Quick Guide: Learning to express your Feelings and Emotions in Japanese

How do you express your emotions in Japanese? If you’re learning Japanese, it’s helpful to know how to let other know what you’re feeling. We’ve gathered a quick list of essential words that might come in handy. Nevertheless, don’t worry about memorizing too much!

Japanese Verbs to Express Emotion


  • わらう – laugh
  • める – encourage
  • よろこぶ – celebrate, to be jubilant, to have joy
  • (この)むー to like/prefer


  • なぐさめる – consoling someone
  • かなしむ – feeling sad
  • く – cry


  • おこる – feeling angry
  • しかる – scold

Bore, Shock, Gratitude

  • あきる、きる – feeling disinterested, bored, tired or weary
  • おどろく – to be astonished, to be surprised
  • 感謝かんしゃするー feeling grateful
  • びっくりするー to feel surprised, amazed or frightened


Adjectives for Expressing Emotions in Japanese

  • うれしい – happy
  • かなしい – sad
  • ずかしい ー shy
  • さびしい淋しい – lonely
  • こわ恐い – scary
  • つら – painful, heart-breaking
  • くるしい – difficult, agonizing, feeling forced
  • なつかしい – to endear, desire or miss something

Among the various expressions existing to express emotions in Japanese, 感動かんどうする, though not mentioned above, is a beautiful one. Consisting of the Kanji for “Feeling” and “Movement”, this verb is used to express a strong feeling, especially of sadness or sympathy. The English Translation for this would be to feel touched or moved by someone.

Coto Japanese Academy is a unique Japanese Language School in Iidabashi Tokyo, we offer relaxed and fun conversational lessons for all levels of Japanese learner. Coto Japanese Academy prides itself on its community atmosphere and fun lessons that focus on creation of opportunities to speak and learn Japanese. If you are interested in studying Japanese in Tokyo – please visit our contact page here.


Start taking Japanese lessons and learn how to express emotions in Japanese

Test your Japanese level!

Do a self-test to see which course fits you.

Check your level