Q: I listen to a lot of Japanese music and it seems like girls use the term ‘boku’ to refer to themselves a lot, yet I know someone who moved here from Japan in the 1970’s and she says that girls don’t use boku, when they say it in the songs they are talking like they are the guys, but I don’t know if that’s how it was then or if things have changed. Do girls use boku now and can you please put in the kanji for boku, kimi and ore? Arigatou Gozaimasu!
A: Hi Ann, usually girls wouldn’t use boku, no. If you’re a rock star singing a song then of course it does sound cool!
Some of the different kanji for “I” in Japanese is:
私= watashi = Polite for men, normal for women.
僕 = boku = what guys normally use
俺 = ore = for guys again, can make you sound a bit arrogant though!
Other ones you hear are あたし = atashi = for girls amongst friends, you hear this shouted out all the time in Starbucks!
“kimi” meaning “you” is written as 君 although most of the time you’d use the other person’s name rather than just say “君” which sounds like you’ve forgotten what they are called!