I've seen the reading of 株式会社 written both with rendaku and without. I can't tell whether the version without rendaku is simply a typo, or a true variant of the word.


Although かぶしきいしゃ is not wrong, かぶしきいしゃ is more common in recent years, as explained in other answers.

When the word 会社 follows a noun and forms a compound noun, it's usually read いしゃ. For example,

株式会社 かぶしきいしゃ

合名会社 ごうめいいしゃ

合資会社 ごうしいしゃ

合同会社 ごうどういしゃ

有限会社 ゆうげんいしゃ

保険会社 ほけんいしゃ

食品会社 しょくひんいしゃ

格安航空会社 かくやすこうくういしゃ

製造会社 せいぞういしゃ

配給会社 はいきゅういしゃ

制作会社/製作会社 せいさくいしゃ

運営会社 うんえいいしゃ

幽霊会社 ゆうれいいしゃ

親会社 おやいしゃ

子会社 こいしゃ

大会社 だいいしゃ etc.

However, there are a few exceptions.

一人会社 いちにんいしゃ

人的会社 じんてきいしゃ

物的会社 ぶってきいしゃ etc.


There are entries from 9 dictionaries on kotobank.jp. Three give no explicit reading, three say かぶしきいしゃ, and three say かぶしきいしゃ. Could it be any more inconclusive?

I think I always hear it with rendaku, and two of the nine dictionary entries are from 大辞林 and 大辞泉, two popular monolingual dictionaries. These two may not be entirely independent indicators, but I would go with かぶしきいしゃ, with rendaku. Still, I wouldn't go as far as calling かぶしきかいしゃ a typo.

(As with all "reading" questions, it seems particularly hard to find any corpus data, because the reading is never spelled out. Cf. 今日 こんじつ こんにち きょう or 私 わたくし わたし etc.)

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    More confusingly, 株式会社 has the English acronym K.K. (rather than K.G.). I also hear it with rendaku.
    – sqrtbottle
    Dec 29 '15 at 21:13
  • I am sorry I had to downvote too. I have never heard anybody say "My company's name is カブシキ・カイシャ XXXXXXXX" or "XXXXX カブシキ・カイシャ” in business.
    – user7644
    Dec 30 '15 at 1:19
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    @sqrtbottle +1 on your comment. Still, I always think of rendaku occurring within one "word" (of course the concept of "word" is somewhat ambiguous), so to me it makes sense to have the acronym K.K. (or else K.) and not K.G., because if 株式会社 is treated as two words (if just for the purpose of having a good acronym), the second word is definitely kaisha and not gaisha.
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 30 '15 at 12:43
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    なんと…。Myriaさんの質問文にも、Earthlingさんの回答の3行目にも、sqr‌​tbottleさんのコメントにも、rendakuは言及されているので (気づかれませんでしたか?)、説明しなくても、もうみんな連濁のことは勉強してわかっておられると思います・・・。
    – Chocolate
    Dec 30 '15 at 13:33
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    申し上げにくいのですが、tomonoさんは英語がちゃんと読めていないような気がします。 Earthlingさんの「I always hear it with rendaku」は、「私は『かぶしきいしゃ』しか聞いたことがない(『かぶしきいしゃ』は聞いたことがない)」って意味です。つまりあなたのDVの理由、「I have never heard anybody say... カブシキ・カイシャ」と同じ意見ですので、DVする理由はなかったように思います・・・。基本的にEarthlingさんは、大辞林・大辞泉に載っている通り、「かぶしきいしゃ」のほうを使おう、って言ってるんです。(ところで、「For the purpose of acronym????? What on the earth would you try to mean by that?」>> Earthling さんのコメントの意味が分からなければ、日本語で説明させていただきますが、必要ですか?)
    – Chocolate
    Dec 31 '15 at 15:13

株式会社 is pronounced both kabushiki kaisha and kabushiki gaisha. But it is predominantly pronounced kabushiki gaisha today in Japan. By the same token, more people call 投資信託会社 (investment trust company) tōshi shintaku gaisha instead of tōshi shintaku kaisha.

When you voice 株式 and 会社 separately, you should pronounce them kabushiki and kaisha individually.

We call the sounds of か行(syllabic line)— か、き、く、け、こ (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko) — 清音 (literally "clear sounds"), and its voiced (vowel and consonant) line — が、ぎ、ぐ、げ、ご (ga, gi, gu, ge, go) — 濁音 (literally "unclear sounds"). We don't use 濁音 for 株式 on its own.

  • 1
    I am sorry I had to downvoted. Will you list the name of the companies we need to call its name as カブシキ・カイシャ? I have never heard of any company in my entire life during which I probably would have met people of more than at least 200 companies.
    – user7644
    Dec 30 '15 at 1:17

Although this dictionary says 株式会社 as カブシキ・カイシャ,I have never ever met anyone said in my enrire career sombody in a company said "Our company's name is カブシキ・カイシャ XXXXXX,or XXXXX カブシキ・カイシャ" ( Sometimes, in business mannars, whether the name of the company should be placed before カブシキ・ガイシャ or after do matter. ( For example, when you are trying to send invoices to them. ) And it is really hard to say, ( as an example, カブシキ・カイシャ・トヨタジドウシャ ( People of Toyota could think of you a strange guy, in my personal guess unless you are not a native Japanese. ))

It is commonly held in the business world, I am enough certain that people would not call a company XXXXXX カブシキ・カイシャ or カブシキ・カイシャ XXXXXX.

  • 3
    I’m a well-educated Japanese. I’ve lived in Japan 82 years except a short overseas assignment, at least possibly 40 years longer than you in this country. Because of being a pre-war born, I and our contemporaries are educated and fairly well-versed to classic literature of both 和文 (e.g.源氏物語、枕草子) and 漢文 (論語、大学、中庸、孟子、荘子, whatchamacallit.). That said, I wrote 株式会社 can be pronounced both ways of kabusikikaisha and kabusikigaisha, but “predominantly” as kabusikigaisha. There’s no rule to rule out the phonetic reading of kabusikikaisha. You’re fanatically and deliberately exaggerating the case. Dec 30 '15 at 3:16
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    Continued: Please try it at a clerk at bank counter. I bet no one will laugh at or giggle your pronunciation of kabusikikaisha, and take it for granted, for sure. Dec 30 '15 at 3:17
  • Mr.Oichi. We are living todays. I am not mocking you, but at that time when you were working hard, that pronunciation might have existed, but I am not talking about 孔孟's books, I am talking about your saying "predominant" issues here, and I am sorry to say, it has been so predominant that I have never encounterd a native Japanese who called his company カブシキ・カイシャ。
    – user7644
    Dec 30 '15 at 3:20
  • I met mote people than you. I'm a moderator of SE's English Language & Usage, and met the expression, "Im well-educated" which means I received more than elementary- highschool education in otherr word university graduate- quite often. Its none of self-boasting expression. You are too much Japanese mindset. My advice. Be more broad-minded, don't scrub the corner of lunch box. Dec 30 '15 at 3:39
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    Just calm down, and be a little more civil. I don't know too much about Japanese Language site because I'm brand new to this site, but there's no such excentric user like you in English Language & Usage site with 100,000 users. I don't want to talk on this post any more. Sorry. Dec 30 '15 at 5:16

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