Understanding How to Say Crow in Japanese: An Easy Guide

If you’re interested in mastering the Japanese language, learning the word for crow is a great place to start. These intelligent birds hold a special place in Japanese culture, with a rich history and symbolism that spans centuries. In this article, you’ll find an easy-to-follow guide on how to say crow in Japanese, along with detailed information on the cultural significance of crows in Japan.

Whether you’re a language enthusiast or simply curious about Japanese culture, this article will provide you with all the information you need to understand and appreciate crows in Japan. So, let’s get started by exploring the Japanese word for crow, its translation, and pronunciation.

The Japanese Word for Crow and Its Translation

If you are looking to express the word “crow” in Japanese, the specific term you would use is 鴉 (karasu). This Japanese term for crow can also be written in kanji, which are the Chinese characters that are used in Japanese writing. The kanji for 鴉 is composed of two parts: 鳥, which means “bird,” and 牙, which means “fang.” Together, they create a vivid representation of a crow’s physical characteristics.

When spoken, the pronunciation of 鴉 in Japanese is “kah-rah-su.” The “ka” sound is short and crisp, while the “su” sound is elongated. Be sure to emphasize the second syllable to convey the correct pronunciation. It is worth noting that there are alternative expressions or names for crows in Japanese, such as 烏 (karasu) or カラス (karasu).

Pronunciation of Crow in Japanese

Learning how to pronounce the word for crow in Japanese is essential for understanding its cultural significance and incorporating it into your speech. The Japanese term for crow is karasu (カラス), which consists of two syllables: ka and rasu.

Japanese Romaji English
カラス ka-ra-su Crow

The pronunciation of the Japanese word for crow is relatively straightforward. The “ka” sound is similar to the first syllable of the English word “car.” The “ra” sound is pronounced with a tap of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, and the “su” sound is like the “s” in “see.”

When pronouncing the word “karasu” in Japanese, remember to keep the emphasis on the first syllable, “ka.” This emphasis is essential for proper pronunciation and to avoid any misunderstandings.

If you’re struggling with the pronunciation or want to ensure that you’re saying it correctly, you can try listening to native speakers or using online resources that offer audio or visual aids.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when practicing the pronunciation of “karasu” in Japanese:

  • Speak slowly and clearly, focusing on each syllable
  • Emphasize the “ka” sound to avoid confusing “karasu” with other similar-sounding Japanese words
  • Practice with a friend or Japanese language tutor to receive feedback and improve your pronunciation

With some practice and patience, you’ll be able to say “crow” in Japanese confidently and accurately.

Cultural Significance of Crows in Japan

Crows have long held a significant place in Japanese culture, mythology, and folklore. In the Japanese language, the word for crow is “karasu” (鴉), which is often used to refer to both the large, black crows and the smaller, greyish birds also common in Japan.

The crow’s name in Japanese also appears in various expressions and proverbs. For example, “karasu no oyakata” refers to a person who is very strict and demanding, while “karasu ga kureta tashinami” translates to “the feeling of being watched by crows,” which can mean a sense of unease or paranoia.

Symbolism and Associations Meaning
Trickster In Japanese mythology, crows are often depicted as cunning and mischievous creatures, tricking humans and other animals alike.
Messenger In Shintoism, Japan’s native religion, crows are believed to be messengers of the gods, carrying sacred messages and prayers to the heavens.
Guardian Some Japanese temples and shrines have statues of crows, symbolizing their role as guardians and protectors of sacred places.
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Crows also play a prominent role in Japanese literature, appearing in classic works such as the “Taketori Monogatari” and the “Heike Monogatari.” In these stories, crows are often portrayed as loyal companions or cunning agents, aiding or deceiving the protagonist as the plot demands.

Overall, crows hold a complex and nuanced place in Japanese culture, representing both mischief and guidance, trickery and loyalty. Their presence and significance continue to be felt in modern-day Japan, where they remain a constant and intriguing part of the natural world.

Native Expressions and Idioms Involving Crows

Learning how to say “crow” in Japanese is just the beginning when it comes to understanding the cultural significance of these intelligent birds in Japan. The Japanese language is full of idioms and expressions that involve crows, many of which reveal the fascinating relationship between humans and these black-feathered creatures.

One such expression is “as the crow flies,” which in Japanese is “karasu no tobidashi.” This term is used to indicate the shortest distance between two points, as crows are known for their ability to fly straight and direct.

Another common expression is “karasu no ne ga kikoeru,” which literally means “to hear the crows’ voices.” This expression is used to describe a sense of foreboding or impending doom, as crows are often associated with bad luck in Japanese folklore.

On the other hand, crows are also revered in Japanese culture for their intelligence and resourcefulness. The expression “karasu no oyatsu” translates to “a crow’s snack,” and is used to describe a small but satisfying meal or snack.

As you continue your exploration of Japanese language and culture, keep an ear out for these and other expressions involving crows, and let them deepen your understanding of this complex and fascinating topic.

Comparing Crows in Japanese and Western Cultures

While crows are often associated with negative connotations in Western cultures, such as bad luck or death, they hold a much different position in Japanese culture. In Japan, crows are highly respected for their intelligence and adaptability, and hold a significant place in folklore and mythology.


Western cultures often associate crows with negative symbols such as death, darkness, and evil. In contrast, crows in Japan are considered to be symbols of good luck, wisdom, and protection. They are often featured in traditional Japanese art and literature, serving as a powerful and revered emblem of Japanese identity and culture.


In Japanese mythology, crows hold a prominent place as messengers for the gods and protectors of the natural world. The god of thunder and storms, Raijin, is said to be accompanied by a flock of black crows. Additionally, the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu, was coaxed out of hiding by a group of crows who put on a dance performance to cheer her up.


While Western cultures often view crows as pests or nuisances, this is not the case in Japan. In fact, crows are respected for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Japanese cities are home to large populations of urban crows, and the birds have even been known to use traffic to crack open nuts.

Japanese Word for Crow Crow Translation in Japanese

Comparing Languages

The Japanese word for crow, “karasu,” reflects the bird’s revered status in Japanese culture. In contrast, the word “crow” in English has a much more negative connotation. This difference in language reflects the differing attitudes towards crows in these respective cultures.

Modern-Day Interactions with Crows in Japan

Japan’s relationship with crows extends beyond cultural significance. In modern times, crows have become an integral part of Japan’s urban and rural environments, leading to varied interactions with humans. Here are a few aspects of this relationship:

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Crow Behavior Human Response
Crows are known to be intelligent birds that can remember individual human faces and recognize patterns. Some people have reported being followed or even attacked by crows in certain areas. As a result, some municipalities have put up signs warning people of crow attacks during breeding season.
Crows are also scavengers and have been known to raid garbage cans and steal food from people’s hands. Some people have started to use crow-proof garbage cans to prevent crows from accessing their trash. Others have learned to hold their bags close and avoid eating in public spaces during crow season.
Crows have been observed using tools and exhibiting problem-solving skills. Researchers have been studying crows in Japan to better understand their behavior and intelligence. Some people have even set up bird feeders or left food out for crows in their neighborhoods, leading to more friendly interactions.

Overall, crows have adapted well to Japan’s urbanization, and their presence has become a part of daily life for many Japanese people. While there may be some negative interactions, these intelligent birds continue to fascinate and inspire people in Japan and beyond.


Congratulations! You now know how to say “crow” in Japanese. Remember to use the term “karasu” when referring to these intelligent birds in Japanese.

As you have learned, crows have significant cultural importance in Japan, from their representation in folklore and literature to their current interactions with humans. By understanding their role in Japanese society, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Don’t stop at just learning how to say “crow” in Japanese. Keep exploring the language and culture of Japan to expand your knowledge and understanding. Who knows what fascinating discoveries you may uncover along the way?

So go ahead and practice saying “karasu” – you never know when it might come in handy. Ganbatte (good luck)!


Q: Can you provide a simple breakdown of how to say “crow” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “crow” is “karasu” (カラス). The pronunciation is kah-rah-soo.

Q: Are there any alternative expressions or names for crows in Japanese?

A: Yes, in addition to “karasu,” crows are also sometimes referred to as “watahagi” (ワタハギ) or “hashibuto” (ハシブト) in Japanese.

Q: What is the cultural significance of crows in Japan?

A: Crows hold a significant place in Japanese folklore, mythology, and literature. They are often seen as symbols of wisdom, intelligence, and good luck. They are also associated with the god of thunder and storms in Japanese mythology.

Q: Can you provide some examples of native expressions or idioms involving crows in Japanese?

A: Sure! One example is the expression “kuroba no namida” (黒羽の涙), which translates to “tears of a crow.” It is used to describe a situation where someone is shedding crocodile tears or pretending to be upset. Another example is the idiom “karasu no me ni mieta” (烏の目に見えた), which means “appeared before the eyes of a crow.” It is used to describe something or someone that is extremely rare or unusual.

Q: How do the cultural representations of crows in Japan differ from Western cultures?

A: While crows are often associated with negative connotations in Western cultures, such as bad omens or death, they are generally regarded more positively in Japanese culture. Crows are seen as intelligent creatures and are sometimes even considered messengers of the gods.

Q: How do Japanese people typically interact with crows in modern-day Japan?

A: In urban areas of Japan, crows are a common sight. While they can sometimes be a nuisance, Japanese people have developed various strategies for coexisting with crows peacefully. This includes implementing specialized trash cans to prevent crows from rummaging through garbage and conducting research on crow behavior to better understand their habits.

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