The meaning of souji (掃除) in Japanese and how to use it

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word souji, including its Japanese definition and translation, example sentences, related expressions and more!

What does souji mean?

Souji (掃除、そうじ) is a Japanese noun that means cleaning. When added to suru it becomes a verb, so souji suru (掃除する) is to clean.

Below, we take a look at some examples of how to use souji in Japanese.

To make it easier for you, I have written each sentence in full Japanese kanji on the first line, followed by roman letters (romaji), and hiragana, with the English meaning coming last.

Example sentences using souji

The Japanese word souji means cleaning.

Asa kara souji datta.
I was cleaning from the morning.

Mada souji ga owaranai.
I haven’t finished cleaning yet.

Sukoshi souji wo shitara kibun ga raku ni natta.
I felt better after cleaning a little bit.

Nihon de wa, nenmatsu wa souji no jiki desu.
In Japan, the end of the year is a time for cleaning.

Kare wa zettai ni souji wo shinai darashinai hito desu.
He is a slovenly person who never ever cleans up.

Osouji: End-year cleaning

Osouji (大掃除、おおそうじ), literally big cleaning, is Japan’s traditional year-end cleaning. This is a bit like so-called spring cleaning in Western countries, except that people do it at the end of the year.

Kinou wa mina de osouji wo shita.
Yesterday, we all did the end-year cleaning together.

If you work at a Japanese company, chances are you’ll be asked to participate in tasks such as organizing files, getting rid of clutter, and cleaning the office. You might be surprised to see your bosses taking part too!

I personally worked at a company that made us clean every morning (!) before starting work, but the osouji lasted the best part of a day. It’s not the most fun aspect of working in Japan, but it doesn’t last too long when everyone helps out as a team.

Japanese families also use the last week of the year as a time to get their house in tip-top condition before the end-year festivities.