Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm lacking a range of vocabulary that allows me to express different kinds of pain. And since I'm on this theme I might as well included injuries in this question. It seems that everything can be contained in 痛み and きず but I would like to be more specific.

I shall list down the different types of injury and its corresponding pain (Not the instantaneous pain felt at the moment of injury, but the pain that persists afterwards) that I think deserve a different description because they just feel too different from each other:

  1. Bruise; aching, tender(pain upon pressure)

  2. Cut/Gash; sharp pain, prickly sensation

  3. Abrasion; tingling/prickly sensation

  4. Muscle strain; dull and sore aching (Like after rigorous exercise the muscle feels sore)

  5. (For various injuries); Throbbing pain

What are their Japanese counterparts?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Bruise; aching, tender(pain upon pressure) → あざ、打撲傷【だぼくしょう】、血豆【ちまめ】(?)

Cut/Gash; sharp pain, prickly sensation → 切【き】り傷【きず】(cut, gash), {ひりひり・ぴりぴり}{する・痛む} (to sting, prickle, burn -- either a wound, or can be used to describe the feeling of eating hot/spicy foods)

Abrasion; tingling/prickly sensation → 擦【す】り傷【きず】

Muscle strain; dull and sore aching (Like after rigorous exercise the muscle feels sore) → 筋肉痛【きんにくつう】

(For various injuries); Throbbing pain → ずきずき{する・痛む}

share|improve this answer

痛み refers to the sensation of pain, while きず the trace or mark left behind by the pain inflicted.

The visible cut/gash is きず. Abrasion is 擦り傷{すりきず}. But they don't refer to the pain.

For most sores or muscle aches, there are various words ending with 痛{つう}, e.g. the generic muscle sore is 筋肉痛{きんにくつう}.

When used metaphorically, 痛み still refers to the pain felt, and 傷{きず} the metaphorical 'cut'.

彼との{ }死別{しべつ}でできた心の傷がまだ{ }治{なお}っていない

The wound in the heart from the time when seperated from him by his death has not yet healed.

For the throbbing sensation, there are many words for it: 苦痛{くつう}, 激痛{げきつう}, 疼痛{とうつう}. I think 疼痛 fits the description, but I hardly see it in use; instead, the pain is described in some other way.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.