Filling a Japanese application form

Have you ever come across situations in which you need to fill some Japanese documents or forms during your stay in Japan till now? If you are new in Japan or not familiar with Japanese words, it will be surely a challenge for you when you happen to come across such situations. During situations like starting a new bank account, you will get help from some of your Japanese friends or colleagues. Since Japanese officials in a bank or such institutions are helping minded and polity, they will offer a helping hand to you when you happen to be in such situations. All you need is to show your residence card, passport, or such other documents before them so that they will fill such forms in Japanese for you.

But think about the importance of learning some useful usages in Japanese that help you to fill some essential fields in an application form by yourself. It will be surely a moment when you feel satisfied and proud of your language ability. There are some common fields that ask for your personal details in every form. Remembering those words and the Kanji characters for some five or six essential fields in a Japanese form will be surely helpful in such situations. As we could see in an application form of every language the Name, Address, phone number or such other fields will be very common in any kind of forms everywhere. Let us go through some essential fields.

The very basic fields

Name :

Name field is the most important and the very first portion to be filled in any application or other documents. Most of you might be aware about the Japanese word for Name. It is ‘Namae’ or more politely ‘Onamae’. When it came to Kanji, we could some variations in the word usage in different places. ‘名前’ is the word ‘namae’ and ‘ お名前 ’ is the word having the reading ‘Onamae’.  ‘氏名’ is the word ‘shimei’ which also could be seen in some of the application forms. It means ‘Full name’.

Address :

The next and the common among the fields that could be seen in application form is the address. The word for address in Japanese is ‘Jushou’ which is written as’住所’. In the space provided with this, you can fill your name starting with the postal code(if there is no separate field provided for this), followed by the name of your prefecture, city, place, house/building name / number. Sometimes the word asking for your address will be ‘現住所’ (Genjuushou) that means ‘Present Address’.

Phonetics :

You may see the word ‘Furigana’ near to the Name field or sometimes near to the Address field also. It might be either written in Hiragana or Katakana as  ふりがな / フリガナ. It is the space provided for you to explain the reading of your name. Since Japanese names are all written in Kanji characters, it is a very essential field. Every Kanji character has more than one readings and it may differ according to the situations and words. So this field asks for the reading of your name in Hiragana/ Katakana. If the word is written in Hiragana, this field is to be filled in Hiragana. If you can see the word as  ふりがな ( or フリガナ in Katakana, it should be filled in Katakana. In the case of most foreigners, the name should be always written in Katakana and this filed has no relevance at all. But still, you need to fill this field with the reading for your name here, as per it is asked there.

Phone number :

Since communication is carried out through phones, most places will be having the field asking for your personal number in their forms. The word for Phone number is ‘Denwa Bango’. ‘電話番号’ is the Japanese word asking for your phone number . The first portion ‘電話’ is ‘denwa’ meaning ‘phone’  and the second part is the word ‘bango’ (‘番号’)  with the meaning ‘Number’. Sometimes you may find only the word ‘電話’ in forms asking for the phone number.

To the second level in filling a form

The above given are the very essential fields that ask for your basic personal particulars in a form. It will help you filling form fields with those details needed for communicating with you. But in some forms, they need to have your other details like the Date of Birth, Age, Country etc. Usually when you are about to start a membership in a club, gymnasium, library etc. you may be seeing these fields. Knowing some more such words will raise you up to the next level in filling a Japanese application form.

Date of birth and Age :

Date of birth will be asked in a more advanced type of forms than the simple ones. Date of birth is ‘Seinenappi’  which will be written as ‘ 生年月日 ’. this portion ill be usually followed by the separate fields of filling the day, month and n year of the date o birth. It will be seen as  “  日   月       年”.

The Japanese word for age is’年齢 ’ which is read as ‘Nenrei’. For some forms, you may find this word very close to the date of birth field. Not all forms ask for your ae as it is clear from your DOB itself.


‘国’is the Japanese letter with reading ‘kuni’ meaning ‘country’. In application forms, it will be written as ‘国籍・地域 ’ that is read as ‘Kuniseki.Chiiki’ usually. It means ‘Nationality / Region’. You can go ahead with filling your country name here.

Leap one more step forward

There are some other fields that we can understand even without any knowledge about the language. To such fields are the Photograph and the signature fields. But we may remember those words too.

Photograph :

This field is not at all seen in every form. But still, you can understand the forms that need to be pasted with a photograph of yours. There will be a rectangular box with the dimension of the photograph written inside it. Most of you will be familiar with the word ‘写真’ or ‘Shashin’ that means ‘photograph’. You can paste the photograph of yours with its exact dimensions in this box provided.

Signature :

‘署名’ is the Kanji for the word ‘shomei ’ asking for your signature in Japanese. You can put your signature in this field. But in Japan, you can notice a circular or a small rectangular box with the writing  ‘印’ or ‘印紙’. This is the word ‘Inkan’ where you have to make your personal seal. All the Japanese people have a personal seal or ‘Inkan’ with their name carved on it. Instead of the signature made by hand, Japanese used to make use of this seal in this specified region. You could see a portion for making the seal in every document. When you receive something by post, the acknowledgement is also made by using this personal seal.

These are all the very essential and common items that you need to fill in a form given in Japanese language. The fields may vary according to the place, need etc. for which you are filling the form. But still, these essential words will be a great addition to your Japanese vocabulary and improves your confidence level when you come across a situation for filling something in Japanese by yourselves or the next time.