Word of the Week: 休み (yasumi)

Posted: 5th May 2022

Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week!

This week's word is...



What does it mean?

休み (yasumi) means a break, day off, holiday or vacation.

How is it written?

The kanji used in the first character of 休み (yasumi) is a fun one! It's made of two parts:

  • 亻- person
  • 木 - tree

Can you guess what it's meant to symbolise?

The answer: a person resting against/beneath a tree!

Examples of How to Use 休み (yasumi)

Some example sentences using 休み (yasumi) include:

  • 今日は休みです (kyō wa yasumi desu) - today is a holiday/day off
  • 明日の授業は休みです (ashita no jyugyō wa yasumi desu) - we don't have class tomorrow/tomorrow we have the day off class
  • 休みの日はずーっとゲームの「どうぶつの森」をやっている (yasumi no hi wa zuutto geemu no Dōbutsu no Mori wo yatteiru) - on my days off I play Animal Crossing all day long

休み (yasumi) can also be combined with other words, for example:

  • 休み (haru yasumi) - spring holiday
  • 休み (natsu yasumi) - summer holiday

As the Japanese school calendar begins from April, spring holiday is an important time of year.

Bonus Word: 休む (yasumu)

The word 休み (yasumi) in fact has its roots in the verb 休む (yasumu): to take a break, have a day off, take a holiday.

Examples of how to use 休む (yasumu) include:

  • 今日は会社を休みます (kyō wa kaisha wo yasumimasu) - I'm taking the day off work today*
  • ちょっと休みましょうか (chotto yasumimashō ka) - shall we take a short break?
  • 昨日休んでたけど体調大丈夫? (kinō wa yasundeta kedo taichō daijōbu?) - You were off yesterday. Are you feeling okay?

*This first example is actually the title of a manga series that was adapted to a drama that I watched a while back!

Japanese Holidays

If you follow what's going in Japan at different times of year, you may know that today is the last day of Golden Week 2022 - one giant 休み (yasumi)!

Find out more about Golden Week via japan-guide.com (not affiliated).

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