e-Learning | No. 4

Calendar and time expressions

一月     いちがつ     ichi gatsu     January

二月     にがつ     ni gatsu     February

三月     さんがつ     san gatsu     March
四月 しがつ shi gatsu    April
五月 ごがつ    go gatsu May
六月 ろくがつ    roku gatsu    June
七月 しちがつ shichi gatsu    July
八月 はちがつ hati gatu    August
九月 くがつ ku gatsu    September
十月 じゅうがつ juu gatsu    October
十一月 じゅういちがつ juuichi gatsu    November
十二月 じゅうにがつ juuni gatsu    December


Japanese days of the week don’t follow such an easy pattern, but here they are anyway, along with some other time-related words.
今日     きょう     kyou     Today
明日     あした     ashita     Tomorrow

昨日     きのう     kinou     Yesterday
一昨日  おととい ototoi     The day before yesterday
明後日   あさって asatte     The day after tomorrow
今朝     けさ      kesa       This morning
今晩     こんばん  konban  This evening

今      いま         ima        Now

Reference from the Japan Foundation


Just put the character for “moon month” after the number of the month, and you have the name of each month.


For advanced students


In Japan, the lunar calendar was used until 1872.

The lunar calendar uses Japanese names for the seasons and events of the month, which are sometimes used in the current calendar.

List of the lunar calendar

一月:睦月(むつき) 仲睦まじい月


January: Mutsuki: The month of friendship
January is a time of many events as it marks the beginning of the year, and it is meant to be an opportunity to deepen friendship and get to know each other.

二月:如月(きさらぎ) 草木が発芽する月


February: Kisaragi: The month of budding plants and trees
“There is a theory that this is the month when plants and trees sprout, just like the birth of a child.

三月:弥生(やよい) 草木が生い茂る月


March: Yayoi: The month when plants and trees grow thickly
This is the time of year when plants and trees grow rapidly in spring.

四月:卯月(うづき) 卯の花の咲く月


April: Uzuki: The month when rabbit flowers bloom
It is said that it came from the “fourth month” because the zodiac rabbit came fourth.

五月:皐月(さつき) 稲の苗を作る早苗月


May: Satsuki: The month of early rice planting
This is the season for planting rice in honor of the god of rice fields.

六月:水無月(みなづき) 水が無くなる月


June:Minazuki: The month when there is no more water
This is the season when water is important for planting rice, and also the rainy season. There is a theory that this month comes from “Mizunazuki,” the month when there is no more water due to the drawing of water in the rice fields here and there, and also due to the severe heat.

七月:文月(ふみづき) 文を書く月


July: Fumiduki: The month of writing
This month is said to have originated from the time when people wrote poems and offered them to the gods, likening them to the stars Altair and Orihime.

八月:葉月(はづき) 葉っぱが美しい月


August: Haduki: A month of beautiful leaves
It is said that the name comes from the fact that this is the month when broad-leafed trees begin to change color and become more and more beautiful.

九月:長月(ながつき) 月が長く見られる月


September: Nagatsuki: The month when the moon can be seen for a long time
It is said that this is the month when autumn begins to deepen and the night becomes longer.

十月:神無月(かんなずき) 神がい無くなる月


October: Kannazuki: The month when the gods disappear
This month is said to be the month when the gods from all over the country gather in Izumo and the gods disappear from the land.

十一月:霜月(しもつき)  霜が降りる頃の月


November: Shimotsuki: The month when the frosts begin to fall.
It is said that this month represents the deepening of autumn and the onset of morning frost in some places.

十二月:師走(しわす) 師僧も走る多忙な月


December: Shiwasu: The busy month when even priests run
This is the time of year when everyone is busy and hectic, and even the priests who are standing tall and reading sutras are said to be so busy that they feel they have to run around.

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