japanese kanji for ocean

What Is The Japanese Kanji For Ocean? | How To Say Ocean In Japanese? 

Jun 05, 2024Shopify API

The Japanese kanji for Ocean is 海. Learn the different components of 海 and how to say Ocean in Japanese. 

The Japanese writing system is rich with characters known as kanji, each of which carries deep cultural significance and history.

One of the most captivating and evocative kanji characters is that representing the concept of "ocean."

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of this kanji, exploring its strokes, symbolism, and broader implications in Japanese culture.

The Japanese Kanji For Ocean Is 海

The Japanese kanji for "ocean" is written as "海," pronounced as "umi." Comprising two distinct radicals, this character is a visual representation of the expansive and boundless nature of the sea. 

japanese kanji for ocean

The top radical, which resembles the number three (三), symbolizes the movement of waves, while the bottom radical, depicting the character for "mouth" (口), refers to the vast opening of the ocean. 

Together, these radicals create a dynamic image that encapsulates the essence of the ocean's perpetual motion and vastness.

How To Say Ocean In Japanese?

The most common way to say "ocean" in Japanese is: 海 (umi)

The word for "ocean" in Japanese is pronounced as "umi." Phonetically, it is pronounced as "oo-mee," with a prolonged vowel sound that emphasizes the fluidity and expansiveness of the sea itself. 

The pronunciation of "umi" captures the essence of the ocean's ever-moving waves and boundless nature.

Pronunciation Breakdown:

  • The initial sound "oo" is akin to the sound produced when saying the word "blue." It's a prolonged, smooth sound that emulates the vastness of the ocean.
  • The sound "m" is pronounced in the same way as it is in English. It's a gentle, nasal sound that transitions smoothly from the preceding vowel sound.
  • The final sound "ee" is like the long "ee" sound in the word "see." It provides a finishing touch to the pronunciation, allowing the word to flow gracefully.

Breaking Down Components Of 海

The kanji character 海, representing "ocean" in Japanese, is a beautiful amalgamation of two distinct components that work together to convey the essence of the sea. 

  • The Radical 三 (San)

The upper part of the character features the radical 三, which resembles the number three. This element symbolizes the undulating waves of the ocean, forever in motion and forming a dynamic connection to the sea's constant movement.

These waves evoke a sense of both power and fluidity, encapsulating the essence of the ocean's restless nature.

  • The Radical 口 (Kuchi)

The lower component of the character incorporates the radical 口, which translates to "mouth."

In the context of the kanji for ocean, this radical takes on a more metaphorical role. It signifies the expansive opening of the ocean, echoing the idea of the ocean as a vast, welcoming expanse that can be both awe-inspiring and inviting.

Just as a mouth serves as an entrance, the ocean's radical 口 reflects its role as a gateway to exploration and the unknown.

Sentence Examples For 海

  • 夏休みに海に行って、波の音を楽しんだ。
    (Natsuyasumi ni umi ni itte, nami no oto o tanoshinda.)
    During summer vacation, I went to the ocean and enjoyed the sound of the waves.
  • 日の出が美しい海辺で朝を迎えるのは幸せな瞬間だ。
    (Hi no de ga utsukushii umi be de asa o mukaeru no wa shiawasena shunkan da.)
    Witnessing the sunrise by the beautiful seaside is a moment of happiness.
  • 彼は海の中で美しい魚を見つけるのが得意だ。
    (Kare wa umi no naka de utsukushii sakana o mitsukeru no ga tokui da.)
    He's skilled at finding beautiful fish underwater in the ocean.
  • 潮風が心地よく吹く海岸線を歩くのは最高のリフレッシュ方法だ。
    (Shiokaze ga kokochi yoku fuku kaigan-sen o aruku no wa saikou no rifuresshu houhou da.)
    Walking along the coastline where the refreshing sea breeze blows is the best way to recharge.
  • 海の色は、青から深い緑へと次第に変わっていく。
    (Umi no iro wa, ao kara fukai midori e to shidai ni kawatte iku.)
    The color of the ocean gradually changes from blue to deep green.
  • 夏休みに家族と海水浴に行くのが恒例行事だ。
    (Natsuyasumi ni kazoku to kaisuiyoku ni iku no ga kourei kouji da.)
    Going for a swim at the ocean with my family during summer vacation is a tradition.
  • 海岸には美しい貝殻や色とりどりの石が散らばっている。
    (Kaigan ni wa utsukushii kaigara ya iro toridori no ishi ga chirabatte iru.)
    The beach is scattered with beautiful seashells and colorful stones.
  • このリゾート地は美しい海と白い砂浜で知られています。
    (Kono rizooto-chi wa utsukushii umi to shiroi sunahama de shirareteimasu.)
    This resort area is known for its beautiful ocean and white sandy beaches.
  • 釣りが趣味なので、週末に海に出かけることがよくあります。
    (Tsuri ga shumi na node, shuumatsu ni umi ni dekakeru koto ga yoku arimasu.)
    Fishing is my hobby, so I often go to the ocean on weekends.
  • 沈みゆく太陽が海の向こうに美しいオレンジ色の光を投げかけていた。
    (Shizumi yuku taiyou ga umi no mukou ni utsukushii orenji-iro no hikari o nagekakete ita.)
    The setting sun was casting a beautiful orange glow across the ocean's horizon.

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