I know 洋{よう}服{ふく}箪{だん}笥{す}, 衣{い}装{しょう}箪{だん}笥{す} and ワードローブ, but I've never seen them used and I don't know what the difference between them is.

I mean a typical wardrobe with doors (like the one from "The chronicles of Narnia").

1 Answer 1


I don't think there are strict distinctions, at least in the ordinary language, but the word you are looking for should be クローゼット.

For example, IKEA has the following categorization. タンス for chests and ワードローブ・クローゼット for the ones with 'a door'. You can use ワードローブ, too, but I feel it is less common.

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More precisely, you can actually use タンス, too. I suppose タンス covers the two categories above, but クローゼット should be usually the ones with doors (or a separate storage room for clothes).

The door type is called 観音開{かんのんびら}き. So 観音開きの箪笥 could be used, but normally people are not that specific and タンス may be too generic. Hence クローゼット could be better (though the ambiguity with storage room remains). Probably ワードローブ doesn't have this ambiguity. (Again, I don't think people use these words so carefully.)

  • What about 洋服箪笥 and 衣装箪笥? Don't they describe that kind of wardrobe too? Is there any difference between them? Aren't they common words? Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 0:48
  • 1
    @Haragurodanshi Practically there is no difference. Or it is not really a matter of difference. 99+% of the population wear Western clothes, and any storage is 洋服ダンス by default. 衣装ダンス may slightly connote more traditional Kimono storage, but just like this all are virtually synonymous. For Japanese style タンス, 和箪笥 is used. Note that in urban areas, there is at most one tatami room in each household (a bit exaggerating), accordingly not much space for 和箪笥. So there is no need to differentiate them.
    – sundowner
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 1:08
  • I thought 箪笥 was only the one with drawers. As you said, I can use that too, it's just more generic. Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 1:29

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