Japanese Consonants: How to Pronounce ふ

Japanese letter fu

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation ふ

Picture describing Japanese pronunciation /fu/
Photo quoted from www.hachimantai-kokutai.jp

ふ consists of the Japanese consonant [ɸ] representing the sound of the roman letter /f/ with the Japanese vowel [u]. When you pronounce [ɸ], you are going to bring your lips close together and make a sound by causing friction as air passes through the chink between your lips. Please note: [ɸ] differs from the English sound [f] which is made with upper-teeth and lips. [ɸ] is an unvoiced sound.

Does it make sense to you? Let's try to pronounce ふ after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɸ] ふ

Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.

Words Roman Letters Meanings
ふく fu ku clothes
fu ku to blow
ふたつ fu ta tsu two
ふたり fu ta ri two people
ふとい fu to i thick
ふえる fu e ru to increase
ふかい fu ka i deep
おふろ o fu ro bath
さいふ sa i fu wallet
ようふく yo u fu ku Western-style clothes

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɸ] ふ

Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.

Japanese Sentences English Translations
風呂ふろはいりました。 I took a bath.
さいふたつあります。 There are two wallets.
洋服ようふくえました。 The amount of western-style clothes increased.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɸ] ふ

Please repeat the following tongue twisters after the tutor on the video. Also, please focus on the pronunciation practice, not the meaning, because they were made only for the sake of practice.

Japanese Tongue Twisters Vocabulary


ふく: clothes, つくる: to make, 夫婦ふうふ: married couple, くつ: shoes


ふるい: old, る: to wear, 不思議ふしぎ: strange


はは: mother, ふとい: thick, とう: food’s name, べる: to eat


This is the how to pronounce [ɸ] ふ. We recommend that you practice the sentences above at least 5 times for each exercise, though we understand that pronunciation practice can be dull. Good pronunciation will give you listening and speaking ability, and thereby you will be confident enough to speak Japanese with native speakers. Thus, the ability you gain is well worth the time spent. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next lesson; [b] [p] ば び ぶ べ ぼ and ぱ ぴ ぷ ぺ ぽ.

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