- 普通 (ふつう)、which is generally translated as “normal”, is an convenient word with several uses. I’ll go over a few of the more common ones in this post.
One of the simplest ways to use this word is by treating it as an adjective, by adding a の on the back end of it.
- A normal person would not study Japanese until late at night!
You can also use this word unmodified to mean “normally”. In the below example the は is optional.
- I think that normally, people don’t eat nothing by candy.
If you want to say “normally” in an adverbial sense (meaning it modifies an action), it’s best to add a に to ふつう。
- How did you turn this computer on?
- I just pushed the switch normally.
A final way I have heard this word is to mean ”typical” or “nothing special”.
- How was the movie?
- It was OK.
You can use 普通に for a similar meaning when you want to modify another adjective or other word.
- How was dinner?
- It was alright, I guess. (lit: “It was normally tasty”)
Another word with a similar meaning is 普段（ふだん), which means “usually” or “ordinarily”.
- Usually I commute around 8am but that day I overslept so I left the house around 10.
One final thing to be careful of – if you say “普通の人はそんなことをしない”, you are probably implying someone is “abnormal”. If you want a safer expression, you can say ”一般の人は…” which means more like “an average person” or “the general public”.
How does this meaning of Futsu fit in with Futsunomitama?
That word has nothing to do with “普通” (futsuu), see the below link:
The main enshrined dedication is to Futsu-no-mitama (布都御魂), the kami of a legendary sword (futsu-no-mitama-no-tsurugi) that was given to by Takemikazuchi in Kumano and used by Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan.
Can you translate futsunomitama? I’m trying to see if it has a parallel with Norse mystical weapons such as Gungnir or Mjolnir.