Can hatsu be used with activities, like hatsu-no poem?

1 Answer 1


Both of them are meaning basically the same.

  • 初のポエム
  • 最初のポエム

But in many cases,初 sentence has a subject at the beginning to say whose first.

  • 私初のポエム(My first poem)
  • Aチーム初の得点(A team's first point)
  • 世界初の車(The world's first car)

And the case of 最初,this can also have a subject though,in many cases it doesn't.this does not mean 最初 always pointing "the world's first" nor distinguishing something particular. So You have to read between the lines and guess the meaning.

  • 最初のプロテニスプレイヤー(the first professional tennis player)
  • 最初の電車を逃したので遅刻した(I was late because I missed the first train)


It's probably good to mention basic difference between them. 初 is a kanji and 最初 is a 熟語(idiomatic phrase) which consists of the kanji 初 and 最 which means 'most'. unlike other 熟語 of 最,最初's 最 basically does not have any meaning but emphasizing the word,Because 初 is meaning 'first' without 最. That's the reason why 初ポエム and 最初のポエム are almost the same meaning.

  • I would argue that 初 can also be included in kanji or kanji compounds without the の. For example; 初任給{しょにんきゅう}、初舞台{はつぶたい}、初挑戦{はつちょうせん} or 初婚{しょこん} Commented May 29, 2015 at 1:23
  • If I understood this question correctly,He's asking about differences between 初 and 最初 as postpositional particles.those words you mentioned are just words on dictionary.But yes,when you want it to be 熟語,初 is the one should be used.Because 最初 is also a 熟語 which is consists of 初
    – suish
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 1:54
  • What you understood and what was asked are different things. I did give you a +1 because that was basically the way I understood Op's question, however the question is extremely bleak and extremely focussed in one situation. Mayhap the question where to have more content it would benefit others looking for a similar situation. Further, the examples I gave were where 初 is almost exclusively used in place of 最初. I merely felt that it would be good to mention that 私の初ポエム is as acceptable as 私の最初のポエム. Commented May 29, 2015 at 2:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .