Konnichiwa – Good Afternoon in Japanese – Origin and Meaning

Have you ever heard the Japanese word Konnichiwa? It is usually translated as Good Afternoon and also Hi and Hello, but why does such a word usually used in the afternoon also mean hi? In this article we are going to look at the secrets behind the word Konnichiwa.

In this article we will also talk a little about Ohayougozaimasu, it is important that we understand the meaning of this word to understand why Konnichiwa is translated as good afternoon.

Konnichiwa Means Talking About the Day

even though Konnichiwa [今日は] usually be used as a good afternoon or hello, the ideograms compound in the word and its origin have nothing to do with hello or afternoon.


Konnichiwa is actually an abbreviation for a complete statement in which you ask about the person's day. In time this complete sentence turned out to be just konnichiwa.

Konnichi wa ikaga desu ka How is the day? 

Although the phrase has ideograms, the expression konnichiwa is usually written entirely in hiragana. Note that the [は] is actually the particle [は] then of pronunciation wa.

Basically Konnichiwa [こんにちは] is the word day along with the particle wa that highlights the topic of conversation and continuity to the subject. It's like saying: Talking about [は] the day [今日]:


Beginner japanese language learner writing hello word in japanes
Konnichiwa Means How is your day?

Why does Konnichiwa mean Good Afternoon?

It's not that Konnichiwa means good afternoon, as the word refers to the whole day, but because ohayou is used in the morning, it turns out that Konnichiwa has become a word to be used in the afternoon.


In fact both ohayou and konnichiwa do not refer to any period of the day, only konbanwa [今晩は] refers to the period of night, but it is an abbreviation of konnichiwa. See below:

Konbanwa gokigen ikaga desu ka How are you tonight?

Ohayou, on the other hand, gives rise to the idea that the person arrived early or quickly, at no time does the word refer to the morning period, but its frequency of use ended up being at that time, carrying the meaning.

Konnichiwa is usually used between 10 am and 5 pm, as ohayou was originally used in the evening/dawn period and appeared in the kabuki theaters.


Konnichiwa is hello in Japanese

I hope this article has helped you understand why konnichiwa is translated as hello by most dictionaries. It doesn't refer to any time of day, so don't be afraid to use it in an online chat.

Of course you won't stop using Ohayou and Konbanwa to use Konnichiwa in an uncoordinated way, but if that happens you don't need to worry that no one will find it strange.

Even because, regardless of whether it's morning or night, the day isn't over yet. So how's your day going?