The “general” Japanese word for mother is お母さん (okaasan). However, there are numerous different ways to say mother in Japanese, depending upon who you space talking to. Knowing the right word come use can be complicated, but are methods to discover Japanese quickly and easily. Let’s take a look at the various ways to say mom in Japanese naturally.

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1. お母さん (Okaasan)

お母さん (Okaasan) way “mother” in Japanese. Its kanji, 母, to represent a parenting mother. There are two general ways お母さん is used:

When you’re referring/talking come your own mother.When you’re talking about someone else’s mother.

Some children will call their mother’s お母ちゃん (okaachan) instead of okaasan. There room some people who fall the お (o) from okaasan and also call their mothers 母さん (kaasan). Adults sometimes use these words when they desire to display endearment to their mothers. Regardless, okaasan is indeed the many common and pliable method to to speak mother in Japanese.


1. お母さん!俺の靴はどこにあるか知ってる? (Okaasan! Ore no kutsu wa doko ni aru ka shitteru?) Mom! execute you recognize where my pair of shoes are?

2. あなたのお母さん、元気にしてる? (Anata no okaasan, genki ni shiteru?) How’s your mommy doing?

2. 母 (Haha)

母 (haha) is the humble word because that mother in Japanese. If you to be to talk about your mom (to civilization outside of your family) in a official situation, haha is the word you’d use. Since this is humble Japanese or 謙譲語(kenjougo), it’s crude to refer to other people’s mother as haha. Only usage this word as soon as you talk around your mother.


1. 私の母は和食を作るのが好きです。 (Watashi no haha wa washoku o tsukuru no ga suki desu.) My mom enjoys cooking Japanese food.

3. お袋 (Ofukuro)

The indigenous お袋 (ofukuro) is a less formal way to refer to your mom when speaking to others. Some have actually posited the ofukuro is not culturally or grammatically “correct,” however the word has actually still become commonplace. You deserve to use ofukuro one of two people in formal setups or about your friends. It’s even feasible to speak to your friends’ mommy ofukuro, so lengthy as you add -san.


1. このおにぎり、お袋さん作ったの?めっちゃ美味しい! (Kono onigiri, ofukuro-san tsukutta no? Meccha oishii!) did your mother make these rice balls?

4. 母親 (Haha Oya)

母親 (haha oya) is a broader term for mother in Japanese than the vault words. Haha oya refers to any female the has had actually children.

This can technically mean a person mother or another form of animal. Haha oya shouldn’t be offered to speak to your very own mother, together it would certainly feel cold and distant. It is possible to use it to describe the mother of someone to who you’re speaking, however if you want to play that safe, お母さん (okaasan) will job-related for most situations. Haha oya should be used for the 3rd party only.


1. あの赤い帽子を被っている子、母親に叱られたね。 (Ano akai boushi o kabutteiru ko, haha oya ni shikarareta ne.) That boy in the red cap was simply scolded through his moth

2. 小熊はかわいいけど、母親は危険だ。 (Koguma wa kawaii kedo, haha oya wa kiken da.) be affected by each other cubs room cute, yet their mothers space dangerous.

5. ママ (Mama)

The word ママ (mama) is provided by little children in Japan to refer to their mother. It has the very same nuance as words “mommy.”

Like okaachan, the indigenous mama might be supplied by adult as a term of endearment. However, the nuance the mama is much more childish. You certainly wouldn’t desire to refer to your mother as mama in adult company.

6. おかん (Okan)

おかん(okan) originates native the nationally beloved Osakan dialect. However, the hatchet spread and is now typical in every prefectures that Japan. Okan is a pet surname for mother in Japanese. 

Think of it together the English indistinguishable to mom, mama, or mommy. The nuance come okan is a bit much less childish than that of mama; however, it’s still many common amongst middle and also high school students. Adult wouldn’t use words okan in publicly or officially settings.


1. 俺のおかんが昨日、ビーフシチューを作ってくれた。最高だった! (Ore no okan ga kinou, biifu shichuu o tsukutte kureta. Saikou datta!) my mama do beef stew critical night; it was awesome!

7. 御母堂様 (Gobodou-Sama)

御母堂 (gobodou) is an extremely formal way of referring to someone else’s mother. Gobodou is 尊敬語 (sonkeigo)or respectful Japanese. More often 보다 not, the suffix 様 (-sama) will certainly be affixed in ~ the end.

Gobodou is an unusual word. It’s greatly used in officially writing, such together in a letter or an invitation. You’re most most likely to uncover gobodou in instances like a letter announcing the death of someone’s mommy or in a letter the condolence provided at the funeral.


1. 御母堂様の御逝去に対し、心よりお悔やみ申し上げます。 (Gobodou-sama no goseikyo ni taishi, kokoro yori okuyami moushi agemasu.) I offer my heartfelt condolences for her mother’s death.

8. 母上(Haha Ue)

Technically, 母上 (haha ue) is getting to it is in an useless term. It’s origins are unclear, yet it appeared in a book of poems in the Heian period (794-1185). Haha ue was often used by samurai families. It means mother in antiquated Japanese.

While you wouldn’t speak to your own mother haha ue, you will absolutely hear the word if you ever before watch a samurai movie in Japanese.

Some Japanese people call their mother haha ue as a joke, but there space some civilization who usage it generally to refer to their mother. Even if it is you like period films or just want to do your host mother smile, haha ue still has actually its uses.


There is a multitude of methods to speak mother in Japanese. However, girlfriend can’t go wrong with the standard, “お母さん (okaasan)” for most situations.

How perform you to speak mother in your language? let us recognize in the comments! say thanks to you for reading!


Erin Himeno

Erin hails from the east coastline of the united States. She initially pertained to Japan to share her love of English and also country cookin", but ended up getting married and also adopting two chubby cats. Erin doesn"t mind; she enjoys she life in Japan and also writes about society shock, society share, and the interesting chapters in between.

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