Speakin' Japanese: Hanabi (Fireworks) talk

Speakin' Japanese: Hanabi (Fireworks) talk

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

In mainland Japan and Okinawa, you can enjoy fireworks nearly every weekend throughout the months of July and August. If you haven’t seen fireworks in Japan, then you haven’t seen fireworks. It’s quite a spectacle, with tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people, many dressed in traditional Japanese wear, enjoying the lengthy display of fireworks. And, of course, where there’s fireworks, there’s colorful booths selling food. To make your Hanabi experience more special, try using some of the following lingo. 

“Hanabi” = Fireworks
“Mirare(ru)” = can see
“suki” = like
“Oto” = sound
“Kaijo” = site
“Konderu” = crowded
“Yukata” = summer kimono, “kite” = wear
“Kirei” = beautiful
“Tsumetai mono” = something too cold
“watgashi” = cotton candy
“Kaitai” = want to buy, “yatte mitai” = want to do

“Hanabi wa suki desu ka?” = Do you like fireworks?
“Dokode hanabi ga mirare masuka?” = Where can I see fireworks?
“Itsu mirare masuka?” = When can I see it?
“Nanjikara desu-ka?” = What time does the show start?
“Yukata wo kite ikimasu.” = I’ll go there in my yukata.
“Ashimoto ni kiwo tsukete.” = Watch your step, please.
“Konde masu ne?” = It is crowded, isn’t it?
“Tsumetai mono wo katte kimasho ka?” = Shall I go buy something cold?
“Watagashi wo kaitai desu.” = I want to buy cotton candy.
“Yakisoba ga tabetai desu.” = I want to sample yakisoba.
“Kingyo-sukui wo yatte mitai desu.” = I want to try the goldfish scooping.
“Kirei desu ne?” = It is beautiful, isn’t it?
“Tamaya” or “Kagiya” = “Brabo” (shouting) *Tamaya and Kagiya are the names of old pyrotechnician.
“Tanoshikatta desu.” = I enjoyed it.

You can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:
“Churasan yaa?”  = It is beautiful, isn’t it?
“Umusatan” = I enjoyed it.

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