I learnt alot of korean and also the fact that a younger girl would call an older girl 'eonni' or and older boy 'oppa'. Also a younger boy would say Noona (older girl) or hyung (older boy). Do Japanese people use such terms as well? Are there terms you would use to call some one that is older than you?


1 Answer 1


Honorifics are used heavily in Japan. However one culture difference between Japan and South Korea is that age, though important in Japan, is nowhere nearly as much so as in South Korea. So for example, whereas in S. Korea, if two friends are at least one year apart in age, they will refer to each other as younger/older siblings, even if they're not related, in Japan, there is no such custom.

Age isn't quite as big of a deal in Japan (although it's still important to some extent), but honorifics are still used all the time. "Sensei" technically does not mean "teacher"; it's actually kind of an honorific catch-all for doctors, teachers, and other such roles. Instead of "san", you would call some people "sama", which is a cut above "san".

One example usage of an honorific is that stores often call their customers "okyakusama". The basic word they're using is "kyaku", which means "customer". However they're adding two different honorifics: "sama", which is more honorific than "san", and "o", which also increases respectfulness.

If you met some random stranger on the street, you would just use "san" though.

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