Arigato: The Japanese Way of Saying Thank You

Arigato: The Meaning and Significance of Saying Thank You in Japanese Culture

Arigato: The Japanese Way of Saying Thank You

Learn all about the Japanese word Arigato, its meaning, and its importance in Japanese culture. Discover how to say thank you in Japanese and why this word is significant. Explore the versatility of arigato and how it can be used in different contexts. Dive into the depths of Japanese gratitude and appreciation.

Have you ever wondered how to say thank you in Japanese? Well, look no further! In this article, well explore the word arigato and its significance in Japanese culture. So, lets dive in!

What does arigato mean?

In Japanese, arigato (pronounced ah-ree-gah-toh) is a common way to express gratitude or say thank you. It is a versatile word that can be used in various situations, from casual to formal settings.

Etymology of arigato

The word arigato is derived from the combination of two Japanese terms: ari and gatō. Ari means to exist or there is, while gatō translates to feeling or sense. When combined, these words create the sense of there is a feeling (of gratitude). So, when you say arigato, you are acknowledging the existence of gratitude.

Arigato vs. Arigatōgozaimasu

Another variation of expressing thank you in Japanese is arigatōgozaimasu (pronounced ah-ree-gah-toh-goh-zahy-mahs). This form is more formal and respectful than simply saying arigato. It is commonly used in business settings, formal occasions, or when showing deep appreciation.

While arigatōgozaimasu is the polite choice, arigato can be used in most casual situations among friends, family, or acquaintances. Both expressions convey gratitude, but the level of politeness varies.

Using arigato with proper etiquette

When saying arigato in Japan, it is customary to accompany the word with a slight bow and a smile. This small gesture shows respect and genuine gratitude. Japanese culture places high value on politeness, so its important to adopt the appropriate etiquette when expressing thanks.

Remember, a simple arigato can go a long way in building positive relationships with the Japanese people and demonstrating your appreciation for their kindness.


Now that you know the meaning and proper usage of arigato, you can confidently express your gratitude in Japanese. Whether its a casual thank you or a formal expression of appreciation, using arigato or arigatōgozaimasu will definitely impress the locals and show your respect for their language and culture.

So go ahead, try saying arigato the next time you want to thank someone in Japanese!


Minoru Shiina