Japanese Word for Star? 20+ Inside This Guide


Want to know the Japanese words for star?

Well, Japanese has many types of words. Japanese words for sun. Words for the moon. And yes, words for the stars as well. But, if you just want to know one word,  the Japanese word for star in Japanese is hoshi.

But there’s more.

There are more scientific ways, casual ways, and even age-appropriate ways. Let’s take a look at a few of them!

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1. 星 Hoshi/Sei

  • star

Hoshi is the most common Japanese word for star. You would use “sei” in the case of planets, which you’ll see below.

japanese word for star

2. 星明かり Hoshiakari

  • starlight

The Japanese word for starlight would be  星明かり which is literally star and light. It can also be 星の光 (hoshi no akari), which means star’s light or the liht of the star. The “no” is a particle that shows possession, where the light belongs to the star.

japanese word for starlight

3. 星空 Hoshizora

  • Starry sky

When you look up at the night sky and see a collection of stars shining, that is hoshizora. The phrase is a combination of hoshi (星) , which means star, and sora (空) which means sky. Essentially, a sky full of stars is hoshizora.

japanese word for star

4. 流星 Ryūsei / Nagareboshi

  • Shooting star

This is Japanese word for shooting star.

Well actually, there are to readings but they both mean the same: shooting star.

In Japanese culture, it is also common to make a wish when we see a shooting star! Since the movement of a shooting star is very quick, if one is able to think of their wish in that split second, it means that their wish is something they view seriously. It is a wish that they truly desire, and thus it is something that will come to fruition. Maybe one day when you are enjoying hoshizora (星空), you will be able to spot a ryūsei.

shooting star in japanese

5. 星月夜 Hoshi tsukiyo

  • Starry night

This one is my favorite Japanese word for star.

Tsukiyo (月夜) refers to the night sky being lit up by the moon. However, Hoshi tsukiyo is what occurs when there is no moonlight – i.e. during the new moon season. The light from the stars is said to be so bright that it can light up the night sky the same way as the moon light can! This is most likely something you can experience in rural areas, where you are surrounded by more nature and where there are less or no street lights. Although it is similar to the first phrase, Hoshizora (星空), Hoshi tsukiyo is an exaggerated form of hoshizora, whereby the night sky is literally filled with stars.

japanese words for star

6. 星座 Seiza

  • Constellation

Seiza means constellation – a group of stars that create a recognizable pattern in the sky. There is also the next phrase…

7. 12星座 (Jyūni Seiza)

  • the 12 zodiac signs

It is common for people to know their zodiac sign based on their date of birth, and this is one way to use zodiac signs. Another way that Japanese people use the zodiac signs is to do something called Seiza Uranai (星座占い)or Hoshi Uranai (星占い) – we will look at this in the next point!

8. 星占い Hoshi Uranai (also known as Seiza Uranai)

  • Astrology/Horoscope

Hoshi Uranai is rather common in Japan. It is included in many magazines, newspapers, and even in morning TV programmes. Uranai (占い) in English means divination. Hoshi Uranai is a prediction of the day, week, or month, based on the astrological season.

9. 星印 Hoshijirushi

  • Star mark/asterisk

Shirushi / Jirushi (印) means ‘mark’, and so Hoshijirushi means a ‘star mark’. This can refer to emojis that we use nowadays. Emojis that are a star, or depict a star are known as Hoshijirushi.

Now, these next few phrases originate from sumo wrestling culture.

When a winner or loser of the sumo match is announced, it would be done on a board. This board would have the names of the wrestlers, with either a blank circle or a filled-in circle. This blank circle meant that the wrestler had won the match, while the filled-in circle meant that the wrestler had lost. The blank circle was called, Shiro maru or Shiro boshi, which means white circle (since it was blank) or white star, and the filled-in circle was called, Kuro maru or Kuro boshi, meaning black circle or black star.

10. 白星 Shiro boshi

  • White star/victory

Shiro boshi, meaning ‘white star’, is a phrase that is used when announcing a victory. Although this did originate from sumo wrestling, it is a phrase that can be used for other sports or board game matches as well.

11. 黒星 Kuro boshi

  • Black star/loss

On the contrary, Kuro boshi is used to announce the loser of a match.

12. 金星 Kin boshi

  • Gold star/special win

Kin boshi is a phrase that also originates from sumo wrestling. Kin (金) means ‘gold’, and so Kin boshi refers to a ‘special win’. This phrase was used on occasions where a lower-ranking sumo wrestler would beat a top-ranked Yokozuna champion sumo wrestler. Again, although it originates from sumo culture, it can still be used in various games and matches. It usually expresses an unexpected huge win or huge gain.

Kin Sei is another way of reading this 金星. It is interesting that depending on the reading of this phrase, they can mean different things. We explained that Kin Boshi usually expresses an unexpected win.

Kin Sei, interestingly, refers to the planet Venus.

And speaking of planets… Japanese planet names also contain the star kanji in there.

13. 水星 Sui Sei

  • Mercury

14. Kin Sei (金星)

  • Venus

15. 火星 Ka Sei

  • Mars

16. 木星 Moku Sei

  • Jupiter

17. 土星 Do Sei

  • Saturn

18. 天王星 Tennou Sei

  • Uranus

19. 海王星 Kaiou Sei

  • Neptune

20. 冥王星 Meiou Sei

  • Pluto

21. 惑星 Waku Sei

  • Planet

Since we listed all the planets, it is only right to also include Waku Sei, which means ‘planets’. Another meaning of this word is similar to the phrase ‘dark horse’ in English. Waku Sei is used to refer to a person who is not well-known, but who has great potential for success.

Back to You!

Now you how to say star in Japanese…

Plus, the many kinds of words for star.

The Japanese language has a variety of other interesting words like… beautiful Japanese words if you click the link.

Anyway, which Japanese word for star was your favorite?

Leave a comment! I read them all.

– The Main Junkie

Further Resources for Learning Polish:

#1 List of Japanese Textbooks

#2 Super EASY Japanese Lessons for Anyone

#3 Free Japanese Workbooks PDF

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