Adjective in Japanese

<Vocabulary>
なadjectives are often used to introduce foreign words and new concepts. For example, “handsome” is English, but part of speech is an adjective. Therefore, in order to be recognized as an adjective in Japanese, the adjective is called “ハンサムな(なAdj)”.

<Derived>
In addition, many nouns can be adjectives by connecting suffixes such as “Nらしい(N-like)” and “Nっぽい(N-ish)” to a noun for an original noun [N]. Also, adjectives have the feeling that they are more emotional words.


The following are typical grammars for changing nouns to adjectives and adjectives to verbs, etc.

(1)い Adjective ⇨ noun
Nouns are formed by adding “さ” to the stem of an いadjective to indicate “being a degree”.
Ex. うつくしい(いAdj)⇨うつくしさ(N)
  たかい(いAdj)⇨「高さ」(N)など。

(2) いAdjective ⇨ verb
By changing the ending “い” of the subjective いadjective expressing sensation / emotion to “がる”, a verb meaning “action expressing that feeling” is created.
Ex. さむい(いAdj)⇨さむがる(V)
  ほしい(いAdj)⇨ほしがる(V)

(3) いAdjective ⇨ verb
Verbs are formed from some adjectives.
Ex. たのしい(いAdj)⇨たのしむ(Vi: intransitive verb)
  たかい⇨たかまる(Vi: intransitive verb)・たかめる(Vt: transitive verb)

(4) Verb ⇨ adjective
Adding “しい” to the verbないform, the meaning is changed to “I feel like doing that.”, which is いadjective.
Ex. おもう(V)→おもわしい(いAdj)
  わずらう(V)→わずらわしい(いAdj) など。

◆ Order of adjectives
Now, let’s consider the order of adjectives. If you want to modify a single noun with multiple adjectives, what is the order?


English adjectives have the following word order when modifying nouns. This restriction on word order in English is quite restrictive

a nice big red old Italian leather-shoes
[Subjective judgment] / [Scale] / [Color] / [New / Old] / [Affiliation] / [Material] + Noun


On the other hand, in the case of Japanese, such restrictions on the word order are loose. Broadly speaking, they tend to be arranged in the following order.

いろいろな すばらしい あたらしい けいけん

[Type / Quantity] ・ [Subjective evaluation] ・ [Attribute (large and small, old and new, color, etc.)] + Noun

The content you want to convey tends to be closer to a noun.

If you want know more basic Adjective grammars, please visit here below.

Japanese language lesson 6 to 9

What is passive sentences in Japanese?

This page summarizes only the essential points of the Japanese passive sentence and causative sentence. Let’s start with a passive sentence.

<There are two types of passive sentences>

  1. Direct passive statement:
    An active sentence directly corresponds to an active sentence, such as “~” in the active sentence becomes “~” in the passive sentence.
    Ex. シマウマは ライオンに おそわれた。Zebra was attacked by a lion.
    (↑ ライオンは シマウマを おそった。Tryon hit the zebra.)
  2. Indirect passive statements:
    Those that do not directly correspond to active sentences. Even if it corresponds, it is indirect, such as “〜の” in the active sentence “〜の ~” becomes “〜が” in the passive sentence.
    Ex.シマウマは ハンターに じゅうで あしを うたれた。 Zebra was shot with a foot by a hunter.
    (↑ハンターは シマウマの あしを うった。 The hunter shot the zebra’s foot with a gun.)


<How do you represent the actor?>

Basically, “~ に” is used.
Ex. おとうとは やくざに ころされた。Brother was killed by yakuza

(Note 1) For verbs that mean something, such as “make” or “construct”, “~ によって” is used.
Ex. このきかいは ちゅうがくせによって つくられた。This machine was made by junior high school students.

(Note 2) In the case of verbs that include some meaning of “moving” such as “say” or “send”, “~ から” can also be used
Ex. そのおとこは なかまから いやみを いわれた。”That guy was disgusted by his peers.”

<What are the features of passive statements?>

Function 1: In the case of a passive sentence in which the actor is not represented, that is, in the case where the actor is not known or does not want to say the actor, the passive sentence is used.
Ex. また じてんしゃが ぬすまれた ”The bike was stolen again. (By somebody)”

Function 2: In the case of a passive statement in which the actor is represented:

(1) Used to match the subject with the surrounding sentence.
Ex. わたしは おばあちゃんが だいすきです。 ははが はたらいていたので、 おばあちゃんに そだてられました。
“I love a grandmother. My mother worked and I was raised by my grandmother.”

(2) Used to match the subject of the main sentence with the subject of the subordinate clause.
Ex.かちょうは しゃちょうに よばれて、 (かちょうは) しゃちょうしつに いっています。
“The section manager is called by the president, and (the section manager) is now in the president’s office.”
(Of course, the subject is the section manager)

The Crab Cannery Ship

Today, we will introduce the famous Japanese proletarian literature “Kani Kosen(The crab cannery ship)”.


The job at the crab craft is to pick up crabs in the sea and process them on the ship.
Most of the crew on this ship were those who were in need of money and could only live on a crab ship. However, the working environment of the ship is poor, working more than 16 hours daily, no days off, no bathing. But no one can go against the director. Because if you turn your teeth, you will be tortured.

This sight represents a picture of capitalism exploited by the might.
Those who make money are ragged, and those who are at the bottom can work even after dying their lives, and even though they work, they do not work, but the money they make is not returned to the workers. At some point, the crew, who can no longer withstand this labor, will strike.

Workers went on strike, but the Navy caught the key figures. But they don’t give up, knowing the reality of the army, who should protect them, decide to stand up again and strike again. Can they beat management and this country?
It is a masterpiece that makes me think again about working.

<Background of the times>
At that time, there was an extraordinary police organization in Japan, which thoroughly cracked down on things against the Emperor and Japan. Yes, at that time Japan was militaristic. You will know that there was a situation like a crab ship in Japan, and from that you will be able to learn from today.
It is actually fiction, but in 1926 it was based on the abuse incidents of the real Hakuai Maru and Eiko Maru crab ships.

<About the author “Takiji Kobayashi”>

Takiji Kobayashi published “March 15, 1928” and then “Kani Kosen” in such a background. At that time, he was accused of criticizing Japan’s ideas at that time. He was further banned from the crab ship, and Takiji Kobayashi was caught by the police. And he was unimaginably tortured and slaughtered.

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