Is it okay to say onee-sama?

Updated on August 6, 2022

I was wondering if it was okay to call your sister onee-sama. I’ve only heard onee-chan. But then I heard someone say ni-sama. (Forgive me if I spell that wrong) And I thought about it and it just means that he really looked up to his brother right? So could you say the same for sister?

I’m not actually taking Japanese though I wish I was. Please forgive me if I spelled any of this wrong. -_-

9 Answers

  • By order of formality:

    Oneesama

    Oneesan

    Oneechan

    Neechan

    However, calling your older sister oneesama can also come off as sarcastic, similar to when your parents might call say, “oh yes, your highness” when you ask them to do something. Same goes for oniisama.

    -sama is a very formal suffix that shows you’re really elevating something. It’s not necessarily showing that you respect them or look up to them, but more that you’re putting them on a pedestal. You’re not going to see it used within the typical family. Typical families use -san or -chan. This is excluding anime, where you cannot take anything at a face value or as “typical” to what goes on in the real world.

  • Onee Sama

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    RE:

    Is it okay to say onee-sama?

    I was wondering if it was okay to call your sister onee-sama. I’ve only heard onee-chan. But then I heard someone say ni-sama. (Forgive me if I spell that wrong) And I thought about it and it just means that he really looked up to his brother right? So could you say the same for sister? I’m not…

  • RE:

    Is it okay to say onee-sama?

    I was wondering if it was okay to call your sister onee-sama. I’ve only heard onee-chan. But then I heard someone say ni-sama. (Forgive me if I spell that wrong) And I thought about it and it just means that he really looked up to his brother right? So could you say the same for…

  • Of course it’s perfectly fine.

    It’s usual uses are:

    • Oneesan for older or same age
    • Oneechan for younger (or sometimes same age, can also be used if she is older but it’s a curly one)
    • Oneesama (like you said in your brother example) – if you really look up to her and for other reasons.

    Also the “O” at the beginning can be dropped depending on familiarity, that’s why you have heard ‘Niisama” before . . . .

    Source(s): Japanese 1 year University student
  • Here are normal ways of calling in a home;

    younger sister→ imouto

    older sister→ onee-chan

    younger bro→ otouto

    older bro→ onii-chan

    Source(s): mother tongue
  • You could. But I wouldn’t.

    It’s too formal. Go with “-San” at the most (That’s nice and regular).

    And remember, when talking to others, it’s “Ane”, not “Onee-san”, or else you’re being too honorific about your own family.

  • yup

  • Normally, no, it is not natural.

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