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  • March 30, 2017

What is the difference between brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and leaflets in Japan?

What are the exact differences anyway? Do these words mean the same thing in Japan as in your country? Japan has borrowed many English loanwords to incorporate into their language to give it a whole new context.



Not exactly a big house with hundreds of rooms, but a high-end apartment complex or a condominium in Japan.


Nothing political or revolutionary here. Just refers to remodeling a home.


Means ‘excitement’ or ‘enthusiasm’.  Mostly a positive connotation in Japanese.

Baby car

Baby carriage or stroller.


Now does a brochure, flyer, pamphlet, and leaflet mean the same thing in Japanese as it does in English?

Yes, it does. Printing companies here in Japan understand completely what you are requesting.Although for those that aren’t too sure what the difference is, allow me to do a quick walkthrough:



To be exact a brochure is a document used to inform. It can be used to inform you about a school or the next product you’re planning to buy.Most people use brochures for advertising, and it’s not always a piece of paper folded multiple times.

It can fall under the category of a pamphlet, flyer, or leaflet as long as it serves its intended purpose as mentioned above. As it is a high-quality product, a prospective lead can use this as a reference time and again. Not something that can be given out as easily as a business card or flyer.


Think of it as the one-page advertisement you receive in your mailbox like a pizza flyer. The Japanese refer to this as チラシ ( chirashi ).It uses cheaper material and may require fewer colors when printing, so it’s perfect to be handed out quickly on the streets for events or sent to someone’s mailbox.


It is more or less a bound or unbound booklet.


More well-designed, expensive, and better quality than flyers. It’s often seen distributed at trade shows along with brochures and pamphlets.

( Read our previous blog post about how to make the most of your trade show booth in Japan   )


There you have it. While there are plenty of loan words that may mean something different in Japan, there are still plenty of words that mean the same thing in English. So the next time you’re ordering something you have nothing to worry about.

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