10 Ways to Say Wife in Japanese (2024)

In Japanese culture, there are many words to describe the concept of "wife," each with its own unique nuances and implications. This article will delve into ten different ways to refer to one's wife in Japanese and explore their meanings and contexts.

Whether you are married or simply looking for the right word to express your deep admiration for your partner, this list of terms should help you find the perfect phrase.

Table of Contents

奥さん (Okusan)

When it comes to addressing someone's spouse in Japan, the term "okusan" is the way to go. This word is polite, respectful, and commonly used in formal settings.

But what's even more impressive is that it's not limited to referring to one's own spouse. You can use "okusan" to address someone else's spouse too!

Example Sentences:



His wife is a kind person.



My wife is very beautiful.



We went to my wife's parents' house together.

妻 (Tsuma)

This word means "wife" or "spouse" and is a more formal term than "okusan". It is often used in legal or official documents and public speeches.

The term "tsuma" carries significant cultural weight in Japanese society and emphasizes the importance of marriage and family values.

Example Sentences:



His wife is a company employee.



My wife is a housewife.



She is my wife.

夫人 (Fujin)

"Fujin" is a formal and respectful way of addressing one's wife. It is commonly used in business or political settings to refer to the spouse of a person of higher rank or status.

This term is slightly more formal than "tsuma" and has a connotation of admiration or respect for the subject's wife.

Example Sentences:



Mrs. Yamada is a very beautiful person.



How is your mother-in-law, Mrs.?



We gave a present to my wife on her birthday.

かみさん (Kamisan)

The term "kamisan" is a way for husbands to express their affection for their wives in Japanese culture.

This term is rooted in the traditional gender roles in Japan, where the wife is expected to take care of the household and support her husband.

"Kamisan" is a way for husbands to acknowledge their wives' contributions to the family and show their love and appreciation.

Example Sentences:



I want to go on a trip with my wife.



The food my wife makes is always delicious.



Yesterday, I went shopping with my wife.

お母さん (Okaasan)

"Okaasan" is a Japanese word with dual meanings; it can refer to both "mother" and "spouse," particularly in intimate or family contexts. The term is a warm and affectionate way of addressing one's significant other in Japanese culture.

Its use is not limited to family settings and can also be used by partners to refer to each other.

The term is commonly used in Japan and is deeply ingrained in the country's culture.

Example Sentences:



Mom, can you help me prepare dinner?



My parents get along well.



Thank you for today, dear.

家内 (Kanai)

"Kanai" is a term used in Japanese culture to respectfully address one's spouse. It conveys a sense of responsibility and loyalty towards one's partner and is considered a formal way to address a spouse.

Although the term is not as commonly used today, it is still prevalent in some areas of Japan.

Example Sentences:



My wife is a housewife.



His wife is very beautiful.



I always give flowers to my wife on her birthday.

配偶者 (Haiguusha)

"Haiguusha" is a legal term used in Japan to describe a spouse. This formal term is used in official documents like marriage certificates and divorce papers.

The term applies to both husbands and wives and is recognized by the Japanese legal system.

While it may be less commonly used in everyday conversation, it is an important term to know if you are living or working in Japan and dealing with legal paperwork related to marriage or divorce.

Example Sentences:



A relationship of trust between spouses is required.



If your relationship with your spouse is not going well, consult a professional.



My spouse goes on business trips abroad frequently.

連れ合い (Tsureai)

"Tsureai" is a Japanese word that can be translated to "spouse," "partner," or "companion," depending on the context. This term is commonly used in spoken Japanese to refer to a husband or wife in a casual and friendly way.

However, it may not be appropriate for formal writing, and in such situations, other words like "haiguusha" or "tsuma" may be more suitable.

Example Sentences:



I'm looking forward to going on a trip with my spouse.



I always prepare a present for my spouse's birthday.



Time with my spouse is very important.

嫁 (Yome)

"Yome" is a Japanese term that has multiple meanings, including "bride," "daughter-in-law," and "wife," depending on the situation. It is used in situations, such as formal family introductions or traditional weddings.

In daily conversations, however, other terms such as "tsuma" or "kanai" are more commonly used to refer to one's spouse.

Example Sentences:



His wife is young and beautiful.



She came in as a bride.



My wife is in charge of all household chores.

女房 (Nyobo)

The term "Nyobo" is an honorific way of referring to one's wife. It is often used by older people and can be seen as a polite and respectful way to address one's wife.

This term is commonly used in formal family introductions or traditional weddings, but not as much in everyday conversations.

Example Sentences:



My father always encourages his wife.



It is a blessing to spend every day with my wife.



I enjoy making dinner and watching movies with my wife.

Final Thoughts

And that's just a few of the terms used to refer to one's wife in Japanese.

Whether it's a formal term like "Haiguusha," an informal term like "Tsureai," or a respectful term like "Nyobo," each word has its own place and purpose.

Whichever one you decide to use, it's important to be respectful and kind to your spouse.

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