Is there any difference between the suffixes 製 and 造り used to describe what something is made from? e.g. 石{せき}製{せい} and 石{いし}造り{づくり} (made from stone).

I notice in my example above that 製 pairs with an 音読み reading, whereas 造り pairs with a 訓読み reading. Is this generally true? Is the difference simply the usual 漢語/和語 level of fanciness or is there more to it?

1 Answer 1


-造り【づくり】 is basically a suffix for architectural style; it not only refers to what a building is made of, but also the generic style. For example, 校倉造り and 書院造り. 石造り is rather an exceptional use of 造り because it says nothing more than that it's made of stone. Besides, 造り is used almost exclusively for Japanese traditional building architectures. To describe western architectures, we usually use -様式 (e.g., ヴィクトリアン様式).

-造【ぞう】 is sometimes used as a suffix when only the material of a building is important; for example, 木造【もくぞう】, RC造 and 金属造【きんぞくぞう】. But anything other than 木造 sounds like construction industry jargon.

-製 is broadly used for industrial products. It may attach to both on-yomi (木製【もくせい】, 金属製【きんぞくせい】) and kun-yomi (紙製【かみせい】, 布製【ぬのせい】) kanji, as well as gairaigo (プラスチック製). It can also attach to makers (ソニー製). You must say 木造 instead of 木製 when it refers to a building; you need to say 木の机 and 木の家.

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