Friend vocabulary

Hello WK Community,

I’ve asked a few native Japanese speaker friends of mine, and one has never heard of “yuujin,” while the others have heard of the word but have never used it. I thought “tomodachi” was more widely used, no matter the context of conversation. Any reason why WK would teach a word not widely used? I even did some Googling and my friends’ testimonies hold up in comparison with the articles I’ve read.

Thank you.


To help reinforce your memory of the readings for the kanji used. That’s the only reason that WaniKani teaches vocabulary.


Not trying to be harsh here, but there is zero chance a native speaker hasn’t heard of the word 友人. It’s more formal/literary than 友達, which is why using it in conversation would not be the best idea, but it’s a perfectly common word.

It’s in the top 1400 most frequent words on jpdb, which tracks frequency in works of fiction. It’s used in 85% of novels tracked there.

It’s something they would learn to read and write in 2nd grade.

Here’s a second grade kanji test (from this site for natives) where 友人 is one of the writing problems.


His second language is English and he isn’t fluent, so he probably didn’t mean “never.”

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For weird anecdotes 友人A is the name of a certain community manager. Same community used to joke about someone who couldn’t be named as 友人C. So yeah, our community sees this daily.


In any case, anyone trying to convince you it’s not a common word should probably be taken with a grain of salt.


He’s been pretty solid with other words and context I’ve asked him about. Again, his second language is English and he’s not fluent, so he probably did not mean “never.” But thanks anyway for your insight. I’ll take it with a grain of salt :wink:

Thank you.

Isn’t this also what the girl uses for Arima in 四月は君の嘘?
I don’t think it’s 友達A.

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all the anime I have been watching I heard the vocab 友人

very odd your japanese native friends not knowing this word.

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夏目友人帳 /「なつめゆうじんちょう」/ Natsume’s Book of Friends is a pretty popular manga/anime series, so I doubt it’s too obscure.

But yes, wk does teach obscure words. The goal is to reinforce readings/meanings of the kanji, not necessarily teach useful vocabulary.

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