What does kimi mean in Japanese? That is the topic of today’s lesson and what I am going to be explaining in the sections below.
There are a couple of different ways to translate this word, but one of them is more common than the rest, so we’ll spend most of our time going over it before moving on to the other possibilities.
Once you’ve learned this new word, you will probably start to notice it all over the place!
This should be a pretty exciting thing as it means you are one step closer to reaching your goals with the language.
What Does 君 Mean?
The most common way to write kimi in Japanese is with the kanji 君. When it is done this way, the meaning of the word is “you” in English.
You may be asking yourself, “but I thought that anata was the Japanese word for ‘you’” and if so, you would be correct!
This is one of those situations where the Japanese language has multiple words, while the English language only has the one.
The main thing to learn about 君 is the nuance that the word brings to it. If you do this, then you will know the deeper meaning behind the word when other people use it, and you will also know when it’s appropriate to use it yourself.
So let’s dive into in a little more in this next section.
What Are The Nuances Behind 君?
The first thing to know about 君 is that it is a casual word. This means that you will most likely hear it used between friends, or when someone in a superior position is talking to someone in a lower position.
For example, a teacher might use this word when talking to his or her student. But if the student were to address their teacher with this word, then that would be seen as disrespectful since it would mean that the student sees themselves as “above” the teacher.
Here’s an example of something that a boss might say to his subordinate when they are at the office.
- 君に頼んだぞ。 (kimi ni tanon da zo.)
- I’m counting on you (to do this task).
In this situation, 君 is not considered rude or out of place since it is being used to address someone of lower social status.
If you keep in mind that this word should be used for equals or people of lower positions, then you should be fine.
Here’s another example, taken directly out of the anime Kakegurui when Ryouta is talking to his new classmate Yumeko who just won a huge gambling match on her first day after transferring.
- やっぱり君は特別だ。 (yappari kimi wa tokubetsu da.)
- You really are something special.
However, even though the word kimi means “you” in Japanese, it is actually much more common to call a person by their last name instead of using a pronoun.
Still, you will run into this word a lot when watching shows, so now you will know how to understand it.
By the way, have you seen the famous anime move Your Name? In Japnaese it is spelled as 君の名 (Kimi no Na) which you can see uses kimi in it!
And here is a common phrase that is shouted in anime when one character wants to get the attention of someone who is a little ways off in the distance.
- そこの君！ (soko no kimi!)
- Hey, you over there!
Something else that you should be aware of is that the word きみ (kimi) is used more often by men than it is by women.
It’s also becoming more common for it to be used between lovers, so like when a guy is talking to his girlfriend or whatnot.
What Does 気味 Mean?
There is another common Japanese word that is pronounced as きみ (kimi), but has a different meaning.
It helps when you see that it is written with different kanji, which are 気味.
The English translation of 気味 is “sensation” but if you look it up in a Japanese dictionary you get a little more in depth explanation on it.
- The smell and taste of things.
However, even though this is the meaning of the word when used as a noun, the kanji actually appear more often as a suffix attached onto the end of other words.
When this happens, the reading of it changes to gimi and the meaning alters to “feeling like” which can be seen in the following examples below.
- 疲れ気味 (tsukare gimi) = feeling tired
- 夏バテ気味 (natsubate gimi) = having a bit of summer heat fatigue
- 緊張気味 (kinchō gimi) = being a bit nervous
- 風邪気味 (kaze gimi) = having a touch of a cold
So that’s how you can begin to understand and use the two primary meanings of 気味.
Two Non-Common Meanings For Kimi
The information that we’ve gone over so far should be sufficient for 95% of the time. But just in case you run into that remaining 5%, I wanted to go over the other two possibilities.
Neither of these words are common, so I wouldn’t worry too much about them if I were you.
The first one is 黄身 (kimi) which has the kanji for “yellow” 黄 and the kanji for “body” 身.
I guess in that way it is east to see how a “yellow body” can be understood to be an egg’s yolk.
Just in case you were wondering, the word for egg white is 白身 (shiromi) which simply replaces the character for yellow with the one for white. Pretty cool!
In any case, the other word for kimi that you may encounter is 黄み which uses that first kanji for yellow again.
So what does the word mean this time? Well, it actually means yellow or yellowish. Go figure!
Now You Know All About It
You should have a pretty good understanding behind the word きみ now that we’ve gone over both the common meanings of it, and also a couple of the lessor used ones.
I’m not aware of any additional meanings for the word kimi, but if you happen to know of any, then be sure to let me know about them by leaving a comment down below.
Until then, I will catch you later!
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: