Master the Art: How to Say Jellyfish in Japanese

If you love the Japanese language and culture, you may want to expand your vocabulary to include words related to marine life. One interesting word to learn is “jellyfish,” which has a fascinating translation and pronunciation in Japanese. In this section, we will explore how to say jellyfish in Japanese, the Japanese word for jellyfish, the jellyfish in Japanese translation, and how to pronounce jellyfish in Japanese.

By the end of this section, you will have mastered the art of saying jellyfish in Japanese, and be one step closer towards fluency in the language. So let’s dive in and discover the beauty of the Japanese language together!

Understanding Jellyfish in Japanese

If you’re curious about the Japanese word for jellyfish, it’s written as “kurage” in hiragana and “海月” in kanji. The word “kurage” can be literally translated to “ocean umbrella,” which is a fitting description of the jellyfish’s appearance.

Like in English, jellyfish are a popular subject in Japanese art and folklore. In fact, the word “kurage” is even used in a famous Japanese children’s song called “Shiawase no Akari” (Light of Happiness), where the lyrics describe the joy of seeing jellyfish in the ocean.

As a sea creature, jellyfish have a special place in Japanese culture. They are often used as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life or the impermanence of existence, as they have a short lifespan and tend to float aimlessly in the ocean currents.

Japanese Word Meaning in English
kurage jellyfish
海月 jellyfish

Additional notes:

While jellyfish may seem like just another sea creature, their significance in Japanese culture goes beyond just their appearance and behavior. By understanding their cultural significance, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the Japanese language and its usage of imagery and metaphors.

Pronouncing Jellyfish in Japanese

Learning to pronounce “jellyfish” in Japanese is essential for mastering the language. The Japanese pronunciation of “jellyfish” is kurage. To correctly pronounce it, let’s break it down into syllables.

Japanese Syllables Pronunciation
ku like “coo” in “cool”
ra like “rah” in “rock”
ge like “gay” without the “y” sound

Put the syllables together, and you have kurage.

It’s essential to get the pronunciation right to be understood when speaking Japanese. To practice the correct pronunciation, try repeating it slowly and clearly until you feel confident in your ability to say it fluently.

Expanding Your Japanese Vocabulary

Now that you’ve mastered the word for jellyfish in Japanese, let’s explore some additional vocabulary related to these mesmerizing creatures!

English Japanese Pronunciation
Stinger 刺胞 (Shihō) Shee-hoh
Tentacles 触手 (Shokushu) Shoh-koo-shoo
Medusa クラゲ (Kurage) Koo-rah-geh

By adding these words to your vocabulary, you’ll be able to describe jellyfish and their characteristics more accurately in Japanese conversations. Also, you can use them for broader communication with native speakers.

It’s worth noting that the word for marine animal jellyfish is just one of a range of words that refer to different types of sea creatures in Japanese. For instance, squid is イカ (Ika), crab is カニ (Kani), and octopus is タコ (Tako). Knowing these words can help you communicate more effectively with Japanese people about marine life.

More Jellyfish Vocabulary in Japanese

If you’re a jellyfish enthusiast or just keen to learn even more vocabulary, here are a few additional terms to add to your list:

English Japanese Pronunciation
Moon Jellyfish ムーンジェリー (Moon Jerī) Moon Jeri
Box Jellyfish ハブクラゲ (Habukurage) Ha-boo-koo-rah-geh
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish ノクタマチクラゲ (Nokuta Machi Kurage) No-koo-tah Mah-chee Koo-rah-geh

Don’t be afraid to practice saying these words out loud and integrating them into your conversations. Exploring new vocabulary and practicing pronunciation will aid in your journey to mastering the Japanese language!

Discovering Jellyfish in Japanese Culture

As a sea creature with a distinctive appearance, the jellyfish has captured the attention of Japanese artists, writers, and thinkers for centuries. In Japanese culture, the jellyfish can symbolize the transient nature of life, beauty in simplicity, and even a sense of danger.

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Jellyfish in Japanese Art

Jellyfish have been a popular subject in Japanese art for centuries. The Edo period artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi created a series of woodblock prints titled “Eight Views of the Ryukyu Islands,” which included an image of a jellyfish floating in the ocean. In contemporary art, artist Mieko Shiomi’s “Spatial Poems” series features jellyfish made from transparent plastic, capturing the creature’s delicate and ethereal nature.

Jellyfish in Japanese Folklore and Mythology

In Japanese folklore, the jellyfish is often associated with the ocean and the powerful forces it contains. The legend of Princess Otohime and Urashima Taro tells the story of a man who rescues a turtle from children who are torturing it, and as a reward is taken to the underwater castle of the Dragon God Ryujin, where he meets and marries Princess Otohime. In some versions of the story, the jellyfish acts as both a helper and an obstacle to Urashima Taro’s quest.

Jellyfish in Popular Culture

The popularity of jellyfish in Japan is evident in modern pop culture as well. The virtual pop star Hatsune Miku has a song titled “Jellyfish Eyes,” which features lyrics that describe the beauty and mystery of jellyfish. Japanese anime and manga often feature jellyfish as a motif, such as in the anime series “Kuragehime” (which means “Jellyfish Princess”), where the main character is obsessed with jellyfish and their movements.

As you can see, jellyfish hold a special place in Japanese culture, appearing in art, literature, and pop culture. Understanding the significance of jellyfish in Japanese culture can deepen your appreciation for the language and the country’s complex artistic and cultural heritage.

Fun Facts About Jellyfish in Japanese

Jellyfish have been a part of Japanese culture for centuries and continue to fascinate people to this day. Here are some interesting facts about jellyfish in Japanese:

Fact Description
A Jellyfish Aquarium Japan has some of the most beautiful and innovative jellyfish aquariums in the world. Some aquaria even specialize in jellyfish, boasting over 15 different species.
Jellyfish Ice Cream In some parts of Japan, jellyfish is considered a delicacy and is even used in ice cream. This unique dessert is available in some specialty shops.
Jellyfish in Art Jellyfish are often portrayed in Japanese art, and are a common motif in traditional Japanese paintings and woodblock prints. They are appreciated for their graceful movements and mesmerizing appearance.
The Jellyfish Princess There is a Japanese folktale called “The Jellyfish Princess,” in which a prince falls in love with a jellyfish princess. This tale has been adapted into various forms of media throughout the years.
Jellyfish and the Samurai During the Edo period in Japan, jellyfish were used as a means of torture by samurai. Criminals were stripped naked and thrown into the sea, where they were left to suffer the painful stings of jellyfish.

Jellyfish and the Samurai – An Unusual Punishment

During the Edo period (1603-1868), severe punishment was often inflicted on criminals. One such method was the use of jellyfish. Criminals were stripped naked and thrown into the sea, where they were left to suffer the painful stings of jellyfish.

This method of torture was known as “mizugumo,” which means “water spider,” as jellyfish were commonly referred to as “sea spiders” due to their appearance. The stings of jellyfish can be incredibly painful and cause a variety of symptoms, including severe pain, itching, and even respiratory distress. This made mizugumo a particularly cruel and unusual form of punishment, as it could potentially result in death.

Although this practice is no longer in use, it serves as a reminder of the dark side of Japanese history and the creative ways in which punishment was inflicted upon criminals.

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Practical Uses and Conversations

Now that you know how to say “jellyfish” in Japanese, you can incorporate it into your everyday conversations. Here are a few practical examples:

Scenario Japanese Phrase English Translation
You see a jellyfish while swimming at the beach. クラゲを見つけた! I found a jellyfish!
You want to try a jellyfish dish at a Japanese restaurant. クラゲ料理を食べてみたい。 I want to try a jellyfish dish.
You’re discussing sea creatures with a friend. クラゲって不思議な生き物だよね。 Jellyfish are such fascinating creatures, aren’t they?

By incorporating the Japanese word for jellyfish into your conversations, you not only broaden your vocabulary but also show an appreciation for the Japanese language and culture.

Travel Tips:

If you plan on traveling to Japan, it’s helpful to know the Japanese word for jellyfish in case of a jellyfish sting. ムクドリクラゲ (mukudori kurage) refers specifically to the box jellyfish, which can be found in Japanese waters. If you experience a jellyfish sting, seek medical attention immediately.

Mastering Japanese: Putting It All Together

Congratulations! You have successfully learned the Japanese word for jellyfish, its pronunciation, and some interesting facts about jellyfish in Japanese culture. You are now well-equipped to incorporate this new vocabulary into your everyday conversations and interactions.

Remember to practice regularly and expand your knowledge of Japanese vocabulary related to marine animals. You never know when this new skill will come in handy, whether you’re traveling in Japan or conversing with a Japanese-speaking friend or colleague.


Let’s recap what you’ve learned:

  • You now know how to say “jellyfish” in Japanese. The word is “kurage” (クラゲ).
  • You have learned the correct pronunciation of “kurage”.
  • You have gained insights into the significance of jellyfish in Japanese art, folklore, and mythology.
  • You have discovered interesting facts about jellyfish in relation to the Japanese language and culture.
  • You have expanded your Japanese vocabulary related to jellyfish and marine animals.
  • You have learned how to incorporate the word “jellyfish” into practical scenarios and conversations.

With these skills under your belt, you are well on your way to mastering the Japanese language.

Keep up the good work and continue exploring the fascinating world of Japanese language and culture!


Q: How do you say jellyfish in Japanese?

A: The word for jellyfish in Japanese is “kurage.”

Q: What is the Japanese translation for jellyfish?

A: The Japanese word for jellyfish is “kurage.”

Q: How do you pronounce jellyfish in Japanese?

A: To pronounce “jellyfish” in Japanese, say “ku-ra-ge.”

Q: Are there any other words related to jellyfish in Japanese?

A: Yes, some related words in Japanese include “umi no kemono” which means “sea creature” and “kaiyou no doubutsu” which means “marine animal.”

Q: What is the significance of jellyfish in Japanese culture?

A: Jellyfish hold various meanings in Japanese art, folklore, and mythology, often symbolizing beauty, perseverance, and adaptability.

Q: Can you share any interesting facts about jellyfish in the Japanese context?

A: In Japan, jellyfish are sometimes used as an ingredient in traditional cuisine and have been featured in art exhibitions and aquarium displays.

Q: How can I use the word “jellyfish” in practical conversations?

A: You can incorporate the word “kurage” into conversations about marine life, nature, or even when discussing Japanese culture.

Q: What should I keep in mind when learning Japanese vocabulary?

A: Practice pronunciation, context, and usage to fully grasp the language. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and always seek opportunities to expand your vocabulary.

Q: Is there anything else I should know about mastering the word “jellyfish” in Japanese?

A: Building language skills takes time and effort. Keep practicing, exploring, and immersing yourself in Japanese language and culture to enhance your overall understanding and fluency.

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