To Come


To Go, To Visit, To Be Defeated, To Be At A Loss

Word Type

intransitive verb, godan verb


The kanji itself means participate, so you'd think this word would mean "to participate" but it's a little more complex than that. Think of it as "to participate" but where you have to come or to go in order to do it. This is the humble way to say those things, so you're going to these places with your tail between your legs, just happy you can participate more than anything. By extension, this is also a humble way to say to visit, often used if you're visiting something sacred like a shrine or a tomb.

Historically, this word arose as a humble way to indicate visiting a person of higher social status. In a weird twist, this word has come to also mean to be defeated or to be at a loss. Think of it as what can happen when you're trying to participate while in an inferior position to someone or something.


  • Kyoko
    (Tokyo accent, female)
  • Kenichi
    (Tokyo accent, male)


Since this word consists of a kanji with hiragana attached, you can bet that it will use the kun'yomi reading. You didn't learn that reading with this kanji, so here's a mnemonic to help you: You get to come to participate! "It's my (まい) lucky day!" you exclaim.


Pattern of Use

Common Word Combinations

  • 代わりに参る

    to go instead of someone


    to visit a temple


    to go together


    to be emotionally exhausted

Context Sentences


Oh man, this is tough. Even if they say that, there are things that are just impossible.


Every New Year's, my family visits the shrine together.


Let's go!

Kanji Composition