What Does Konnichiwa Mean in Japanese?

A Popular Japanese Greeting

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If you want to greet someone in Japanese by saying "good afternoon" or "good day," the word you want to use is Konnichiwa. 

Konnichiwa is actually a shortened version of a full greeting. Over time, a more slang version of the term evolved in the Japanese language.

“Konnichiwa" was once the beginning of a sentence that went, “konnichi wa gokiken ikaga desu ka?,” or “How are you feeling today?” (今日はご機嫌いかがですか?)

Writing Rules for Konnichiwa

There is a rule for writing hiragana "wa" and "ha." When "wa" is used as a particle, it is written in hiragana as "ha." "Konnichiwa" is now a fixed greeting. However, in the old days it was a part of sentence, such as "Today is ~ (Konnichi wa ~)" and "wa" functioned as a particle. That's why it is still written in hiragana as "ha."

The greeting can be changed to good evening, with, Konbanwa where “this evening” is substituted for the word today. (今晩はご機嫌いかがですか?)

Audio File:

Listen to the audio file for "Konnichiwa."

Japanese Characters for Konnichiwa:


More Japanese Greetings:


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Abe, Namiko. "What Does Konnichiwa Mean in Japanese?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/meaning-of-konnichiwa-2028336. Abe, Namiko. (2020, August 28). What Does Konnichiwa Mean in Japanese? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/meaning-of-konnichiwa-2028336 Abe, Namiko. "What Does Konnichiwa Mean in Japanese?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/meaning-of-konnichiwa-2028336 (accessed March 30, 2023).