(Current) Magic the Gathering Vocabulary in Japanese

I wrote an interesting post a while back about vocabulary used while playing Magic in Japanese. If you’re living and playing here, planning on visiting the country for a while, or if you just want to study Japanese, please use this page! The majority of this information is copy and pasted from my original article, which you can find here (https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/talk-the-talk-a-mtg-vocab-lesson-in-japanese-a-store-profile/)

I thought it would be useful to all those starting to play at Japanese hobby shops to know what each ability or term is in Japanese. With a basic understanding of hiragana, or even just the romanized version of the word, you should be able to play a match in Japanese. A good amount of the players will know some of the terms in English, and some of the judges will be able to speak English a little, but for the most part you will be on your own. In my own experience, if you already know the cards abilities by heart, it is incredibly helpful. Knowing the vocabulary in case you need to explain something or understand what the other player is doing is useful as well. Recently I’ve done entire matches speaking no other Japanese at all except for the card vocabulary, so don’t be too intimidated by playing in Japanese.

Also a warning before you continue reading. Make sure that your OS supports viewing of Japanese characters or else you won’t be able to see the kanji/hiragana characters that are used on the Magic cards. The examples are also entirely in Japanese hiragana. If you want the romanization for those please let me know and I will post an update later. If you see any mistakes in the Japanese spelling, please let me know! (for vocabulary from older sets, click on this link).

The Basics:

The main phases are pretty much all the same, such as untap, upkeep, main phase, 2nd main phase, end step. The vocab you will  need to know for attack is as follows. Most players know the other phases in English.

こうげき = (cougeki) attack. “Punch” is also used as an attack word. こうげきをします。(I am attacking.).

The following words are also used, with most of them sounding almost exactly the same in English.

  • Library =ライブラリ (raiburari)
  • Card =カード (kado)
  • Draw a card = カードを引く(kado wo hiku)
  • Hand =手札 (てふだ)(tefuda)
  • Show me your hand = 手札を見せて(tefuda wo miisete)
  • Turn = ターン (tann)
  • Game =ゲーム (gaymu)
  • Token =トークン (tokuun)
  • Counter (as in -1/-1 counter) = カウンタ (kaownta)
  • Remove a Counter = カウンタをとりのぞく(kaownta wo torinozoku)
  • Add a Counter =  カウンタをのせる (Kaownta wo noseru)
  • Trigger = ゆうはつ (yuuhatsu)
  • Play First = せんこう (senkou)
  • Play Second = こうこう (koukou)
  • (Dice) high roll goes first = たかいほうがせんこう (takai hou ga senkou)

Card Types:

The card types are all the same too. Artifact, Creature, Instant, Sorcery, mana, planeswalker, Enchant-Aura, Enchantment. The types are written in Katakana for those who can read it, but they are pronounced relatively the same way as their English counterparts.とち(土地 = tochi) is land. If you want to know what the land types are in Japanese, please look below. 

  • Island = shima (島)
  • Mountain = yama (山)
  • Forest = mori (森)
  • Plains = heichi (平地)
  • Swamp = numa (沼)
  • Wastes = arechi (荒地)
  • Basic Land = kihon tochi (基本土地)
  • Non-Basic Land = Kihon de wa nai tochi (基本ではない土地)

Battlefield Effects 


Card Abilities:

Here is a list of the abilities found on most cards, or at least those that are currently found in Standard play. If you have any to add, please leave me a message after the post. (Last updated 10/20/13 with kanji and corrected spellings in hiragana.)


  • じゅもんをとなえる= (jumon wo tonaeru) Cast a Spell
  • かいけつする= (kaiketsusuru) Resolves
  • せんじょにでる= (senjo ni deru) Enters the battlefield
  • せんじょにでたとき= (senjo ni detatoki) When it enters the battlefield
  • (planeswalker name) のプラス/マイナス (#) のりょくをきどう= ([Planeswalker name] no plus/minus [#] noryoku wo kidou) – Activate (planeswalker name) +/- [#] ability.
  • おうぎ= (ougi) Ultimate/Emblem planeswalker
  • てふだにもどす=(tefuda ni modosu) Return to your hand
  • らいぶらりのいちばんうえにおく= (raiburari no ichiban oue ni oku) Put on top of you library
  • らいぶらりの (#) ばんめうえからにおく= (raiburari no [#] ban me oue kara ni oku) – put card [3] down from the top
  • (ability name) をえる= (ability name wo eru) = Gains (abilty)

Core set/basic vocabulary

  • むしょうく(無色)= (mushoku) Colorless
  • こうめい (高名) = (koumei) renown
  • いはく(威迫) = (ihaku) menace
  • まこう (魔巧) = (makou) spell Mastery
  • いけにえ (生け贄)= (iikayniae) sacrifice
  • ぼち(墓地)= (bochi) graveyard
  • える(ライフをえる)= (eru – life wo eru) gain- gain life
  • ライフをうしなう(失う)= Lose life 
  • マナをはらう(払う)= (mana wo harau) to pay mana
  • ライフをはらう(払う) = (raifu wo harau) to pay life
  • ゲームからとりのぞく/ついほう(追放)= (game kara tori no zoku/sueiiho) remove from the game/exile
  • はんこん = (hancon) lifelink
  • ひこう(飛行)= (hikou) flying
  • さいせい = (saisei) regenerate
  • ぼうえい (防衛)= (bouei) defender
  • はかい = (hakai) destroy
  • そっこう (速攻= (socou) haste
  • せっし (接死)= (seyshi) deathtouch
  • せんせいこうげき (先制攻撃)= (senseicougeki) first strike
  • けいかい (警戒)= (kaykai) vigilance
  • じゅごん (呪禁)= (jyugon) hexproof
  • しゅんそく(瞬速)= (shunsoku) flash
  • すてる = (suteru) throw away/discard
  • あなたはカードをすてる = (anata wa kado wo suteru) Opponent discards a card
  • はかいされない (破壊されない)= (hakaisarenai) indestructible
  • いかく= (iikaku) intimidate
  • にだんこうげき(二段攻撃) = (nidan cougeki) Double Strike
  • そうび (装備)= (soubi) equip
  • はずれる= (hazureiru) unequip
  • うちけされない = (oochikay saraynai) Can’t be countered
  • うちけす(打ち消す)= (oochikay su) counter
  • とうたつ (到達)= (toutatsu) Reach
  • しょうしゅう(召集)= (shoushuu) Convoke
  • せんじゅつ (占術)= (senjutsu) Scry
  • かかん (果敢)= (KaKan) Prowess
  • 切削する (せっさくする)= mill (seisakusuru)

Zendikar Rising

  • パーティー= Party (pahtee)
  • クレリック =Cleric (kurayriku)
  • ならず者 (ならずもの) = Rogue (narazumono)
  • 戦士 (せんし)=Warrior (senshi)
  • ウィザード = Wizard (Weezaado)
  • キッカー = Kicker (Kicka)
  • 上陸 (じょうりく)= landfall (jyouriku)


  • Changeling (tasou)= 多相(たそう)
  • Foretell (yoken) = 予顕(よけん)
  • Boast (Koji) = 誇示(こじ)
  • snow (land) (kansetsu) = 氷雪(ひょうせつ)
  • berserker (kyousenshi) = 狂戦士(きょうせんし)


  • Magecraft (maagi) =魔技 (まぎ)
  • Learn (rishu wo okonau) =履修を行う(りしゅうをおこなう)
  • Ward (gohou) =護法 (ごほう)
  • Lesson (kougi) = 講義 (こうぎ)
  • Warlock (jyajutsushi) = 邪術師 (じゃじゅつし)

Adventures in Forgotten Realms

  • Venture into the dungeon (dungeon wo tansakusuru) =ダンジョンを探索する (ダンジョンをたんさくする)
  • Animate Walking Statue (arukuzou wo ugokasu) = 歩く像を動かす (あるくぞうをうごかす)
  • Pack Tactics (shudansenjutsu) =集団戦術 (しゅうだんせんじゅつ)
  • Roll a (d20) Dice (ii ko no d20 wo furu) = 1個のd20を振る (1このd20をふる)

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

  • Daybound (higure) = 日暮 (ひぐれ)
  • Nightbound (yoake) =夜明 (よあけ)
  • Coven (shuukai) = 集会 (しゅうかい)
  • Disturb (kourei) =降霊 (こうれい)
  • Decayed (furan) =腐乱 (ふらん)
  • Flashback= フラシュバック

Innistrad: Crimson Vow

  • Cleave (setsujo) =切除 (せつじょ)
  • Blood token (chi tokuun))血・トークン (ち とーくん)
  • Training (kunren) =訓練 (くんれん)

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

  • Ninjutsu (ninjutsu) =  忍術 (にんじゅつ)
  • Channel (konriki) =魂力 (こんりき)
  • Modified (kaizen sarete iru) =改善されている (かいぜんされている)
  • Reconfigure (kansou) = 換装 (かんそう)
  • Compleated (kanseika)  =完成化 (かんせいか)

Streets of New Capenna

  • Citizen(Shimin) = 市民 (しみん)
  • Shield Counter (Ta-te counter) = 盾カウンター
  • Connive(Bougi)= 謀議 (ぼうぎ)
  • Alliance(Danketsu)= 団結 (だんけつ)
  • Casualty(Gi-sei)= 犠牲 (ぎせい)
  • Hideaway(Hitoku) = 秘匿 (ひとく)
  • Blitz(Kishu)= 奇襲 (きしゅう)

Dominaria United

  • Domain (Hanto) = 版図 (はんと)
  • Enlist (ko-en) = 後援 (こうえん)
  • Stun ( mahi) = 麻痺 (まひ)
  • Read ahead (saki yomi) = 先読 (さきよみ)
  • Poison (doku) = 毒 (どく)

Brother’s War

  • Prototype (shisaku) = 試作 (しさく)
  • Unearth (sosei) = 蘇生 (そせい)

Phyrexia: All Will Be One

  • Toxic (dokusei) = 毒性 どくせい
  • Corrupted (daraku) = 堕落 だらく
  • For Mirrodin! (Mirrodin no tame ni) = ミラディンのために!
  • Affinity for (X) (Shinwa X) = 親和(X) (しんわ)
  • (X) Can’t block (X block dekinai) = (X) ブロックできない
  • Compleated (kanseika) = 完成化 (かんせいか)
  • Oil counter (abura counta)) = 油カウンター (あぶらかうんたー)


It would also be useful to know how to attack, or should I say how to deal damage.

First are the numbers: 1-20

1=ichi / 2= ni / 3 = san / 4 = yon / 5 = go / 6=roku / 7=nana / 8 = hachi / 9=kyuu /10 =jyu

For 11-19, take 10 (jyu) and add the first number. 11(10+1)= jyu+ichi.

For 20-99, take the first number and add ten to the word. EXAMPLE: 20 = ni+jyu. 30= san+jyu. 44 = yon+jyu+yon

When you are dealing damage you will usually add てん(ten)(点)to the number. 10 damage equals 十点 (jyu ten) damage (10 points damage basically).

Playing during a certain phase:

Sometimes you might want to play an instant or activate an ability during a certain phase, or before one. As stated above, most of the Magic players use the English names of the phases while playing. When you want to do something, you can say “____ (phase name) no mae, ____ oh shimasu.” This means “Before ____  phase, I’m playing ___ spell”.

An example would be “End step no mae, Think Twice oh shimasu” (End stepのまえ、Think Twiceをします。)

Most Japanese players in the bigger cities should know these words, but if they don’t you can always ask for a judge to help.

I hope this explanation wasn’t too confusing. If you take anything from it, the vocabulary would be the most important. If you are a beginner of the Japanese language and living in Japan, this would be a good way to practice your Japanese. Good luck with your gaming!