The meaning of tsuki (月) in Japanese and how to use it

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

What does tsuki mean?

The Japanese word tsuki (月、つき) means moon. The 月 kanji used for tsuki can also stand for a particular month, in which case it is pronounced gatsu. For example, 1月 (ichi-gatsu) means January, with the number one representing the first month of the year.

Tsuki = Moon

Tsuki is a Japanese noun which stands for moon or the moon. Its kanji 月 actually looks a little bit like its meaning. If you look closely and use your imagination, you should be able to identify a half-moon (crescent) shape. Can you see it?

Tsuki: Example sentences

Without further ado, let’s look at some examples of how to use tsuki.

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

Kyou no tsuki wa kirei da ne.
Today’s moon is really beautiful, isn’t it?

Kanojo no yume wa tsuki ni iku koto. Chotto baka mitai!
Her dream is to go to the moon. She’s kind of foolish!

Jinrui de hajimete “tsuki ni oritatta otoko
The first man in history to step onto the moon.

Otsuki Sama meaning

Otsuki Sama (お月様、おつきさま) also means moon, but it is more polite than just tsuki alone. Both o- and sama are honorifics that, simply put, make the word sound more respectful or formal.

Haru no yoru ni wa otsuki sama wo nagameru no ga suki desu.
I like to watch the moon at night in the springtime.

Gatsu: Month

As mentioned, when a number is placed in front of 月, it becomes a month. This is quite logical when you consider that a month represents one rotation of the moon around the Earth!

Note that kanji can also be used in place of the number (e.g. 一月 instead of 1月) in certain situations, but the meaning remains the same.

Nihon de wa shi gatsu wa totemo taisetsu na jiki desu.
April is a very important time of year in Japan.