Ganjitsu (元日) vs. Gantan (元旦): Meaning in Japanese

Today is December 29th, and we have only two days left this year. The last pivotal event is Oomisoka (大晦日), or New Year’s Eve, followed by Ganjitsu (元日) or Gantan (元旦).

Ganjitsu (元日) vs. Gantan (元旦)

Ganjitsu vs Gantan Meaning

Ganjitsu and Gantan are both Japanese words for New Year’s Day or the beginning of the year, but I didn’t understand the difference until I wondered and researched today.

According to Goo‘s Japanese dictionary, while Ganjitsu means the whole day of January 1st, Gantan only refers to the morning of New Year’s, as 旦 is the Chinese character for morning/dawn.

However, based on the article 元日 on Japanese Wikipedia, some other dictionaries state Gantan means both New Year’s and the day’s morning, as past cases use it in the meaning of Ganjitsu.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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