Introducing yourself in Japanese

In Japanese, all the possible greeting expressions are called 自己紹介 jikoshokai.

They are, obviously, essential when you meet somebody for the first time, and this whether you are in professional environment or in a more informal place. 

Common greeting

If you should remember only one word, it would be the one for all and any introduction : はじめまして!hajimemashite which corresponds to our "nice to meet you".

To introduce oneself, use:

  • (私は)---と申します (watashi wa) --- to môshimasu = my name is 
  • or more simply ---です --- desu, I am …

Depending on the situation you can say your family name, or your first name, or even both of them. In the last case, always start with the family name before the first name and never use a honorary suffix when talking about yourself.

End with (どうぞ)よろしく(お願いします) (dôzo) yoroshiku (onegaishimasu) which, even if essential, is more difficult to translate: we could say "take good care of me" but this is rather an idiomatic expression.

Following a yoroshiku, it is proper to answer こちらこそ(お願いします) kochira koso (onegaishimasu).

Saying a little more

In most cases, it is right to tell a little more about yourself to your interlocutor.

We can there add アメリカ人です amerikajin desu "I am American" and then ニューヨークから来ました New-York kara kimashita "I am from New York" or also ニューヨークに住んでいます New-York ni sundeimasu "I live in New-York".

To describe your hobbies or interests, we can choose to use:

  • 趣味は--- shumi wa --- which means “my hobby/ies is/are ---"
  • or ---に興味があります --- ni kyômi ga arimasu which means “my interest(s) is/are ---"
How to say "Nice to meet you, my name is..."
Posted on
Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
Kanpai also suggests these posts