The Meaning of Hikari: What It Is and How To Use It

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word hikari, including its Japanese definition and translation, usage, origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the Japanese word hikari mean?

Hikari means “light.” This is a word of Japanese origin. The kanji for hikari is represented as 光 in Japanese, while the hiragana, or phonetic spelling, is ひかり. This is a common noun in Japan, and can be used to mean either light or ray, according to Nihongo Master

Hikari is a noun, but it is similar to the verb hikaru (光る) which means to shine, to gleam, or to glitter, according to Japanese Verb Conjugator. Both hikari and hikaru have the same stem, hikar-. Hikari is also the infinitive form of the verb hikaru.

The name Hikari is also a common unisex name in Japan. According to Behind the Name, these baby names are often written as their hiragana rather than the kanji. Along with other Japanese names, Hikaru is also a common name in Japanese for both girls and boys.

Where is the word hikari seen in popular culture?

Since Hikari is a popular Japanese name, it is expected that the name would be seen in many different animes and videogames. 

Hikari Sakishima is the protagonist in the 2013 anime Nagi no Asu Kara. He has brown hair and blue eyes, and is a future Chief Priest. He does not like people, but he gradually learns to understand that there is no difference between the people on the surface and under the sea. He regularly wears his blue and white school uniform. This information was provided by Fandom.

Hikari Takanashi is another anime character from Demi-chan wa Kataritai, which premiered in 2017, according to Fandom. She is a fifteen year old vampire who has short blonde hair and holden eyes. She is very cheerful and outgoing, and attempts to refrain from biting others, though she does have those urges as a vampire. She is considered demi-human, and lives with her normal human twin sister Himari Takanashi. Her name is ironic because vampires are traditionally known to suffer in the light.

Hikari “Kari” Kamiya is also a character from Digimon. According to Fandom, Digimon is a Japanese franchise that emcompasses anime, manga, video games, trading cards, and more. This series was created by Akiyoshi Hongo. Hikari is a character in the anime and manga series Digimon Adventure as well as Digimon Adventure 02. True to her name, the character embodies the trait of light. Hikari is Taichi “Tai” Kamiya’s younger sister. She is a cute, or kawaii character, who has short brown hair. She is shown at multiple ages throughout the series.

Finally, there is a character named Hikari in Sakura Magical Girls, which is a game produced by Winged Cloud. This is the nineteenth game in the Sakura series, according to Fandom. Hikari has red hair and purple eyes, and is very kind and level-headed. She is a Magical Girl who is a force of good and dedicated to destroying evil.

Where else is the word hikari seen in Japan?

Hikari is also the name of a high-speed bullet train that runs through Japan. According to J Rail Pass, these Shinkansen bullet trains are the fastest way to travel through Japan. The nine Shinkansen lines run in different directions across Japan.

The Tokaido Shinkansen line runs from the capital to Osaka. The Sanyo Shinkansen line runs from Osaka to Fukuoka. The Kyushu Shinkansen line runs north to south on the island of Kyushu. All of the other lines – Tokoku, Joetsu, Hokkaido, Akita, Hokuriku, and Yamagata Shinkansen, all run either north or inland from Tokyo.

Hikari is one of three trains that travels on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, according to Japan Rail Pass. It is the second fastest bullet train that runs roughly every thirty minutes, taking three hours to take passengers from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. It stops at Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word hikari?

Thesaurus lists many different synonyms for the word light, which is the direct translation of the word hikari into English. Many of these can be used interchangeably with the word hikari, and are more likely to bee seen in the English vernacular. These are listed below.

  • Flash
  • Glow
  • Lamp
  • Lantern
  • Radiation
  • Ray
  • Star
  • Sun
  • Beacon
  • Brilliance
  • Dawn
  • Effulgence
  • Emanation
  • Flare
  • Glimmer
  • Gleam
  • Glint
  • Glitter
  • Illumination
  • Luminosity
  • Phosphorescence
  • Radiance
  • Shine
  • Sparkle
  • Spendor
  • Sunbeam

Merriam-Webster also lists numerous antonyms for the noun light, which are listed below. Any number of these could be used as opposites for the word hikari.

  • Dark
  • Darkness
  • Midnight
  • Night
  • Dusk
  • Twilight
  • Blackness
  • Gloom
  • Dimness
  • Dullness
  • Murk
  • Shadow
  • Shade

There are numerous different words in English that can be used in place of the Japanese word hikari. English speakers are not likely to use the word hikari, as many other English speakers may not know what one is saying if the word hikari is sprinkled into an English sentence.

Overall, hikari is a Japanese word that means light. It is closely related to the Japanese verb hikaru, which means to shine or to gleam. Both of these are common unisex Japanese baby names that appear frequently in Japanese media including anime, manga, and videogames. Hikari is also the name of a high-speed bullet train service.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nihongomaster.com/dictionary/entry/25937/hikari
  2. http://www.japaneseverbconjugator.com/VerbDetails.asp?txtVerb=%E5%85%89%E3%82%8B
  3. https://www.behindthename.com/name/hikari/related
  4. https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/japan-by-rail/travel-tips/tokaido-lines
  5. https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-meaning-of/japanese-word-5ae567c880da47c96752fc4bc5713e7b858acb83.html
  6. https://naginoasukara.fandom.com/wiki/Hikari_Sakishima
  7. https://demichan-wa-kataritai.fandom.com/wiki/Hikari_Takanashi
  8. https://digimonx.fandom.com/wiki/Hikari_%22Kari%22_Kamiya
  9. https://www.jrailpass.com/shinkansen-bullet-trains
  10. https://winged-cloud.fandom.com/wiki/Sakura_Magical_Girls
  11. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/light
  12. https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/light