Discovering Language: How to Say Puppet in Japanese

Have you ever wondered how to say “puppet” in Japanese? If you’re interested in learning the Japanese language, knowing how to express different ideas and concepts is essential to deepen your understanding of the culture. In this section of our article, we will explore various ways to say “puppet” in Japanese, providing translations, pronunciations, and even writing tips to help you on your journey.

Whether you’re a language enthusiast, a traveler, or a Japanophile, learning Japanese can be a fun and rewarding experience. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll discuss how to say puppet in Japanese, the Japanese word for puppet, puppet in Japanese language, how do you say puppet in Japanese, puppet Japanese translation, puppet meaning in Japanese, how to pronounce puppet in Japanese, and how to write puppet in Japanese.

The Japanese Word for Puppet

If you’re interested in learning how to say “puppet” in Japanese, the word you’re looking for is “kugutsu” (傀儡).

The word “kugutsu” is a combination of two kanji characters, “ku” meaning “string” and “gutsu” meaning “to move.” Together they form a word that literally means “moving strings,” which perfectly describes what a puppet is.

It’s worth noting that the word “kugutsu” is the most commonly used term for “puppet” in Japanese, but there are other words and phrases that can be used depending on the context. For example, “ningyō” (人形) can also mean “doll” or “figure,” but it can also be used to describe a puppet.

Japanese Word for Puppet

If you’re specifically looking for the Japanese word for “puppet,” then “kugutsu” is the term you should use.

Translation and Meaning of Puppet in Japanese

Now that you know the specific word for “puppet” in Japanese, let’s explore its translation and meaning. The Japanese word for puppet is “kugutsu” (傀儡), which has a literal translation of “manipulated doll”.

In Japanese culture, puppets have traditionally been used in various forms of entertainment, such as bunraku puppet theater and kamishibai storytelling. As such, the word “kugutsu” holds cultural significance beyond its simple translation.

When it comes to the meaning of “kugutsu” specifically, the word refers to a doll or figurine that is manipulated by strings or other means. It can also refer to a person who is controlled or manipulated by others, similar to the English expression “puppet on a string”.

Overall, the use of “kugutsu” in Japanese culture has a rich history and cultural significance beyond a simple translation of “puppet”.

Pronunciation of Puppet in Japanese

If you want to learn how to say “puppet” in Japanese, it’s important to know how to pronounce it correctly. In Japanese, the word for puppet is 人形 (ningyou), which is pronounced as:

Japanese Romaji English
人形 ningyou neen-gyoh

The “n” sound in “ningyou” is pronounced differently than in English. It is produced by touching the tip of your tongue to the alveolar ridge, which is the bony ridge just behind your upper front teeth. The “gy” sound is produced by combining a hard “g” sound with a short “i” vowel.

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Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes when pronouncing “ningyou” is mispronouncing the “n” sound as an English “n” sound, which can make the word sound more like “neeng-you” than “neen-gyoh”. Another common mistake is placing the emphasis on the first syllable instead of the second syllable, which would result in “NING-you” instead of “neen-GYOH”.

Remember that proper pronunciation takes practice, so don’t be afraid to repeat the word aloud several times until you feel confident with your pronunciation.

Writing Puppet in Japanese

The Japanese writing system includes three scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Each script represents different sounds and meanings of the same words. To write “puppet” in Japanese, you will need to use the katakana script.

The katakana for “puppet” is パペット. This can be broken down into three characters: パ (pa), ペ (pe), and ト (to). To write these characters, follow the stroke order diagrams below:

Character Stroke Order Diagram

When writing in katakana, it is important to note that there may be multiple ways to write the same word. For example, “puppet” could also be written as パッペト (pa-p-pe-to) or マリオネット (marionetto), depending on the context or preference of the writer.

Practice Writing Puppet in Japanese

To practice writing “puppet” in Japanese, try the following exercise:

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
  2. Write out the katakana characters for “pa,” “pe,” and “to” multiple times, paying attention to stroke order and balance.
  3. Combine the characters to form the word “puppet.”
  4. Practice writing the word “puppet” in different fonts and styles until you feel comfortable with the characters.

Once you have mastered writing “puppet” in Japanese, you can move on to learning other words and phrases in the language.

Alternative Expressions for Puppet in Japanese

When it comes to discussing puppets in Japanese language, there are a few alternative expressions you can use. Here are some of the most common ones:

Japanese Word/Phrase Literal Translation Usage/Context
人形 (ningyou) Doll Used interchangeably with “puppet” to refer to a movable figure controlled by strings or hands.
手による人形 (te ni yoru ningyou) Hand-made doll Used to differentiate a puppet that has been made by hand as an art form.
からくり人形 (karakuri ningyou) Trick doll Refers to a type of puppet that is mechanized and has automaton-like movements.

Learning these alternative expressions can be useful in expanding your knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

Expanding Your Linguistic Skills

Congratulations! By now, you know how to say “puppet” in Japanese and have learned about its translation, meaning, pronunciation, and writing. But why stop there? The Japanese language is rich and diverse, and there is so much more to learn. Here are some tips for expanding your linguistic skills beyond “puppet”:

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Tip #1: Practice speaking Japanese with native speakers or language exchange partners. This will help improve your pronunciation, fluency, and confidence.
Tip #2: Watch Japanese movies, TV shows, and anime with English subtitles. This will expose you to natural language usage, colloquialisms, and cultural references.
Tip #3: Read Japanese books, manga, or news articles with the help of a dictionary or translation tool. This will expand your vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension.
Tip #4: Take formal Japanese language classes or online courses. This will provide you with structured lessons, assignments, and feedback from a qualified teacher.

Remember, learning a language takes time, effort, and dedication. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t progress as quickly as you’d like. Keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, have fun!

Arigatou gozaimasu (thank you) for reading this article. We hope it has helped you on your journey to discovering the Japanese language and culture.


Congratulations! You’ve learned all about saying “puppet” in Japanese. You now know the Japanese word for puppet, how to pronounce it, and how to write it in Japanese characters.

Remember, language learning is a journey, and there is always more to explore. Keep practicing your Japanese skills and expanding your vocabulary, and soon you’ll be speaking like a native!

If you want to learn more about Japanese culture and language, there are plenty of resources available online and in-person. Consider taking a class, finding a language exchange partner, or immersing yourself in Japanese media and entertainment. Keep up the good work, and happy language learning!


Q: How do you say puppet in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for puppet is “ningyō.”

Q: What is the meaning of puppet in Japanese?

A: In Japanese, “ningyō” refers to both traditional puppets used in theater performances and modern toys or dolls.

Q: How do you pronounce puppet in Japanese?

A: The pronunciation of “ningyō” in Japanese is neen-gyoh. The “n” is pronounced as in “ninja,” and the “gyoh” sounds like “gyo” in “gyroscope” followed by “h.”

Q: How do you write puppet in Japanese?

A: To write “puppet” in Japanese, you would use the characters 人形. The character for “person” (人) is combined with the character for “shape” or “form” (形) to create “ningyō.”

Q: Are there alternative expressions for puppet in Japanese?

A: Yes, besides “ningyō,” you can also use the term “karakuri” (からくり) to refer to a puppet in Japanese. It specifically refers to mechanical or automaton puppets.

Q: How can I expand my linguistic skills in Japanese?

A: To further enhance your Japanese language skills, we recommend practicing conversational Japanese, immersing yourself in Japanese media, and utilizing language learning resources such as textbooks, online courses, language exchange programs, and language learning apps.

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