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How to Read a Japanese Payslip

Here are the basics of knowing exactly how much you earn and how much you're paying in taxes.

By 4 min read

If you work in Japan, then a payslip or kyuryou meisai is no stranger to you. You receive it either as a physical sheet of paper or a digital file. Upon opening it, you’ll see the breakdown of your salary, from special allowances or bonuses to how many more days of vacation you have. It can be overwhelming at first as it’s full of kanji (Chinese characters with Japanese meaning), but most of these payslips follow a relatively similar template. While they might differ slightly depending on the company, we’ve compiled this short guide on how to read a Japanese payslip.

Japanese Payslips

Payslips are normally distributed close to payday. It lists your work attendance, how much you earn and how much is deducted. When you receive it, always check the amount listed just in case of any errors.  It’s recommended to hold onto your payslips for at least two years just in case because you can use them as proof of income tax payments. In the case of applying for unemployment benefits, these can help support your case. For more information about employment in Japan, read more on our Japan101 page.

Vocabulary for Japanese Payslips

Time to learn some essential kanji for reading payslips.

To understand how much you’re actually earning (and what’s being taken away), you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some kanji. Keep in mind that Japanese payslips and their formats vary but usually have three major categories: attendance, earnings and deductions. Here’s what one of the many payslips in Japan looks like, broken down into parts.

1. Work Attendance

This section of the payslip covers the time you spent working. It includes an itemized account of your days worked, the number of vacation days left and any tardiness throughout the month.

Japanese English Romaji Days/Hours
勤怠 Work Attendance Kintai
所定就労日 Fixed Work Day Shotei shuu robi 21.00
出勤日数 Days Worked Shukkin hisuu 20.00
休日出勤日数 Day off day Kyuujitsu shukkin bisuu 0.00
欠勤日数 Leave day taken Kekkin bisuu 0.00
所定労働時間 Fixed working hours Shotei roudou jikan 168:00
実働時間 Actual worked hours Jitsu dou jikan 174:46
遅刻早退回数 Lateness or early leave time Chikoku soutai kaisuu 0:00
遅刻早退時間 Lateness or early issued


Chikoku soutai jikan 0:24
普通残業時間 Regular overtime hours Futsuu zangyou jikan 20:05
深夜残業時間 Midnight shift overtime hours Shinya zangyou jikan 2:10
休日勤務時間 Holiday overtime hours Kyuujitsu kinmu jikan 0:00
有休日数 Paid leave used Yuukyuu bisuu 2.00
有休残日数 Paid leave balance Yuukyuu zan nisuu 26.00

2. Payer and Dependents

This part of the payslip details your dependents and who your main source of income is.

Japanese English Romaji
税額表 Payer (if your company) Zeigaku hyou
甲欄 Main source of income Kou ran
扶養人数 Number of dependents Fuyou nin zuu

3. Earnings

See how much money you’ve made before taxes in this column of the payslip. From base salary to special allowances by your company, it should all be listed here.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
支給 Earnings Shi kyuu
基本給 Base salary Kihon kyuu 320,000
役付手当 Position allowance Yakutsuki te ate 10,000
家族手当 Family allowance Kazoku te ate 10,000
皆勤手当 Perfect attendance allowance Kaikin te ate 5,000
普通残業手当 Regular overwork allowance Futsuu zangyou te ate 49,907
深夜残業手当 Midnight shift overwork allowance Shinya zangyou te ate 5,815
休日勤務手当 Holiday overwork allowance Kyuuji tsukinmu te ate 0
非課税通勤費 Non-taxable commuting allowance Hikazei tsuukin hi 4,500
遅刻早退控除 Lateness or early leave penalty/deduction Chikoku soutai koujo 771
合計 Sum Goukei 404,451

4. Salary Deductions

Going through this part of your payslip will show you how much you’re paying for pension, taxes and different types of insurance.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
控除 Deductions Koujo
健康保険料 Health insurance fee Kenkou hoken ryou 16,810
介護保険料 Nursing Care insurance Kaigo hoken ryou 2,562
厚生年金保険料 Welfare Pension insurance Kouse nenkin hoken ryou 29,290
雇用保険料ほ Unemployment insurance Koyou hoken ryou 3,235
所得税 Income tax Shoto ku zei 12,490
住民税 Inhabitant tax Jumin zei 7,500
財形貯蓄 Employee’s savings Zaikei chochiku 20,000
合計 Sum Goukei 93,887

5. Other

This column documents fractional amounts when your salary is calculated as salaries in Japan are rounded up to whole numbers.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
その他 Other Sono hoka
前回端数預り Previous salary deduction from rounding up sum Zenkai hasuu azukari 614
今回端数預り This salary deduction from rounding up sum Konkai hasuu azukari 178
合計 Sum Goukei 436

6. Net Payments

Salary with all the tax deductions and other fees subtracted from it.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
差引支給額 Net payments Sashihiki shikyuu gaku 311,000

7. Amount Transferred

The total amount you will receive this month by bank transfer.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
振込支給 Amount transferred Furikomi shikyuu 311,000
合計 Sum Goukei 311,000

8. Cash Payment

A part of your salary is handed directly to you in cash.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
現金支給額 Actual cash payments Genkin shikyuu gaku 0

9. Goods or Non-Cash Payments

The value of any goods or non-cash payments you received this month.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
現物支給額 Goods or non-cash payments value Genbutsu shikyuu hitai 0

10. Total Deducted Taxes

Your total amount of deductions so far.

Japanese English Romaji Amount
課税支給累計 Total taxable income (yearly) Kazei shikyuu ruikei 744,951
社会保険累計 Total accumulated social insurance Shakai hoken ruikei 102,343
所得税累計 Total accumulated income tax Shotoku zei ruikei 20,180

We hope this short guide on how to read a Japanese payslip was helpful to you. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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