Languages › Japanese Learn Japanese Animal Vocabulary Share Flipboard Email Print Kohei Hara / Getty Images Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated January 28, 2019 There are kanji characters for hippopotamus (河馬), giraffe (麒麟), mouse (鼠), camel (駱駝), squirrel (栗鼠), zebra (縞馬), rabbit (兎) and goat (山羊), but they are often written in hiragana or katakana. The counter for small animals is "hiki (匹)" and for large animals is "tou (頭)." Inu ga go-hiki imasu. 犬が五匹います. There are five dogs.Watashi wa kuma o ni-tou mimashita. 私は熊を二頭見ました. I saw two bears. Click the link to hear the pronunciation. doubutsu 動物 animals buta 豚 pig hitsuji 羊 sheep inu 犬 dog kaba かば hippopotamus kitsune 狐 fox kirin キリン giraffe kuma 熊 bear neko 猫 cat nezumi ねずみ mouse ookami 狼 wolf raion ライオン lion rakuda らくだ camel risu りす squirrel saru 猿 monkey shika 鹿 deer shimauma しまうま zebra tora 虎 tiger tori 鳥 bird usagi うさぎ rabbit ushi 牛 cow/ox uma 馬 horse yagi やぎ goat zou 象 elephant Counting in Japanese How to Say "Want" or "Desire" in Japanese Japanese Lesson: Particles "O" and "No" Verbs of Change: Naru Mother's Day: Haha no Hi Ubasute yama - Learn from a Story Particle (Bakari) Ari no mama de - The Japanese Version of "Let It Go" Writing Japanese New Year's Cards Umi no mizu wa naze karai - Learn from a Story Gogatsu byou May Sickness The Tanabata Festival in Japan and the Tanabata Story Celebrating Father's Day in Japanese Culture Useful Japanese Expressions Meaning, Pronunciation, and Characters of the Japanese Word "Hidoi" Guide to the Japanese Language in the Animated "Spirited Away"