December 28, 2022

Basic Colors in Japanese for Beginners


Various Colors in Japanese

Click here to download a free printable word search for the vocabulary found in this lesson

The Japanese word for “color” is 色 iro. The pun at the top of the page sounds like it repeats "iro" several times, but it means "various colors." 

Grammatically, colors are used in two ways: as nouns and as adjectives.

The actual color names as nouns are listed in the colored area. The examples below show how to use the colors as nouns and how to make them into adjectives. When used as an adjective, most color names add a い.


ki iro


1) 黄色きいろはきれい。  Yellow is pretty. (This is a noun)

2) 黄色(きいろ)(とり)はきれいです。 The yellow bird is pretty. (This is an adjective and adds the い)




1) (から)(あお)いです。 The sky is blue.

2) あの(あお)(いけ)はきれいです。That blue pond is pretty.




1) このはなあかいです。 This flower is red.

2) これは(あか)(はなです。 This is a red flower.




1) (ゆき)(しろ)い。Snow is white.

2) 外国人(がいこくじん)(しろ)いごはんをあまりたべない。Foreigners don’t usually eat plain, white rice (with no butter or salt…).




(くろ)(ふく)()きじゃない。 I don’t like black clothes.


hai iro


<to make this into an adjective that connects to another word, add の no>

1) 灰色(はいいろ)のくつしたがほしい。 I want grey socks.




1) (むらさき)のはなが一番好(いちばんす)き。I like purple flowers the best.




1) 信号(しんごう)(みどり)です。 The traffic light is green.

2) (うし)(みどり)(くさ)()べている。The cow is eating green grass.


  • In Japanese, the word for “Black & White” is actually “White & Black” – 白黒(しろくろ) 
  • In Japan, traffic light signals are said to be RED (あか) , BLUE (あお) (not green), and YELLOW ()
  • Most Japanese children draw the sun not yellow but RED (あか) 
  • Color words often find themselves in people's names: 青木(あおき)
  • Polar Bears are White bears in Japanese 白熊(しろくま)

Related Product at TheJapanShop.com

Download for beginners of Japanese

Beri- Beri- Shoshinsha for Absolute Beginners of Japanese [Digital Download]

Are you struggling with hiragana? Know all the kana but need to improve your reading comprehension? Our Beri- Beri- Shoshinsha beginner's bundle of digital books and resources will not only help you with those but also Japanese grammar, vocabulary, kanji, and listening comprehension.

5 of 5 stars

Sharing is caring!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Level up your Japanese!


For Total Beginners

Japanese for beginners - Beri-Beri Shoshinsha

This 15-book study guide + worksheets bundle is ON SALE. For just one-time payment only, you will get this bundle for a very low price plus you will get future contents for free (no additional charge).

Easy to follow and understand

This bundle is perfect for absolute beginners. It's thorough without being wordy, giving you exactly enough information to understand the concepts without overloading you with information. 

TheJapanShop.com Customer

Makoto+ Membership

You'll notice many TheJapanesePage.com lessons have bonus content for Makoto+ Members. Well, membership goes well beyond that. Members also get our monthly magazine for learners of Japanese (Beginners to Intermediates), weekly exclusive lessons, Podcast bonus content, and much more.