What Is The Japanese Kanji For I Love You? | How To Write I Love You In Japanese

The Japanese kanji for I love you is 愛しています (Aishiteimasu). We break down and explain each character in the kanji 愛しています. Read on to learn how to write I love you in Japanese. 

Expressions of love are woven into the tapestry of human emotions, transcending language barriers and cultural differences. 

In the realm of the Japanese language, a culture rich in symbolism and intricate characters, the phrase “I love you” is beautifully represented through the fusion of Kanji characters. 

These characters not only convey the sentiment but also encapsulate the essence of affection and devotion in a profound way.

Japanese Kanji For I Love You Is 愛しています (Aishiteimasu)

The Japanese phrase for “I love you” is commonly written using the Kanji characters “愛しています,” which is pronounced as “Aishiteimasu.”

Each Kanji character within this phrase holds its own significance, creating a layered and nuanced expression of affection.

Japanese Kanji For I Love You

Let’s break down the significance of each Kanji character within this phrase:

  • 愛 (Ai)

This character, 愛, encapsulates the concept of “love” or “affection” in a profound manner.

The character is composed of several components, with the radical 心 (kokoro) meaning “heart” on the left side. 

This radical emphasizes the emotional and heartfelt nature of love, suggesting that love stems from the depths of one’s heart. 

The overall structure of the character also conveys the idea of two people coming together, representing the connection and attachment that love fosters.

  • して (Shite)

The character して is derived from the verb “suru,” which translates to “to do” or “to perform.” In the context of the phrase, it forms the action of the verb “愛して” (Aishite), meaning “to love.” 

This character highlights the dynamic aspect of love, emphasizing that love is not just a passive feeling but an active expression that requires action and intention.

  • います (Imasu)

The final part of the phrase, います, is a polite form of the verb “iru,” which means “to be” or “to exist.” In this context, it signifies the continuous existence of love.

By using this polite form, the phrase conveys not only the sentiment of love but also the respect and formality associated with expressing deep emotions.

  • Cultural Significance
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Kanji holds a special place in Japanese culture, and each character is imbued with layers of meaning and history.

Writing “I love you” in Kanji reflects the Japanese approach to emotions – often expressed subtly and deeply. 

The combination of characters adds a layer of complexity to the sentiment, emphasizing the profound nature of love and the importance of showing it through actions.

Variations and Alternatives: Exploring Different Ways to Express Affection in Japanese

Within the realm of the Japanese language, expressions of love can take on various forms, each with its own subtle nuances and connotations.

While “愛しています” (Aishiteimasu) is a commonly used way to say “I love you” in Japanese, there are alternative phrases and variations that capture the essence of affection in different shades. 

Let’s delve into some of these variations and their cultural significance:

  • 大好きです (Daisuki Desu)

This phrase translates to “I like you a lot” or “I really like you.” While not as direct as saying “I love you,” “大好きです” conveys strong feelings of affection and attachment. 

It’s a sentiment often shared between close friends, family members, and romantic partners, signifying deep fondness and care.

  • 愛してる (Aishiteru)

This is a more casual and informal way of expressing “I love you.” The phrase “愛してる” (Aishiteru) drops the formal ending “ます” (masu) found in “愛しています” (Aishiteimasu), making it suitable for close relationships.

It’s a straightforward declaration of love and is commonly used among romantic partners.

  • 好きです (Suki Desu)

While “好きです” (Suki Desu) translates to “I like you,” it holds a special place in Japanese culture. 

This phrase is often used as a precursor to deeper expressions of affection. It can be the stepping stone to revealing more intense feelings of love, making it a sentiment filled with potential and anticipation.

  • 心から愛しています (Kokoro Kara Aishiteimasu)

Adding the word “心から” (Kokoro Kara) before “愛しています” (Aishiteimasu) intensifies the declaration of love.

“心から” means “from the bottom of my heart,” emphasizing the depth and sincerity of the emotion being conveyed. This variation underscores the earnestness and authenticity of the affection being expressed.

  • 恋しています (Koi Shiteimasu)
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The term “恋” (Koi) specifically refers to romantic love, often used to describe the feelings between partners. “恋しています” (Koi Shiteimasu) is an alternative way of saying “I love you,” focusing on the romantic and passionate aspects of affection.

These variations reflect the nuances of relationships and emotions in Japanese culture. The choice of phrase can depend on factors such as the level of intimacy, the nature of the relationship, and the desired emotional impact. 

Japanese communication is often indirect, and these variations provide a range of options for expressing affection while respecting cultural norms.

Evoking Emotion Through Brushstrokes: Writing “I Love You” in Kanji

In the realm of calligraphy, the art of writing Kanji characters takes on a new dimension.

The stroke order, balance, and flow of each character can enhance the emotional impact of the message being conveyed. 

When it comes to writing “I love you” in Kanji, the careful arrangement of brushstrokes adds an additional layer of depth to the sentiment.

  • Stroke Order and Aesthetic Balance

In calligraphy, each Kanji character is constructed using a specific stroke order, a sequence of pen or brush movements that form the character. 

The stroke order of 愛しています is important not only for proper writing but also for maintaining a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing balance.

  • 愛: The character 愛 begins with a downward stroke, followed by a slightly curved horizontal stroke. The balance between these two strokes symbolizes the equilibrium and interconnectedness found in a loving relationship.
  • して: The character して involves a mixture of straight and curved strokes. The sharp angles and smooth curves mirror the dynamic and multifaceted nature of expressing love through actions.
  • います: The final character, います, includes several short strokes that create a harmonious whole. The interconnectedness of these strokes conveys the idea of love’s continuous presence and endurance.

By adhering to the correct stroke order, calligraphers not only capture the visual essence of each character but also infuse their work with the emotions associated with love.

  • The Art of Calligraphy

Calligraphy has been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, celebrated as both an art form and a means of communication. 

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The process of writing Kanji characters with a brush demands patience, concentration, and a deep understanding of the characters’ meanings. 

When writing “I love you” in Kanji, calligraphers aim to channel their emotions into the brushstrokes, creating a tangible representation of affection.

  • Emotional Resonance

The beauty of using Kanji to express love lies in its ability to evoke emotions on multiple levels. The intricate characters are not just symbols but vessels for profound meanings and sentiments. 

When these characters are meticulously crafted through calligraphy, they become carriers of emotion, reflecting the writer’s intentions and feelings.

Whether written with the flourish of an experienced calligrapher’s brush or penned by someone learning the art, the act of writing “I love you” in Kanji becomes an emotional journey. 

Each brushstroke carries the weight of love, commitment, and expression, making the message all the more meaningful.

  • Modern Expressions

While traditional calligraphy remains a revered practice, modern technology has brought new dimensions to the expression of affection in Kanji. 

Digital tools and fonts allow for easy communication through various mediums, from handwritten messages to printed cards.

Even in the digital age, the emotional resonance of Kanji remains intact, transcending the boundaries of time and space.

In essence, writing “I love you” in Kanji is not merely a sequence of characters; it is an artful expression of emotion, a fusion of cultural depth, and a reminder of the power of language to convey love’s complexity. 

Each stroke brings to life a sentiment that traverses the spectrum of human emotions, reminding us that love, in all its forms, is a timeless language that speaks to the heart.


In conclusion, the Japanese Kanji characters 愛しています (Aishiteimasu) encapsulate the profound essence of affection and devotion that the phrase “I love you” represents. 

These characters go beyond mere words, embodying the depth, action, and enduring nature of love within the rich tapestry of Japanese culture and language.

Just as love itself is a complex and multi-faceted emotion, so too is the expression of it through the artistry of Kanji.

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