What should be used when describing someone by their nationality?


日本人女性 vs 日本の女性 vs 日本人の女性

I've seen all three of these used, but it's hard for me to see the difference.

1 Answer 1


In most cases you can use them interchangeably.

My feeling is that 日本人女性 sounds more like an individual while 日本の女性 more collective. (Somewhat similar to a Japanese woman vs. Japanese women, but maybe not always.)

For example, 私は日本の女性が好きだ means I like Japanese women in general; 私は日本人女性が好きだ is acceptable, but it would be more natural to use it when you like a particular woman who is a Japanese: 私はその日本人女性が好きだ = I like the Japanese woman; Again, 私はその日本女性が好きだ is acceptable, but sounds kind of awkward due to the repetition of の.

日本人の女性 can be used for both individual and collective cases, but it sounds to me kind of redundant (BCCWJ returned 126/97/21 results for 日本人女性/日本の女性/日本人の女性).

All these differences are subtle, and I don't think you need to worry too much which to use when.

Related: What's the difference between 日本人の学生 and 日本の学生 ?

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