japanese kanji for please

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

05 June 2024Shopify API

The Japanese kanji for please is お願いします (Onegaishimasu). We break down th components of お願いします and learn how to say please in Japanese in this article. Check it out! 

Delving into the intricate world of the Japanese language, one encounters a cultural tapestry woven with rich nuances of respect and politeness.

Central to this linguistic finesse is the use of Kanji characters, each laden with profound meanings.

In this article, we embark on an exploration of the Japanese Kanji for "please," unearthing not just a word but a window into the heart of Japanese communication, etiquette, and tradition.

Japanese Kanji For Please is お願いします (Onegaishimasu)

In Japanese, the word for "please" is often expressed using the Kanji characters "お願いします," which is pronounced as "Onegaishimasu."

This phrase is commonly used in various situations to convey politeness, respect, and a sense of request or favor.

It plays a pivotal role in Japanese daily interactions, making it an essential term to grasp for those learning the language.

How To Say Please In Japanese? 

Saying "please" in Japanese involves more than just knowing the words; it's about using the appropriate expressions and tone to convey politeness and respect. Here are some common ways to say "please" in Japanese:

  • お願いします (Onegaishimasu)

As mentioned earlier, "お願いします" is the most versatile and widely used way to say "please" in Japanese.

It is suitable for a wide range of situations, from making requests to expressing gratitude. Remember to use this phrase when you want to be polite and show respect.


(Omizu o onegaishimasu.)
"Please bring me some water."

  • ください (Kudasai)

This word is commonly used to make polite requests. It is added to the end of a sentence or phrase to indicate that you are asking for something politely.


(Menyuu o kudasai.)
"Please give me the menu."

  • お願い (Onegai)

This is a shorter form of "お願いします" and can be used in more casual settings among friends and acquaintances.


(Chotto onegai.)
"Could you do me a favor?"

  • お願いいたします (Onegaishimasu)

This is a slightly more formal version of "お願いします" and is often used in business or official settings.


(Kaigi no shiryou o onegaishimasu.)
"Please provide the meeting materials."

  • くださいませんか (Kudasaimasen ka)

This is a polite way to make a request in the form of a question. It can be used to ask for something politely.


(Goi ken o okikishitaku, ankeeto ni gokyouryoku itadakemasen ka?) -
"We would like to hear your opinion. Could you please cooperate with the survey?"

  • よろしくお願いします (Yoroshiku onegaishimasu)

This phrase is used to ask for a favor or assistance and is often used in business or formal situations. It carries the sense of "I'm counting on you" and implies trust.


(Otorikurai, yoroshiku onegaishimasu.) -
"I'm counting on you to take care of it."

Breaking Down The Kanji お願いします

  • お (o): This is an honorific prefix often used in Japanese to show respect and politeness. When combined with other words, it elevates the level of politeness. In this context, it emphasizes the courteous nature of the request.
  • 願い (negai): This Kanji means "wish" or "request." It symbolizes the act of asking for something or expressing a desire. It underscores the intention behind the word "please" in Japanese, emphasizing that it is a heartfelt request.
  • します (shimasu): This is a verb ending that signifies the act of doing something. In this case, it turns the request into a polite action, indicating the speaker's willingness to fulfill the request.

Cultural Significance Of  お願いします

The use of Kanji characters in the word for "please" reflects the depth of Japanese culture and its emphasis on respect and formality. Japanese society places a high value on politeness and consideration for others. 

Therefore, using the Kanji "お願いします" not only conveys a sense of humility but also acknowledges the importance of the person you are making the request to.

"お願いします" is versatile and can be employed in various social settings, from ordering food in a restaurant to making requests in the workplace. 

It serves as a bridge between individuals, creating a harmonious and respectful environment in communication.

Common Usage Of Please in Japanese

  • Dining Out: When placing an order in a Japanese restaurant, it is customary to say "お願いします" after specifying your choice. This demonstrates appreciation for the service and acknowledges the effort of the staff.
  • Requesting Favors: In everyday life, when asking for a favor or assistance from someone, saying "お願いします" is a way to convey your gratitude in advance and show respect for their willingness to help.
  • Business Interactions: In a business setting, using "お願いします" is crucial for maintaining professionalism and fostering positive relationships with colleagues and superiors.


The Japanese Kanji for "please," "お願いします" (Onegaishimasu), is more than just a word; it is a reflection of the values deeply ingrained in Japanese culture—respect, humility, and politeness. 

Learning and using this phrase not only enhances your language skills but also demonstrates your understanding and appreciation of Japanese customs and traditions. 

It serves as a bridge between cultures, facilitating smoother and more respectful interactions in both personal and professional settings. 

So, the next time you wish to say "please" in Japanese, remember the beauty and significance behind these Kanji characters.

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