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

05 June 2024Shopify API

The Japanese kanji for thank you is ありがとう. Learn about the components that make up ありがとう and learn how to say thank you in Japanese.

The Japanese language is renowned for its intricate writing system, and within this system, kanji characters carry deep meanings and cultural significance. 

When it comes to expressing gratitude, there's a specific set of kanji characters that beautifully capture the essence of appreciation. 

In this article, we embark on a journey to unravel the secrets behind the Japanese kanji for "Thank You," exploring their history, meanings, and the cultural richness they bring to the act of expressing gratitude. 

Join us as we delve into the heart of this fascinating aspect of Japanese culture and language.

Japanese Kanji for Thank You Is ありがとう

The most common way to express gratitude in Japanese is by saying "arigatou" (ありがとう) or "arigatou gozaimasu" (ありがとうございます). 

These phrases are widely used in daily life, and while they are typically written in hiragana or katakana, the underlying kanji characters reveal the roots of their meanings.

有難う (Arigatou): This is the most common and casual way to say "thank you" in Japanese. The kanji characters for "arigatou" are 有 (ari) and 難 (gatou).

  • Let's break down their meanings:
    • 有 (ari) means "to have" or "to exist." It signifies the presence or possession of something.
    • 難 (gatou) means "difficult" or "hardship." It conveys the idea of something being challenging or burdensome.

When combined, these kanji characters express the sentiment of having something difficult or valuable, which encapsulates the gratitude being expressed.

有難うございます (Arigatou Gozaimasu): This is a more formal and polite way to say "thank you" in Japanese. The addition of "gozaimasu" at the end elevates the politeness level.

The kanji characters remain the same, but the phrase is elongated with additional politeness markers.

How to Say Thank You In Japanese? 

Expressing gratitude in Japanese is an essential aspect of polite communication, and there are several ways to say "thank you" depending on the level of formality and the context of the situation. 

Here's are the different ways to say "Thank you" in Japanese.

Arigatou (ありがとう)

This is the most common and casual way to say "thank you" in Japanese. It can be used in everyday situations with friends, family, or people you are on familiar terms with. It's pronounced as "ah-ree-gah-toh."

Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)

This is a more formal and polite way to express gratitude. It's suitable for use in business settings, with strangers, or when showing respect to elders.

The addition of "gozaimasu" at the end makes the expression more respectful. Pronounced as "ah-ree-gah-toh goh-zah-ee-mahss."

Domo (どうも)

This is a casual and friendly way to say "thank you." It's often used among close friends or in informal situations. It can also be used as an expression of thanks after receiving a favor. Pronounced as "doh-moh."

Doumo arigatou (どうもありがとう)

This is a slightly more polite version of "domo" and is used when you want to be a bit more formal but not as formal as "arigatou gozaimasu." It's a versatile expression that can be used in various situations. Pronounced as "doh-moh ah-ree-gah-toh."

Doumo arigatou gozaimasu (どうもありがとうございます)

This is a very polite and respectful way to say "thank you." It's appropriate for formal occasions, business meetings, or when showing deep appreciation. Pronounced as "doh-moh ah-ree-gah-toh goh-zah-ee-mahss."

Sumimasen (すみません)

While "sumimasen" primarily means "I'm sorry" or "excuse me," it can also be used to express gratitude in certain contexts. For example, when someone goes out of their way to help you, you can say "sumimasen" to thank them for their assistance.

Otsukaresama desu (お疲れ様です)

This expression is commonly used in the workplace to thank someone for their hard work or effort. It acknowledges and appreciates the person's dedication. It can also be used at the end of a task or project as a way of saying "thank you for your hard work."

Breaking Down The Components of  ありがとう

The Japanese word "ありがとう" (arigatou) is commonly used to express gratitude, and it consists of two kanji characters: 有 (ari) and 難 (gatou). 

Let's break down the components of the kanji characters in "ありがとう" and explore their individual meanings:

  • 有 (Ari): This kanji character is the first component of "ありがとう" and is pronounced as "ari." It has several meanings and connotations:
  • To Have: One of the primary meanings of "有" is "to have" or "to possess." In the context of "ありがとう," this component suggests the presence or possession of something valuable or appreciated. It signifies that there is something to be thankful for.
  • Existence: "有" also denotes existence or being. It implies that the subject of gratitude exists and is a part of the situation. In essence, it acknowledges the presence of something worth being thankful for.
  • Abundance: Another aspect of "有" is abundance or plenty. When used in "ありがとう," it can imply not just the existence but also the abundance of something valuable, reinforcing the depth of appreciation.
  • 難 (Gatou): The second component of "ありがとう" is "難," pronounced as "gatou." It has the following meanings:
  • Difficult: The primary meaning of "難" is "difficult" or "hardship." It conveys the idea that what is being appreciated is not something easily obtained or achieved. This component adds depth to the expression of gratitude, emphasizing that the favor or kindness was not taken for granted.
  • Challenge: "難" can also imply a challenge or obstacle. When used in "ありがとう," it underscores the idea that the benefactor overcame challenges or difficulties to provide assistance, making the expression of gratitude more heartfelt.
  • Importance: In certain contexts, "難" can signify the importance or significance of something. When included in "ありがとう," it highlights the value of what is being appreciated and the impact it has had.

When you combine these two kanji characters, "有" and "難," to form "ありがとう," you create a word that conveys the appreciation for the presence, existence, and often the abundance of something valuable or important, even if it was difficult to obtain or achieve. 

It encapsulates the depth of gratitude in Japanese culture and serves as a powerful expression of thanks.

Understanding the individual components of kanji characters can provide valuable insights into the meanings and nuances of Japanese words, allowing for a deeper appreciation of the language and culture.

How do you say thank you very much in Japanese kanji?

In Japanese, you can say "thank you very much" using kanji characters by using the phrase "どIn Japanese kanji, you can express "thank you very much" by using the phrase: 

"どうもありがとうございます," which is written as:

  • どう (Dou) = Very 
  • も (Mo) = A particle that emphasizes the degree 
  • ありがとう (Arigatou) = Thank you 
  • ございます (Gozaimasu) = A polite ending

So, when written in kanji, it would be:


This phrase adds an extra level of politeness and emphasis to your gratitude, making it suitable for formal occasions or when you want to convey deep appreciation.

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