Good day folks,

Basically been studying for 3 months already here in Tokyo. Using minna no nihongo book in our school. I am just wondering because I stumbled upon もうしこみます which means "to apply".

When I was playing with google translate, I wanted to say something like "I want to apply for your company", and the word おうぼする came up. I tried searching the net for their differences, but couldn't find any. if anyone can help, please do so. Any output is much appreciated. Thank you very much.


The kanji 応 in 応募 means "to respond", and 募 here means 募集 ("recruitment", "public request for application"). Therefore, 応募 is used only for something that is publicly "called for", such as a job recruitment, a competition, an audition, a volunteer activity, or a magazine sweepstakes. There is usually a selection process, and you usually don't have to pay just for 応募.

申し込む has a broader sense. You can use 申し込む for all the examples above. You can use only 申し込む when you start an ordinary business transaction, such as buying a cell phone, reserving a hotel, claiming for insurance money, or issuing a passport.

Note that there are some specific and better words in some fields, such as 出願 (for applying for admission to a school) and 投稿 (for submitting a manuscript).


It is about the nature of the "application". もうしこむ is typically used for a situation where the recipient of your application is closer to a "vendor", and sometimes it can be translated as "subscribe", like subscribing to Netflix.

おうぼ is used when you are closer to being the "vendor", and thus applying for a job requires おうぼ, since you are "the vendor". But it is not only about which way cash flows, ie I think that you would probably use おうぼ e.g. when applying for membership of some yacht club.

  • To add, as you mentioned you are studying, despite what I wrote above, if you want to talk about applying to some school, I think you would use neither, unless it would be e.g. some on-line course where everyone is welcome to join, or unless the selection process was done through a lottery. What is the right term in this case, I don't know but someone will hopefully tell soon. For scholarships, now on thin ice, but I would go for おうぼ
    – Tuomo
    Jun 30 '19 at 13:10

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