Months of the Year in Japanese

Spell and Pronounce Months of the Year in Japanese


In Japanese, there is no capitalization. Months are made up of numerals (1–12) with gatsu, which literally translates to “month” in English. Therefore, to pronounce the months of the year, you usually say the month’s number, then gatsu.

However, there are certain exceptions: Pay special attention to the months of April, July, and September. It’s shi-gatsu, not yon-gatsu, shichi-gatsu, not nana-gatsu, and ku-gatsu, not kyuu-gatsu, in April. The Japanese imperial year is based on the tale of Emperor Jimmu’s creation of Japan in 660 BC. In 1873. It was never used to substitute era designations, and it hasn’t been used since World War II.



Months are now referred to as the “first month,” “second month,” and so on in modern Japanese. The suffix is added to the matching number. In addition, Japan has 6 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Below, I have compiled a list of months of the year in Japanese and I have also added the traditional origins also:



Months in JapanesePronunciationIn English
一月Ichi-gatsuJanuary
二月Ni-gatsuFebruary
三月San-gatsuMarch
四月Shi-gatsuApril
五月Go-gatsuMay
六月Roku-gatsuJune
七月Shichi-gatsuJuly
八月Hachi-gatsuAugust
九月Ku-gatsuSeptember
十月Juu-gatsuOctober
十一月Juuichi-gatsuNovember
十二月Juuni-gatsuDecember

In conclusion, because the old Japanese calendar was a modified lunar calendar based on the Chinese lunar calendar, a year in which hence the months—started somewhere from 3 to 7 weeks later than the current year, it is not totally true to correlate the first month with January in historical circumstances.

Want more? Learn how to spell and pronounce days of the week in Japanese.





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