Meaning Of Ara Ara In Japanese

meaning of ara ara

Here’s the meaning of Ara Ara in Japanese. Read on to find out the meaning of Ara Ara in Japanese and how it’s used.

Spreading in the western world like a lightning bolt, Ara Ara is a Japanese phrase that is one of the most regular expressions in anime. 

This phrase has become so common that people do not even need an introduction as to where this originated or where they might have heard this phrase. 

Ara Ara is customary in manga and anime like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, a manga series where the central protagonist becomes a demon slayer when his family was slaughtered and his younger sister transformed into a demon. 

The phrase is also frequently used in Cells At Work! : Hataraku Saibou, develops the storyline around the protagonist being a red blood cell and a white blood cell she regularly comes across. 

Meaning of Ara Ara

Since it has become so popular, people have started to come up with their entangled interpretations of the word and as it is disseminated more and more day by day, the expression has had more false meanings than any other Japanese phrase. 

While you look up the meaning online, there are a lot of platforms that have done the same so this article is here for the people searching for its true meaning.


‘Ara Ara’ is generally used by gen z girls and occasionally by the older females to express their curiosity and a little amusement in response to a statement. It is also expressed when you are impressed by something and have to acknowledge your compliment. 

The prime intention of saying the phrase is to look adorable because it is said in a way where you stretch both of the syllables in each word. Sometimes, this can also be used to mock someone by being sarcastic when saying the phrase. 

The Japanese expression has a multipurpose use depending on the context it is used to comment on. The Japanese expression can have a trace of surprise, content or sarcasm all depending on the intention. It is supposed to mean ‘Oh, Dear God’, ‘Oh, My’, ‘Oh’, ‘Oh me, Oh my’, ‘Oh Heavens’ or other similar exclamatory declarations. 

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According to the Japanese dictionary, the apt meaning for ara ara is oh; oh. The fact that it is repeated emphasizes the statement and signifies something rough and wild. 

You could also translate it as ‘Oh-ho’, ‘tsk-tsk’ or a ‘Hmm’. With times changing, the informal use of the expression has surged, hence there is no proper situation for using it. 

Origin of Ara Ara

The saw-edged perch that swims all its way from Japan to the Philippines, is popularly known as Ara in Japanese, a kanji word that means ‘rough fish’. You could probably imagine why it is called that. But this is not all. There is a catch. There are two words required to write ara in Japanese. 

When taken in black and white, ara ara looks like あら あら.  It can also be written in a completely different way, and that can mean a few things, like ‘a personal defect’, ‘rice chaff’ or ‘the bones from a fileted fish’. 

It can also be used as a prefix to show that something is rough or wild. Surprisingly, Ara is also a surname in Japanese. But there is no information as to how common or rare it is. 

In a region of Southern Japan, some dialects suggest that ara means the skin of a fruit. 

Astoundingly, the expression is not new, but has been hanging around in the Japanese vocabulary and dialects for more than 1000 years now, when it saw its first use in the 1200s. The reason it was used then is practically so different from the reason it is used now. 

Back then, the phrase used by every female and was something that was very commonly used. As centuries passed, the word began developing an intimate form and was soon used in erotic acts with a high-pitched tone. 

But can the world really be behind Japanese content after all this love for anime and manga effluxing since the 2000s? Every show and manga adapted the word ara ara and the phrase became so popular that it has ended up being on the mind of even every English speaker. 

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The phrase saw a steep gush after appearing on sites like 4chan and Reddit after a memetic version of the phrase was introduced. 

Why is theWord Ara Ara Said Twice 

You might be wondering why the word is repeated while expressing surprise with just an ara would serve the purpose.  We have discovered so far that Ara is an adverb that means ‘roughly’. 

Alternatively, ara ara can also be written with an additional word, written down as ara-ara-shii or ara-ara-shisa changing it to a noun or an adjective but the meaning remains the same.

The word is doubled up to mark a more powerful sense of whatever the phrase is directed at. Basically, it strengthens the astonishment, curiosity, impression or sarcasm when doubled up. 

Where Do People Use Ara Ara

Ordinarily, ara ara is the go-to phrase of old females when they do anything, whether it is finding animals or their own children. They also use it when they do something mischievous, using it as an escape from rebukes because ara ara is used to make them funny and cute.

Meaning Of Ara Ara

A word of caution, Ara Ara is a feminine interjection and make sure you do not make a strange impression by using it in an oddball situation or place, especially around otaku. It is not an insult, but it may not look good on you.

 Ara ara has also developed a frequent use in other activities as well. Ara Ara is used in mature Japanese content to symbolize a woman’s sexual intentions, mostly from an elder female to a much younger male. 

It is used to tease the younger male, so ara ara can be strange when used in public sometimes. However, the western world has made it so familiar after making it a viral meme that it seems completely normal to the non-Japanese-speaking world. 

So there can be little uncanny implications with the word so unless you are genuinely confident about using it, a simple ara might do.  

Ara Ara is also followed commonly by a hand covering the face or the mouth and a big wide smile on the face, as it is supposed to sound friendly.  

Words Similar To Ara Ara in Japanese 

Watashi no yo-sa – My Goodness!

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Nanite Kotoda-  Oh my god!

Dia Goddo-dear god!

Ā, Omo yo- Oh Lord! 

Ā Tengoku – oh Heavens!

Anime and Manga where you will hear this phrase 

Literally, every anime you watch or every manga you read will have an adaptation of this phrase. Not that this word has become so famous recently, but it has always been around with the Japanese ladies, just not too known to the outside world. 

Even in all the traditional anime, it has been so common, with the characters saying ara ara and doing the customary hand in the face thing and smiling with a huge blush.

But some iconic ‘Ara Ara’ phrase which have reached the wider public and probably the most likely reason you are reading this article are from Shinobu in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Kurumi from Data and Kaguya from Kaguya Sama Love Wars.

All the recent animes and the ones which are popular do not have a character who creates an iconic theme while saying the phrase but here is a complete list of the anime and the characters which have ara ara in their common vocabulary-

  1. Macrophage – Cells At Work;
  2. Majo – Goblin Slayer;
  3. Mamako Oosuki – Okaa-san Online;
  4. Mirajane Strauss – Fairy Tail;
  5. Raphiel – Gabriel Dropout;
  6. Rin Kashii – Battle Game In 5 Seconds;
  7.  Shizuka Marikawa – High School Of The Dead;
  8. Satou’s Aunt – Happy Sugar Life;
  9. Alicia Florence – Aria The Animation;
  10. Kasumi Tendo – Ranma 1/2;
  11. Kongou Mitsuko – A Certain Scientific Railgun;
  12.  Kurumi Tokisaki – Date A Live

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