to Say “Sun” in Japanese (Words & Kanji)


How to Say Sun in Japanese (Words & Kanji) taiyou vs hi vs san

In this vocabulary lesson, you will learn how to saysun” in Japanese. Since the Japanese language has quite a few words forsun“, I want to go over the most common ones and tell you their meaning, translation, and kanji so that you will be able to use and write them right away.

The two commonly used words to say sun in Japanese are “taiyou” (太陽) and “hi” (日). When referring to the sun as a body of our solar system the word “taiyou” (太陽) is more appropriate. “Hi” (日), on the other hand, is used when the sun affects daily life and in words like “sunrise” and “sunset”.

There are a few other common words that can be used to say sun in Japanese: “ohisama“, “otentousama“, and “san“. So let’s go over the definition and meaning of all the 5 Japanese words for the sun. Further down you will also find more advanced words like “rising sun“, “setting sun“, and the Japanese term for “sun breathing“, which is a technique from the anime “Kimetsu no Yaiba”.

How to Say “Sun” in Japanese

  • taiyou – 太陽
  • hi – 日 or 陽
  • san – サン
  • ohisama – お日様
  • otentousama – お天道様

1. Taiyou – More Scientific Word for “Sun” in Japanese

The word taiyou (太陽) translates as “sun” and is one of the two most commonly used words to say sun in Japanese. It comes from the Chinese language and should be used when you want to refer to the sun as a body of our solar system or in a more scientific way.

taiyou
太陽
sun

Most of the time when you use the word “solar” in English it is translated as taiyou (太陽) in Japanese. “Solar system“, for example, is taiyou kei (太陽系), and the word for “solar cell” is taiyou denchi (太陽電池) in Japanese. The list goes on and on and on.

taiyou kei
太陽系
solar system

taiyou denchi
太陽電池
solar cell

taiyou enerugii
太陽エネルギー
solar energy
solar power

However, the Japanese word taiyou (太陽) can also be used when talking about the sun in normal daily life expressions and sentences like “the shining sun“, “the sun is shining“, “the sun is bright“, etc.

kagayaku taiyou
輝く太陽
the shining sun

Taiyou ga kagayaiteiru.
太陽が輝いている。
The sun is shining

Taiyou ga mabushii
太陽が眩しい。
The sun is bright

In this video, you can see how to write the kanji of the word “taiyou” in Japanese:

How to Write Sun (Taiyou – 太陽) in Japanese

2. Hi – Japanese Word Meaning “Sun”, “Sunshine”, or “Day”

Hi (日) is the original Japanese word for sun but has a couple of translations: sun, sunshine, sunlight, day, days, daytime, etc. It is also one of the most common kanji and used in many other words like nihon (日本, Japan) and nichiyoubi (日曜日, Sunday).

hi

sun
sunshine
sunlight
day, days
daytime

Whenever you want to talk about the sun in relation to daily life and especially in situations when the sun impacts human lives and activities, this is the word you should use. Since it is a little difficult to explain I recommend you try memorizing the following words and expressions.

hinode
日の出
sunrise

hinoiri
日の入り
sunset

Hi ga nobotta.
日が昇った。
The sun is up.

Hi ga shizundeita.
日が沈んでいた。
The sun has set.

Koori wa hi ni ataru to tokeru.
氷は日にあたると溶ける。
Ice melts in the sun.

There is another Japanese kanji that you can use for the sun which is 陽 (hi). In contrast to the more commonly used kanji 日 (hi), it is less often used, though, and only translates as “sun“, “sunshine“, and “sunlight“.

hi

sun
sunshine
sunlight

3. San – English Loanword Mening “Sun”

Similar to the English loanwordsukai” that you can use to say sky in Japanese, there is also one that you can use for the sun. The word san (サン) is pronounced exactly the same as the English word “sun” and therefore very easy to remember.

san
サン
sun

However, the loanword san (サン) is usually only found in names for characters or names for places like Nakano Sanplaza (中野サンプラザ), which is a rather big and famous concert hall in Tokyo. Also, since it is an English loanword it is written in katakana only and there is no kanji.

4. Ohisama – Honorific Way to Say “the Sun” in Japanese

Ohisama means “the Sun” or “Honorable Mr. Sun” and can be written in kanji as お日様, 御日様, or お日さま. This term is commonly used by children to refer to the sun in an honorific and respectful way.

ohisama
お日様
the sun
Honorable Mr. Sun

5. Otentousama – Even More Honorific Word for “the Sun”

Otentousama, which can also be written as Otentosama or O’tento sama, is another even more honorific word for “the Sun”. In kanji, it is either written as お天道様, 御天道様, or お天道さま. To be honest, I have never heard the word before, so I assume it might only be used in a religious context.

otentousama
お天道様
the sun
Honorable Mr. Sun

Advanced Words That Mean “Sun” in Japanese

  • asahi – 朝日
  • kyokujitsu -旭日
  • yuuhi – 夕日
  • byakuya – 白夜
  • nishibi – 西日

6. Asahi – “Rising Sun” or “Morning Sun”

Asahi (朝日) actually translates as “morning sun“, but is the most common term to say “rising sun” in Japanese. The first kanji 朝 means “morning” and the second kanji 日 means “sun” but also “day”. You can also use the Japanese word hinode (日の出) which translates as “sunrise“.

asahi
朝日
rising sun
morning sun

Another word for “rising sun” is kyokujitsu (旭日). It is used in a few expressions like for example “Rising Sun Flag” which is called kyokujitsuki (旭日旗) or kyokki (旭旗) in Japanese.

kyokujitsu
旭日
rising sun

7. Yuuhi – “Setting Sun” or “Evening Sun”

Yuuhi (夕日) is the Japanese word for “evening sun” or “setting sun“. 夕 (yuu) is the kanji for “evening” in Japanese and 日 (hi) is the kanji for “sun“.

yuuhi
夕日
setting sun
evening sun

8. Byakuya – “Midnight Sun”

Byakuya (白夜), which can also be read as “hakuya“, is the Japanese term used when the sun doesn’t set and translates as “midnight sun“, “night under the midnight sun“, “white night“. The word consists of the kanji 白 which means “white” and the kanji 夜 which means “night“.

byakuya
白夜
white night
midnight sun
night under the midnight sun

9. Nishibi – “Westerning Sun” or “Afternoon Sun”

Westering Sun” or “afternoon soon” is nishibi (西日) in Japanese, but the word can also be translated as “setting sun“. The first kanji 西 means “west” and the second one is the Japanese kanji for the “sun“.

nishibi
西日
westering sun
afternoon sun

How to Say “Sun and Moon” in Japanese

Taiyou to tsuki (太陽と月) is the common phrase Japanese people use to say “sun and moon“. The first word “taiyou” (太陽) means “sun” and the last word “tsuki” (月) means “moon“. In the middle, we have the particle to (と) which is used to connect nouns and translates as “and“.

taiyou to tsuki
太陽と月
sun and moon

The video games “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon“, however, are called “Poketto Monsutaa San” (ポケットモンスター サン) and “Pokemonsutaa Muun” (ポケットモンスター ムーン). Also the anime “Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon” is called “Poketto Monsutaa San & Muun” (ポケットモンスター サン&ムーン) in Japanese.

Poketto Monsutaa San
ポケットモンスター サン
Pokémon Sun

Poketto Monsutaa Muun
ポケットモンスター ムーン
Pokémon Moon

Poketto Monsutaa San & Muun
ポケットモンスター サン&ムーン
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon

How to Say “Sun Breathing” in Japanese (Kimetsu no Yaiba)

In the anime Kimetsu no Yaiba “Hi no kokyu” (日の呼吸) or “hi no kokyuu” (ひのこきゅう) is the Japanese name of the breathing style which is known as “Sun Breathing” in English. The first word “hi” (日) means “sun” and “kokyuu” (呼吸) can be translated as “breathing“, “respiration“, “secret“, or “trick“.

hi no kokyu
日の呼吸
sun breathing
(Kimetsu no Yaiba term)

How to Say “Sun God” and “Sun Goddess” in Japanese

Taiyoushin” (太陽神) is the Japanese word for “sun god“. It consists of the word taiyou (太陽) which means “sun” and the word shin (神), also read as kami, which means “god“.

taiyoushin
太陽神
sun god

The word for “sun goddess” is Amaterasu (天照). It consists of 天, which is one of the Japanese words and kanji for “sky”, and the kanji 照 for “shine” or “illuminate“.

Amaterasu
天照
sun goddess

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Alex (No war please!)

おはよう. I'm Alex. I have started studying Japanese when I was still a high school student and I have been living and working in Japan since 2015. I'm still learning new Japanese phrases and words every day and I thought that publishing them online will be useful for you, too. Hopefully, my study notes and free Japanese lessons will help you to reach the Japanese level you want to have! If you want to practice your Japanese for free follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram.

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