About this site

Site overview

The MARUGOTO-NO-KOTOBA is a website where you can study words and phrases used in "Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture", a series of coursebooks which comply with the JF (Japan Foundation) Standard for Japanese-Language Education.

For more detailed information on "Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture", please refer .


Contents overview


When you want to look up words and phrases

Here you can input letters/characters and look up words and phrases. You can use kanji, kana, romaji or one of the user languages (e.g. English) to do this.

When you perform a search, any words and phrases with a partial match will be displayed. Cute illustrations are displayed along with the translation next to the Japanese, and you can see in which coursebook each word/phrase appears. You can also listen to audio.

Choose a word/phrase from the list and click on it to open a detailed page. The following information is displayed on the detail page.

My listわたしのリスト

When you want to organize words and phrases

You can make a convenient personalized list by selecting particular coursebooks, topics, lessons and the kinds of word you want to study. For example, you can pick out just the new I-Adjectives and NA-Adjectives from a particular lesson, or maybe only the Group 1 verbs you wish to study etc.


Here you can study words related to 5 categories - calendar, time, positions/locations, numbers and colours - presented as a whole with charts/illustrations to make them easy to study.

Recently viewed words最近見たことば

Here you can remind yourself of words and phrases for which you looked at detailed pages recently. Please check to see if you can remember them!


We have gathered example sentences you may use in daily life, such as writing emails in Japanese or talking about your hobbies with friends. When you want to try out some Japanese, look for the Can-do point that resembles the setting you want. We’ve adopted example sentences using vocabulary, expressions, and sentence patterns for various situations. We are confident you can find examples that will provide the hints you need. Enjoy communication in Japanese by matching it to real-life settings in which you would use it, replacing the vocabulary where you see fit.

There are also example sentences that have a Convversation bubble mark. Clicking on this Convversation bubble mark lets you see a model conversation that uses the example sentence, and learn specific ways to use it.

About symbols and notation


Romaji notation follows the same rules as the "Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture" coursebooks.

> Romaji list

・Notation for particular kinds of sounds

Long vowel
ああ / かあ アー / カー
aa / kaa
いい / きい イー / キー
ii / kii
うう / くう ウー / クー
uu / kuu
えい / けい エー / ケー
ee / kee
おう (おお) / こう オー / コー oo / koo
にほんご (日本語)   Nihongo
きんようび (金曜日) kin'yoobi
こんにちは konnichiwa
ゆっくり   yukkuri
  Hiragana Katakana Romaji

Kanji / Kana

Choose ‘漢字・かな’ (Kanji/Kana) in Japanese and the notation for vocabulary items and example sentences will include kanji studied at that (Communicative language competences) coursebook level. If you choose ‘かな ’ (Kana only) the Japanese notation will not include any kanji.


The coursebook, topic, lesson etc. are displayed as seen in the following examples:

Starter (A1) Communicative language activities, Topic 3, Lesson 5
→ Starter (A1) / Katsudoo / T3 / L5

Elementary 1 (A2) Communicative language competences, Topic 7, Lesson 14
→ Elementary 1 (A2) / Rikai / T7 / L14

Verb groups are shown as follows:

Verb Group 1 → Verb 1

Verb Group 2 → Verb 2

Verb Group 3 → Verb 3



> The Japan Foundation, Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai

Established in 1972 as a semi-governmental corporation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Japan Foundation is the first organization that specializes in international cultural exchange in Japan, playing a major role in promoting arts and cultural exchange, Japanese language education overseas, Japanese studies and intellectual exchange. As an affiliated agency, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai offers overseas students direct support through Japanese language programs and the development of Japanese teaching materials and websites.

Content production

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai

Starter(A1) / Elementary 1 (A2)

Elementary 2 (A2)


Website Production

> Brain Corporation


office purechild

Audio Production

> IMAGICA WEST Corp. (Starter(A1) / Elementary 1 (A2))

> Chara Corporation (Elementary 2 (A2))


Hiroko Aoki, Kyoko Matsuba, Takuya Matsumoto (Starter(A1) / Elementary 1 (A2))

Yuriko Imanishi (Elementary 2 (A2))