What's the difference between 有名, 人気, and 盛ん? I've been looking for an answer to this question for some time now, but couldn't find one that explains the differences properly. I know that 有名 is famous - well-known and that 人気 means popular - people think it's good, but I don't know when to use 盛ん and what exactly it means.

  • 有名(な): famous; well-known
  • 人気(な): popular
  • 盛ん(な): done/enjoyed/happens a lot; highly active; prosperous

盛ん may be translated as "popular", but its basic meaning is "done a lot". For example, 日本では米作りが盛んです does not usually mean rice farming is "popular" in the sense that many people like to do it. It just means rice farming is commonly and actively done by farmers in Japan.

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