How To Say Beard in Japanese?

August 17, 2011 Juju Kurihara Lifestyle, Vocabulary Tags: 2 Comments

The other day we talked about the Day of Hige and today we like to show different types of hige (moustache, beard) and how to say it in Japanese. By the way, I´m a bit of hige fetish although I think you don´t need this information…

Now start,




First, moustache, kuchi-hige (口ひげ) in Japanese. Here my favorite detective, Hercule Poirot. I like his moustache case when he sleeps. 




Beard on your chin or around the jaw like this.. oops, this is a dog.




Again, like this is ago-hige (あごひげ). This type you can see on some Japanese boys.

chinchin 2


Stubble, bushou-hige (無精ひげ) in Japanese means, lazy beard. It is sometimes a trademark of the person. Ichiro (イチロー) is a Japanese baseball player who played for the Seattle Mariners for a while started grow his busho-hige soon after he left Japanese baseball team. It´s said that he did it otherwise, people think he´s still a baby for his appearance.




He is Kato-chan (カトちゃん) aka Kato Cha (加藤茶), is a Japanese comedian who performed in a group called Drifters (ドリフターズ). This type of hige, the one smear under the nose is chobi-hige (ちょびひげ) in Japanese. Chobi comes from chobitto (ちょびっと), a little. As this is a little moustache, it´s called chobi-hige.



The beard grows over the cheek is hoo-hige (頬ひげ) in Japanese although you don´t see it much.





One, because Japanese guys don´t have enough hair to grow, and even those who have beard, they try to get rid of it in a hair salon, like the photo below.


cheek 2



Goatee, of course exists in Japanese, it´s yagi-hige (ヤギひげ), like this famous Japanese film director, Seijun Suzuki (鈴木清順). He´s got a good one and also it´s perfectly white!





The one like Dr. Fu Manchu is called dojou-hige (どじょうひげ) in Japanese. The way hanging down looks like loach=dojou, so we call it dojou-hige.




The beard around the mouth is called raundo-hige (ラウンドひげ/ round beard). It´s quite common to see this type of beard in western men but it seems like it´s difficult to grow like this for Japanese men. As you can see, even this guy, the upper part is finer than the lower on the chin.

Usually it grows like the guy below. The moustache and chin beard can´t connect.

Talking about hairless, recently I´ve read an article saying that a Japanese rugby player has been suspended for two years for failing a doping test. Apparently he´d used hair restorer for his beard. 

If it was true, how sad and embarrassing to be known in the public. And what I can see is that even a rugby player doesn´t seem to have enough testosterone.

roundround 2


Kaiser is kaizaa (カイザー) or kaizeru (カイゼル) in Japanese, and of course in anime, anyone can have a perfect hige.




Some people can have a full-face beard like him. He can even knit it. Oh, how soft it looks, I like to have one for winter. This is furu feisu (フルフェイス) in Japanese, we just called it in Japanglish just because it´s almost impossible for Japanese guys to have this and there is no literal Japanese word for it.




Needless to say, there are hairy Japanese men. I remember one of the math teachers in my primary school was in the swimming pool and I could see his back hair was floating like kelp. Also my biology teacher in the high school had so much hair that he´d come to school well shaved until his cheek looked blue but by the time it hit the midday, a half of his face was covered with beard and looked gray already.

Like those photos, someone has so hairy that it goes blue when he shaves, we call it ao-hige (青ひげ), literary blue beard in Japanese.

One of the famous Japanese baseball players, Shigeo Nagashima (長嶋茂雄) was well known for his ao-hige and he even appears in an anime with blue beard.





I suspect that recent soushoku-kei boom is related to Japanese men´s hige. I was looking at Japanese old famous people and found these great hige men. The top is Gaishi Nagaoka (長岡外史) who was a military during the Taisho period (大正時代) and known for his propeller hige. The bottom is Hirobumi Ito (伊藤博文), who played an important part during the Meiji Restoration (明治維新).

propellerhirobumi ito


In Japan, people seem to consider moustache or beard with different aspect from the western world. In many companies and school, it´s prohibited from growing it and if you don´t keep this rule, you can be fired or suspended from the school. It sounds exaggerated but seems like Japanese people think beard is a symbol of laziness or unhygienic lifestyle. Yes, recent Japanese are quite obsessed about hygiene, sometimes it looks too much for me though…


At last, here is the famous hige dance from the Drifters.


So now, tell me in Japanese what type of beard you have. 


  1. dThrak 11 years Reply


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