How to Say Comrade in Japanese: A Comprehensive Guide

In this guide, we will explore the various ways to say “comrade” in Japanese, both formally and informally. We will also provide tips, examples, and discuss any regional variations as necessary. Whether you’re learning Japanese for personal or professional reasons, knowing how to address someone as a comrade can come in handy in certain situations.

Formal Ways to Say Comrade

1. 同志 (Doushi): The term “doushi” is a formal way to refer to a comrade in Japanese. It is commonly used in political, social, or ideological contexts. For example, if you’re addressing someone at a political gathering or a meeting of like-minded individuals, using “doushi” would be appropriate. Here’s an example sentence:

同志たち、明日の会議に出席してください。 Doushi-tachi, ashita no kaigi ni shusseki shite kudasai. Comrades, please attend tomorrow’s meeting.

2. 仲間 (Nakama): While “nakama” typically translates to “friend” or “companion,” it can also be used in a formal context to refer to comrades. This term is often employed in professional settings or military contexts to depict a sense of camaraderie. Here’s an example:

私たちは仲間です。共に目標に向かって頑張りましょう。 Watashitachi wa nakama desu. Tomo ni mokuhyou ni mukatte ganbarimashou. We are comrades. Let’s work together towards our goals.

Informal Ways to Say Comrade

1. 仲間 (Nakama): In informal settings, “nakama” is still commonly used to refer to comrades. This term is versatile and can convey a sense of friendship and unity. Here’s an example:

みんな、仲間として楽しい時間を過ごしましょう! Minna, nakama toshite tanoshii jikan o sugoshimashou! Let’s spend some enjoyable time together as comrades!

2. パートナー (Paatonaa): Although “paatonaa” directly translates to “partner,” it can be used informally to refer to a comrade, especially in activities that involve teamwork or shared goals. Here’s an example:

サッカーチームのメンバーは一緒に練習するパートナーです。 Sakkaa chiimu no menbaa wa issho ni renshuu suru paatonaa desu. The members of a soccer team are practice partners who train together.

Regional Variations

While the above terms are widely used to say “comrade” in Japanese, it’s important to note that regional variations exist. For instance:

1. 朋輩 (Houbai): In some regions of Japan, particularly among older generations or in traditional settings, “houbai” is used to convey the idea of comradeship. Here’s an example:

大学時代の友人たちとは朋輩としてつながりを保ち続けています。 Daigaku jidai no yuujin-tachi to wa houbai toshite tsunagari o tamochi tsuzuketeimasu. I continue to maintain connections with my college friends as comrades.

2. 仲巴 (Namapa): Another regional variation, mostly heard in certain dialects, is “namapa.” It is used informally and is more common in specific parts of Japan. Here’s an example sentence:

なまぱ仲間と一緒に冒険するのは楽しいですね! Namapa nakama to issho ni bouken suru no wa tanoshii desu ne! It’s fun to go on adventures with namapa comrades!

It’s worth noting that regional variations may not be as widely understood or used across different areas of Japan, so it’s advisable to stick with the more common terms mentioned earlier unless you’re specifically referring to a particular region or context.


Mastering the different ways to say “comrade” in Japanese will enable you to effectively address individuals in various formal and informal settings. Remember to choose the appropriate term based on the level of formality required and the regional variations if necessary. Whether you’re participating in a political gathering, engaging in teamwork, or simply forging new friendships, these terms will help you integrate smoothly into Japanese social and professional circles. Enjoy your journey as you build connections with comrades!

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