How to Introduce Yourself in Japanese 

 January 19, 2020

By  Paolo Palabrica

The common way of introducing yourself in English is pretty simple. You say a greeting, state your name, mention a few facts about yourself and that’s it. However, in the case of the Japanese language, you have to decide whether you’re going to state it casually or formally since they have a different introduction depending on the situation.

In this article, you will be able to learn how to introduce yourself to native Japanese speakers. This will be a great conversation starter when meeting new Japanese friends.

Introduce Yourself in Japanese

Formal Introduction

The business formal greeting contains three parts. Saying “Nice to meet you”, your name, and then one more line.

Hajimemashite (はじめまして)


This is the standard “Nice to meet you” for business Japanese. You open up your introductions with this line.

(name) to moushimasu (「name」と申します)


This is how you introduce your name. The direct translation is “I am called (name)”. The “to” doesn’t have the same pronunciation as the American English “to”. The “o” sound is more airy like the “o” sound in the word “law”. But unlike the word “law”, the ending is more abrupt and strong.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu (よろしくお願いします)


This is one line that has no direct translation in the American English. The meaning is a combination of “pleased to meet you” and “please take care of me” in a sense. It’s frequently used in a formal business setting, whenever you have to introduce yourself to a group of new colleagues or to a client.


Just like American English, Japanese also has words that can be used throughout the day.

Ohayou gozaimasu(おはようございます)


This is the Japanese equivalent for the English “Good Morning”. The “o” has the same sound as the “o” sound in “awe” but it’s prolonged. Note that the gozaimasu is an honorific word, commonly added to this phrase in order to make it more formal and appropriate in a business setting.

Konnichiwa (こんにちは)


Used as “Good Afternoon” for Japanese. This also casually turns into a “Hello” when used in everyday conversation.

Konbanwa (こんばんは)


“Good Evening” in Japanese. The pronunciation sounds more like “com” rather than “con” because of the two consonants “n” and “b”. By nasally using the letter “m” it makes it easier to smoothly pronounce the word.

Casual Introductions

When talking casually to a new friend or a peer, these introductions may seem a little too formal for their tastes. Here’s a few ways to make it sound more natural and up-to-date.

Ohayou, Konnichiwa, Konbanwa (おはよう、こんにちは、こんばんは)

Start off with your normal greeting. Depending on the time setting. Notice that the “gozaimasu” was removed, in order to make it seem less formal.

Hajimemashite (はじめまして)

This is still necessary to convey the “Nice to meet you” message.

Watashi wa (name) desu (私は「name」です)

“Desu” is pronounced without the “u” sound. This sentence means “I am (name)”. It’s simple and straightforward. To make it even more casual, you can omit the “watashi wa” and just say, “(name) desu” since the Japanese are fond of omitting a lot of words because they can already understand the context.

Yoroshiku (よろしく)

This line is still important, but you omit the “onegaishimasu” to make it less formal.


And there you have it! Here are the most basic ways to introduce yourself in Japanese. Make sure to use these phrases when making new Japanese friends in your area or online. Stay tuned for future guides which can help you express things like age, interests and hobbies!

Mata ne(またね)!(See you later!)

Paolo Palabrica

Paolo is a software engineer in the Philippines whose hobby is learning languages. He has self-studied Japanese for over 3 years, and now speaks 3 languages and 3 Philippine dialects.

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