as (if); such as what
simp. and trad.
anagram 何如
Literally: “like what?”.



如何 (formal)

  1. how; what; in what way
    如何游泳  ―  Tā jiāo wǒ rúhé yóuyǒng.  ―  She taught me how to swim.
    現在感覺如何 / 现在感觉如何  ―  Nǐ xiànzài gǎnjué rúhé?  ―  How do you feel now?
    覺得計劃如何 [MSC, trad.]
    觉得计划如何 [MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ juéde zhè ge jìhuà rúhé? [Pinyin]
    What do you think of this plan?
    如何一個男生覺得特別 [MSC, trad.]
    如何一个男生觉得特别 [MSC, simp.]
    Rúhé ràng yīge nánshēng juéde nǐ hěn tèbié? [Pinyin]
    How can you make a boy think you're special?
  2. how about; what about
    週六如何 / 周六如何  ―  Xià zhōuliù rúhé?  ―  How about next Saturday?


  • (how):

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit


Etymology 1Edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S Grade: 2

From Old Japanese. Appears in the Man'yōshū completed in 759 CE.

A surface analysis suggests a compound of (i, uncertain element, likely the same (i) prefix found in Old Japanese as an interrogative in いずれ (izure, which), いつ (itsu, when), etc.) +‎ (ka, the question marker particle).

The kanji spelling is an example of jukujikun (熟字訓), using the corresponding Chinese term 如何 (literally like what) for the spelling and the underlying Japanese root word for the reading.



如何(いか) (ika-na (adnominal 如何(いか) (ika na), adverbial 如何(いか) (ika ni))

  1. what kind of
Usage notesEdit

Some dictionaries[2] class this as a bound morpheme. In practice, it generally conjugates and behaves as a regular -na adjective. In formal writing, this is more commonly encountered using the classical attributive form 如何なる (ika naru).


Etymology 2Edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S Grade: 2

/ika ni ka/ → */ikanka//ikanɡa//ikaɡa/

Originally a phrase consisting of 如何 (ika, what kind) +‎ (ni, adverbial particle) +‎ (ka, question marker particle).[2][1]

The uncontracted form ika ni ka appears in the Man'yōshū completed in 759 CE. The fully contracted form ikaga is first cited to the Kokin Wakashū of roughly 905 CE, with evidence of a partially contracted form ikanga in The Tale of the Heike of roughly 1330.[2]



如何(いかが) (ikaga (formal, polite)

  1. in what manner, how
  2. what about... (used to make a suggestion)
    Ocha wa ikaga deshō ka.
    How about some tea?
Usage notesEdit

The term ikaga is generally considered more formal and polite than the synonym どう ().

More commonly spelled in hiragana as いかが. The kanji spelling is rare.

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S Grade: 2
Alternative spelling 奈何

/ika ni//ikan/

Originally a phrase consisting of 如何 (ika, what kind) +‎ (ni, adverbial particle),[2][1] the normal adverbial form of adjective ika above.

The uncontracted form ika ni appears as an adverb in the Man'yōshū completed in 759 CE. The contracted form ikan is first cited to the early 1100s.[2]



如何(いかん) (ikan

  1. the whatevers, the whys and wherefores
    riyū no ikan o towazu
    without getting into the whys and wherefores of the reasons


如何(いかん) (ikan

  1. howsoever, however [it may be]
Usage notesEdit

Generally used at the end of a sentence to express doubt.

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S Grade: 2
For pronunciation and definitions of 如何 – see the following entry.
[adverb] in what manner, how
[adverb] what about... (used to make a suggestion)
[interjection] Casual greeting: Howdy? What's new? What's up?
[interjection] Casual question: It works? Is it OK?
[interjection] Call out to horses or cows to control/stop them: Ho! Hoy! Whoa!
(This term, 如何, is an alternative spelling of the above term.)

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan