Friday, July 29, 2016

Body Parts in Japanese - Vocabulary

Characters in anime are people just like everybody else, as such, they have human bodies with its human body parts. Obviously, the Japanese language has words for these human body parts, and here are they.

Karada 身体

The word "body" in Japanese is karada 体, also written karada 身体. This kanji 体 means "body" and shows up in many body-related words. Take a look:
  • jintai 人体
    Human body
    • hito
      Person.
  • nikutai 肉体
    Flesh. Body of meat.
    • niku
      Meat.
    • nikutai kaizou-bu 肉体改造部
      Body improvement club. (from Mob Psycho 100.)
  • taikei 体型
    Body shape
    • kata
      Model.
  • taiiku 体育
    Physical exercise.
    • sodatsu 育つ
      To raise. To up-bring.
  • taichou 体長
    Height. Body length.
    • nagai 長い
      Long.
  • taion 体温
    Body temperature.
    • atatakai 温かい
      Warm.

Mi

There's also another word for body, mi 身, but it's used a little differently.

First off, mi 身 is used more to talk about my body or your body and not just any body like karada. For example, if in anime a character is able to possess other people's bodies he would say kono karada この体 to say "this body," but never kono mi この身.

Another example is the phrase mi no hodo wo shirazu 身の程を知らず, literally "not knowing the limits of the body," which actually means "not knowing your social standing." That is, it's used when a character acts wrongly before a king or imperor.

Head and Face Parts

Well then, let's start talking about the names of body parts now. Starting with the "head", atama 頭 and going down..
  • atama
    Head
  • kami
    Hair
  • kao
    Face.
    • Often used to talk about facial expressions.
  • men
    Face.
    • Often used to talk about honor, "to save face," etc.
  • hitai
    Forehead
  • mayu
    Eyebrow. (area.)
  • mayuge 眉毛
    Eyebrow. (hair.)
    • ke
      Hair. Fur.
  • me
    Eye.
  • hitomi
    Pupil.
  • kousai 虹彩
    Iris.
  • hana
    Nose.
  • kuchi
    Mouth.
  • kuchibiru
    Lips.
  • ha
    Teeth.
  • kiba
    Animal fangs.
  • shita
    Tongue.
    • shita
      Below. Down. Under. (homonym.)
  • mimi
    Ear.
  • hoo
    Cheeks.
  • kubi
    Neck.
    • Also means to be "fired" from a job. Probably comes from death by hanging or some other form of execution involving the neck.

Upper Body Parts

Next are the names of the parts of the "upper body," or joutai 上体 in Japanese. This is the same kanji as in the word ue 上 which means "up."

(do not mistake joutai 上体 with joutai 状態 which means "circumstances")
  • kata
    Shoulder.
  • ude
    Arm.
  • hiji
    Elbow.
  • tekubi 手首
    Wrist.
  • te
    Hand.
  • te no hira
    te no hira 手のひら
    te no uchi 手の内
    Palm.
  • te no kou 手の甲
    Back of the hand.
  • yubi
    Finger.
  • tsume
    Nail. Fingernail. Toenail.
  • mune
    Chest.
  • oppai おっぱい
    Boobs!
  • hara
    ohara お腹
    Stomach. Abdomen.
  • heso
    Bellybutton
  • se
    senaka 背中
    Back. (body part.)
    • mae
      Back. (in time.)
    • ushiro 後ろ
      Behind. (something.)
    • ato
      After. (in time.)
      Behind. (someone, following them, going "after" them.)

Lower Body Parts

Going deeper lower, the parts of the "lower body" or katai 下体.

(do not mistake katai 下体 with katai 固い which means "hard", "solid")
  • shiri
    oshiri お尻
    Butt.
  • shippo 尻尾
    Animal tail.
  • momo
    futomomo 太もも
    Thighs.
  • hiza
    Knee.
  • sune
    Shank.
  • mukouzune 向うずね
    Shin.
  • fukurabagi 脹脛
    Calf. Calves.
  • ashi
    Leg.
  • ashikubi 足首
    Ankle. (area around leg, right before the foot)
  • kurubushi
    Ankle (referring to the joint.)
  • ashi
    Feet.
  • yubi
    ashiyubi 足指
    ashi no yubi 足の指
    Toes.
  • ashi no kou 足の甲
    Top of the foot.
  • ashi no ura 足の裏
    Sole.
    • ura
      Reverse side. (often refers to something hidden from view, like when you have a figurehead in an organization and the real boss is controlling everything from the unseen shadows, from the ura.)

Sides of the Body

Interrupting the list for an important note! You have two hands, two eyes, two ears, two legs and two feet (I hope). How to talk about only the left part of the body of only the right part?

It's easy. Just use the words migi 右 and hidari 左 which mean "left" and "right". The "left hand" would be hidari te 左手, and the right foot would be migi ashi 右の足.

Sometimes you want to talk about both sides of your body. For this case, there are the words ryou te 両手, "both hands", and ryou ashi 両足, "both legs/feet".

What about only one side? That's kata te 片手 and kata ashi 片足, which would means "only one hand" and "only one leg. These words usually shows up in anime when a character is so strong he says he'll defeat someone else with just only hand, or when other characters try to stop one character from recklessly doing a thing because he only hand one hand.

This kata 片 is only used when you have both sides of a thing. It doesn't mean merely "only".

Insides of the Body

Continuing, the words for the insides of the body, or tainai 体内.
  • naizou 内蔵
    Internal organs
  • hone
    Bone.
  • hifu 皮膚
    Skin. (technical term.)
    • hada
      Skin. (general term, often used in idioms.)
  • nou
    nouzui 脳髄
    Brains.
  • nou-miso 脳味噌
    Innards of the brain.
    • Often used by characters to say "get this inside your brain!" When calling other characters dumb.
    • miso 味噌
      Fermented soybeans, and innards of things that resemble it.
    • miso-shiro 味噌汁
      Soup of miso.
  • medama 目玉
    Eyeball.
  • nodo
    Throat.
  • i
    Stomach.
    • Yes, that's just a single i.
  • shinzou 心臓
    Heart. (real)
    • kodou 鼓動
      Palpitation.
  • kokoro
    Heart (of love, etc.)
    • dokidoki ドキドキ
      *thump thump*
  • hai
    Lung.
  • kanzou 肝臓
    Liver.
  • suizou 膵臓
    Pancreas.
    • Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai
      君の膵臓をたべたい
      I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. (actual name of an anime movie.)
  • daichou 大腸
    Large intestine.
  • shouchou 小腸
    Small intestine.

Yep, that's about it. Now you got enough knowledge about body parts' names that you could start selling body parts like in Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji 逆境無頼カイジ with all this vocabulary you've learned about anatomy, or kaibougaku 解剖学.

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