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 Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Abe, Namiko. "Learn Japanese Animal Vocabulary." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/animals-2028148. Abe, Namiko. (2020, August 28). Learn Japanese Animal Vocabulary. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/animals-2028148 Abe, Namiko. "Learn Japanese Animal Vocabulary." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/animals-2028148 (accessed May 13, 2021). copy citation Counting in Japanese Japanese Lesson: Particles "O" and "No" How to Say "Want" or "Desire" in Japanese Verbs of Change: Naru Mother's Day: Haha no Hi Particle (Bakari) Writing Japanese New Year's Cards The Tanabata Festival in Japan and the Tanabata Story Umi no mizu wa naze karai - Learn from a Story Celebrating Father's Day in Japanese Culture Useful Japanese Expressions Dogs in Japanese Culture Guide to the Japanese Language in the Animated "Spirited Away" Japanese Folk Tales & Mukashi Banashi Personal Pronouns in Japanese Japanese Children Song "Donguri Korokoro"