森 VS 林 – Gaijinhan

森 VS 林

Have you ever wondered about the difference between 森 (mori) and 林 (hayashi)?

The two words combine to form 森林 (shinrin) which means forest. If you do a search on Google translate of each word, you would find that 森 means forest, and so does 林. So…


Apparently, even Japanese people do not know the difference. At least, not many.

I used to think that 森 is bigger and has more trees than 林. After all, the character 森 has more 木 (wood) than 林. I later learned that is not true and the difference is very easy to remember when explained in Japanese.

森 (mori) refers to forests that form naturally or, in Japanese, 自然に盛り上がる (shizen ni moriagaru), while 林 (hayashi) refers to forests that are planted by humankind or, in Japanese, 人間がはやした (ningen ga hayashita).

You can go teach Japanese to Japanese people now.

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