I cannot differentiate the meaning of 特有 and 固有. The following 2 sentences seem to be (roughly) identical in their meaning.

A: 合気道は日本特有の武道である。

B: 合気道は日本固有の武道である。

Both means:

Aikido is a martial art that is peculiar to Japan.


What are the main differences between 特有 and 固有? Please give me some examples.

2 Answers 2


I'd translate like:

A: 合気道は日本特有の武道である。
Aikido is a martial art that is characteristic to Japan.

B: 合気道は日本固有の武道である。
Aikido is a martial art that is indigenous to Japan.

特有 means something X that belongs to Y has unique feature not commonly seen in similar things that belong to others than Y; thus we can translate it as special or distinctive. 固有, on the other hand, tells X belongs to Y by nature and never to others; thus the translation will be proper or inherent.


I think the answer of broccoli forest is perfectly correct.

I'll tell you the difference between the two words based on the 漢字{かんじ}kanjis used in 固有{こゆう}koyuu and 特有{とくゆう}tokuyuu.

固有 = 固 + 有, and 特有 = 特 + 有

  • 有 means 存在{そんざい}する or 保有{ほゆう}する which means "to exist" or "to have/possess".
  • 固 has many meanings, but in this case it means 元{もと}より motoyori which means "from the beginning/start".
  • 特 means そのものだけ特別{とうべつ}/特殊{とくしゅ} which means "to be special only for it/the thing".

As a whole, 固有 means 元{もと}より存在{そんざい}する or 元{もと}より保有{ほゆう}する or "existing/having from the beginning", which means "inherent", on the other hand, 特有{とくゆう} means そのものだけに特別{とくべつ}に存在{そんざい}する or "existing/having only for it", which means "characteristic".

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