Sunday, 5 June 2016

An Alphabetical Comprehensive List of Japanese Loanwords in English

An Alphabetical Comprehensive List

of Japanese Loanwords in English


    This list comprises as many as 1,500 Japanese words or phrases borrowed into English and used in English literature. But it does not have the following Japanese words entered: place names, trade names (with some exceptions), or derivative words or phrases of ‘JAPAN.’ More historical information and accurate materials relating to these loanwords can be found in A Historical Dictionary Japanese Words Used in English  compiled by Isamu Hayakawa.


Japanese Words      Brief Explanation or Definition  [Etymology]  [trdn]trade name


abukumalite      [Abukuma (a plateau in Fukushima Prefecture) + -lite]

abura-bozu      a large fish of the northern Pacific

abura-haye      a Japanese cyprinoid fish

aburachan seed      [abura (oil) + chan (pitch)]

aburagiri      a thung (oil) tree

adsuki (bean)      adzuki

adzuki (bean), azuki   a dark red edible bean

ahyu         ayu

ai           ayu

aikido         a Japanese art of self-defence

aikuchi         a dagger, a dirk

Aino         Ainu

ainoko         a person of mixed blood

Ainu         an indigenous Caucasoid people of Japan

akabo         a hand-baggage porter at a Japanese railway station

akaganeite      [aka (red) + gane < kane (metal) + -ite]

akahara         a Japanese cyprinoid fish

akamatsu      [aka (red) + matsu (pine)]

akamebuku      same as kitamakura

akamushi (mite)      tsutsugamushi mite

akebi         an eastern Asiatic vine

Akebia           akebi, a small genus of woody vine

akeki         hiba arborvitae

akenobeite      [Akenobe (a district of western Japan) + -ite]

Akita (dog)      [Akita (a district of northern Japan) + dog]

ama         a woman diver

amado         one of a set of shutters on the outer side of a Japanese house

amakudari      the entry by retired bureaucrats into private companies

amanori       the laver

Amaterasu(-Omikami)   the Sun-Goddess, the central deity of Shinto

ame         a dextrose or glucose manufactured from rice paste

amemasu      a trout

Amida         Amitabha, one of the five Buddhas

Amidism      [Amida (Amitabha) + -ism]

Amidist         [Amida (Amitabha) + -ist]

anago         a conger eel

andon         a paper-framed lamp

ansu         an apricot

aogiri         the sultan’s parasol

aoi tsuba      a kind of Japanese sword-guard

Aoyama’s fluid      after Fumio Aoyama, 20th century Japanese anatomist

aragoto         a play featuring exaggerated posture, makeup, and costume

arakawaite      [Arakawa (a mine in Akita Prefecture) + -ite]

arigato         Thank you very much.

arisaka (rifle)      after Col. Nariakira Arisaka (1852-1915)

Arita (ware)      [Arita (a town on the island of Kyushu) + ware]

Atari Democrat      [atari (success, hit) + democrat]

Atari Socialism      [atari (success, hit) + socialism]

Atarize         [atari (success, hit) + -ize]

Atom Boy      [trdn]

aucuba, A-      a well-known hardy evergreen shrub

aucuba green      a light olive that is greener and stronger than citrine

aucuba mosaic      a mosaic of the potato and other plants of the family Solanaceae

awabi         an abalone, an ear shell

Awaji ware      a coarse stone-ware made in Awaji Province

Awata ware      pottery and porcelain made at Awata, near Kyoto

ayu, ahyu, ai      a small salmonlike anadromous fish of Japan

Azuchi-Momoyama (era)   from 1568 to 1600, a period of Japanese art

azuki (bean)      adzuki


bai         yellow sands blown in the air

baishu         bribery

bai-u         (a season of) rainfall in early summer

baka (bomb)      a Japanese rocket-propelled bomb-carrying airplane guided by a suicide pilot in World War II

Bakanae Disease      [baka (idiot) + nae (young rice plant)]

bakufu         the government of the shoguns, the Shogunate

Bakumatsu      the last days of the Shogunate

bancha (tea)      coarse Japanese tea

bandaite      [Baindai (a volcano on Honshu Island) + -ite]

Banko pottery, Banko-ware, b-      a thin Japanese ware, named after Nunami Banko, the original maker

banzai (interj.)      [ban (ten thousand) + zai < sai (years)]

banzai (n.)      a shout or cheer used by the Japanese in greeting the emperor

banzai attack      US slang, a reckless desperate mass attack

banzai charge      US slang, a reckless desperate mass attack

Banzai Cliff       US slang

banzai party      US slang

banzuke         a list of sumo wrestlers

baren         a pad used in wood block printing

basho         a sumo tournament

bashofu         a fabric woven from the fiber of the plantain

beddo, betto      a rolling bed installed in love hotels

Beef Bowl      [trdn]

bekko         tortoise shell

bekko-ware      a kind of pottery anciently made in Japan, imitating tortoise-shell

beni         a hardy shrub cultivated for its late summer bloom

benimasu      [beni (red) + masu (salmon)]

Benihana of Tokyo   [trdn]

Benten         the goddess of fortune and happiness

bento         a lunch, a box lunch

Betamax      a proprietary name for the videocassette format developed by Sony

bettaku         a second house

betto (1)         a small pony carriage

betto (2)         beddo

Bishamon, b-      [< Beishamon-ten (the god of treasure)]

biwa          a 4-stringed Japanese lute

biwa          a loquat

Bizen ware      fine, hard, unglazed pottery made in Okayama Prefecture (formerly Bizen Province)

Boecho         the Defense Agency

bomban-wa      komban-wa, good evening

Bon         a Buddhist festival held annually in August to honour the dead

bon en kai      a year-end party

Bonin Islands      Ogasawara Jima [bonin < bunin < munin (unmanned) + islands]

boninite         [bonin + -ite]

bonsai         (the technique for cultivating) a potted plant or small tree

bon-seki         a miniature landscape of sand and stones

bonso         a Buddhist monk of Japan

bonze, bonzee, bonze   a Buddhist monk of Japan [probably < French bonze < Portuguese bonzo < Japanese bozu]

bonzery, bonzary      [bonze + -ery]

bonzess   a female bonze    [bonze + -ess]

bonzian (adj.)      [bonze + -ian]

bote         a deep-bodied shiner, found in the waters of Japan

bu         an old Japanese rectangular coin made of silver

bu         a Japanese unit of length equal to 0.1 inch

bucho         the head director

budo         military arts

Bugaku, b-      a stately classical court dance and music

buke, Buk       a military family in the feudal system of Japan

Bukkio         Buddhism

bunraku, B-      a kind of traditional puppetry, named after Uemura Bunrakuken (1737-1810), who organized the puppet theater troupe

Buppo         Buddhism

buraku         a community, a town

bushido, B-      in feudal Japan, the ethical code of the Samurai

Busshu kaze      [Bush + kaze (a cold)]

butoh, B-      a dance, dancing

butsu, B-      Buddha, a representing of the Buddha

butsudan      a small household Buddhist altar shelf

Butsudo         the teaching of Buddha, Buddhist doctrines

Butsudoist      [butsu (Buddha) + do (way) + -ist]


canna         kana

Canon         [trdn]

cat(t)an         katana

cha         Japanese tea

chadai         a gratuity, an extra tip

chanoyu         a Japanese tea ceremony, the art of ceremonial tea-making

chashitsu      a tea-ceremony room

cha-wan         a rice bowl

chawan-mushi       chicken, pork, and beef steamed with egg custard in a bowl

chediak-higashi syndrome  after Ototaka Higashi (1924- ), Japanese immunologist

chichi         woman’s breast [Hawaiian English]

cho          an old Japanese unit of length

cho          a Japanese unit of land measure equal to 2 and a half acres

Cho-Cho-San      Madame Butterfly

chonin         a tradesman, a merchant in the feudal system of Japan

chorogi         a Japanese articoke

Chosen         Japanese name of Korea

Chosenese      Korean

Choshu         one of the four great fiefs of southern Japan in the 19th century

Chotei         the Imperial Court, the hall of audience

chu ()         loyalty, devotion

cobang         koban, kobang


daibutsu, D-      a great image of Buddha

Daihatsu      [trdn]

Daijo         Mahayanist Buddhism

Daikoku         the god of wealth

daikon         a radish

daimiate      the office of the territory of a daimio

daimio, daimyo      a vassal of the Mikado

daimioate      [daimyo + -ate]

daimiote      [daimyo + -ate]

Dai Nippon      [dai (great) + Nippon (Japan)]

dairi         the palace or court of the Mikado

dairi(sama)      the Mikado or Emperor

dai rokkan      [dai (No.) + rok < roku (sixth) + kan (sense)]

daisho, dai-sho       a set of matched sword and dagger

dai-sho-no-soroimono   [dai (long) + sho (short) + soroimono (a set of)]

dan         a degree of expertise in karate, judo, etc.

dan holder      [dan + holder]

dango (cartel)      artful prebidding arrangement

daruma, D-      Dharma, a large red doll in the form of a seated Buddhist monk

dashi         cooking stock

Datsun         [trdn]

dekasegui      working away from home in a city

do         any of numerous regions or large districts

dohyo         the sumo ring

dojo (どじょう)      a mudfish, a speckled brownish loach

dojo (道場)      a room or hall in which judo or other martial arts are taught

dojo mat    

dokusan         in Zen, a formal private meeting of a master and a student in the master’s room

domo         an interjection used in various situations

dotaku         a prehistoric bronze object shaped like bells

dozo         please, if you please

dozo yoroshiku      I’m glad to make your acquaintance.


Ebisu         one of the seven deities in popularized Buddhism, the god of disinterestedness

Ezo           Yezo

eikyu shushoku       marriage

ekiben         a box lunch sold at a railroad station

ekiden         a long-distance relay, road race

emakimono      a picture scroll

endaka         high yen value

engawa         a floor extension at one side of a Japanese-style house

enka         a Japanese popular music

enoki         a hackberry, a nettle tree

enoki          mushroom     

enokidake, enokitake   [enoki (hackberry) + dake < take (mushroom)]

eroduction      production of erotic movies

Esaki diode      after Reona Esaki (1925- ), Japanese physicist

Etsuzankai      a special political association of supporters

Euroshima      [Euro + Hiroshima]

Euroyen         [Euro + yen]

Ezo         Yezo, Yedzo


finoki         hinoki

fu          province

fuchi         the ring about the base of a sword-hilt

fudohyo         [fudo (floating) + hyo (vote)]

fugi (cherry)        fuji (cherry)

fugu         a globefish, a swellfish eaten as a delicacy in Japan

fuji          a Japanese wisteria

fuji (cherry), fugi      a shrubby Japanese flowering cherry

fuji, fugi         a spun silk clothing fabric in plain weave

Fuji (san), Fuji yama   an extinct volcano on Honshu Island, sacred to Japanese

Fuji         [trdn]

Fuji silk         a plain weave fabric made of spun silk

Fujitsu         [trdn]

Fujiwara       a noted powerful family in Japanese history

Fukurokujiu      the god of wealth and longevity

fuma no taiten      a code of laws that will be in effect forever

fun          a Japanese unit of weight equal to one tenth of momme

funa         a crucian carp

funoran         funori(n)

funori(n)      a seaweed, gloiopeltis glue made from the seaweed

furo         a Japanese bath

furoshiki      a wrapping cloth

fusuma         a framed and papered sliding door separating rooms

futon         a Japanese bed-quilt

fuye         a Japanese flute or pipe


gagaku         Japanese court music, ceremonial music

gaiatsu         [gai (external) + atsu (pressure)]

gaijin         a foreigner, an outsider

galvanic moxa      moxa performed by an electrically incandescent wire

gaman         patience, endurance

gambatte      Hold out! Stick to it! Keep it up!

ganpi          a shrub for making paper

geisha (girl)      a girl who entertains men by dancing and singing

geisha dancing girl   [gei (art) + sha (person) + dancing girl]

geisha-house       [gei (art) + sha (person) + house]

gekokujo      the lower dominating the upper

gengo         the name of an era

genro, Genro      the elder statesmen of Japan who influenced the government from 1876 to 1940

Genroku (era)      from 1688 to 1704

geta         traditional Japanese wooden clogs for outdoor wear

gi, gie         the uniform worn for martial arts, usually white

gidaiyu         a dramatic recital accompanied by shamisen music

ginau         ginkgo-nut

gin-fuku       one of the gymnodont fishes of Japan

ginkgo, G-, gingko, ginko   a monotypic genus of broad-leaved gymnosperous trees

ginkgo (nut), ginkgo-nut, ginau     

Ginkgoaceae      [ginkgo + -aceae]

ginkgoaceous (adj.)   [ginkgo + -ace + -ous]

Ginkgoales      [ginkgo + -ales]

ginkgoic         [ginkgo + -ic]

Ginkgoic acid      [ginkgo + -ic + acid]

Ginkgoites      [ginkgo + -ites]

ginkgo tree     

gin-zaiku      an article of gold

giri         duty, obligation, honor, justice

gito         jito

go          a Japanese unit of capacity equal to 11.01 cubic inches

go          a Japanese game played with black and white stones on a board

goban(g)         a Japanese game played on a board

gob(b)o         a burdock cultivated in Japan as a vegetable

Godzilla         an imaginary movie monster

goh, G-         go (Japanese game)

gohan         boiled rice

gohei         a sacred staff with cut paper

Gokuraku      paradise

Gombei pottery      earthenware with a rough gray glaze made by Gombei Kurisaki at Matsue, Japan

go(-)moku      a game played on goban

gomoku(-)zogan      a form of metalwork decoration, hodgepodge inlaid work

gotten         soup from vegetable, meat, and noodles

goumi, gumi      a shrub cultivated for its fragrant flowers and reddish fruit

gun         a country, a district

guri bori         a form of decorative carving in Japanese metalwork

gyokuro         sweet green tea

gyoza (dumpling)      a (fried) dumpling stuffed with minced pork


habatsu         a political faction

habu         a venomous pit-viper native to the Ryuku Islands

habutai, habutay      a soft lightweight Japanese silk in plain weave

hagi         a bush clover

haikai         haiku

haiku         a form of Japanese verse written in three lines

haikuist         [haiku (Japanese verse) + ist]

hajimemashite      How do you do? Nice to meet you.

hak(k)ama      loose trousers with many folds

haki-dame      a rubbish heap, a dumping ground

hamo         a sharp-toothed eel

han ()         a squad, a group

han ()         a feudal clan, the territory of a daimio of the feudal period

hana-kago      [hana (flower) + kago (basket)]

hanami         a picnic to famous places to view cherry blossoms

hanamichi      a passage leading to the stage

hanashika       a professional story-teller

hancho         honcho

haniwa         a clay image

haori         a loose-fitting, knee-length Japanese coat

happi, happi-coat     a loose outer coat

haragei         subtle communication, the psychological strategy

harai(-)goshi      a throw in Judo

hara(-)kari, hari(-)kari   harakiri

hara(-)kiri      suicide by disembowelment

harakiri swap      [hara (belly) + kiri (cutting) + swap]

harifuku       a fish of the family Diodontidae

harisenbon       same as harifuku

harumaki      [haru (spring) + maki (roll)]

hashigakari      in Noh play

Hashimoto’s goitre    after Hakaru Hashimoto (1881-1934), Japanese surgeon

Hashimoto’s disease    after Hakaru Hashimoto (1881-1934), Japanese surgeon

Hashimoto’s struma    after Hakaru Hashimoto (1881-1934), Japanese surgeon

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis    after Hakaru Hashimoto (1881-1934), Japanese surgeon

hatamoto      a vassal of the household troops of a Shogun

hatoba         a wharf, a quay

haya          a kind of fish, a dace

Hayashi track      after Masao Hayashi (1941- )

hayashi         a musical band or accompaniment

haye         a kind of small fish

hechima         a sponge-gourd

Heian (era)      from 794 to 1185

heimin         common people

Heisei (era)      from 1989

hesomagari      a crank, a perverse person

hiba (arborvitae)      a large Japanese evergreen tree

hibachi         a large earthenware pan or brazier

hibakusha      an atomic bomb victim

hibun         anepitaph

hichiriki, hitschiriki     a flageolet

Higashiyama      a period in Japanese art history, during the second half of the fifteenth century

Higo pottery      a earthenware made in the province of Higo, Japan

hi-goi         [hi (red) + goi < koi (carp)]

hijiki         an edible seaweed

hi-ogi         a folding court fan made of hinoki-wood

hinekureta      perverse, distorted, crooked

hinkaku         dignity, character

hinoki (cypress)       a large conifer native to Japan

hipparidako      in great demand

Hirado (ware), Hirato (ware)    a rich elaborate (blue-and-) white porcelain

hiragana, hirakana     the cursive form of the Japanese syllabary

Hira gold lacquer     [hira (flat) + gold lacquer]

hiro         a Japanese unit of length equal to 4.97 feet

Hiroshima (n.)      as in No more Hiroshimas!

Hitachi         [trdn]

Hizen (porcelain)      a porcelain with rich decoration, delicate colouring and fine workmanship, made in Hizen, the former province in the north-west of Kyushu

hobo (n.)         one that is homeless and usually penniless

hobo (v.)         to act the hobo, to journey or travel as a tramp

hobodom      [hobo + -dom]

hoboette         a female hobo

hobohemia      a community of hoboes

hoboism         [hobo + -ism]

Hojo         a noted powerful family in Japanese history

hoju         a supplementary reservist

hokku         the opening verse of a haiku poem

home goroshi      [home < homeru (to praise) + goroshi < koroshi (killing)]

honcho, hancho      a chief or leader of a small group

Honda         [trdn]

Hondo         [hon (main) + do (land)]

honne         one’s true or real intention, reality

honoki         a large tree that yields a soft whitish wood, strong and flexible

Honshu         the main Island, Japan proper

hooch, hoochie      a shelter or dwelling

hootch, hootchie      hooch

Hotei         the god with a huge belly

hurry-curry       US slang harakiri


iaido         the art of drawing a sword quickly

ibota privet      [ibota (a wax tree) + privet]

ichiban (adj.)      [ichi (one) + ban (No.)]

ichibu         itzebu

icho         a ginkgo, a maiden-hair-tree of Japan

Idzumo pottery      an earthenware made in the province of Idzumo

Iga pottery      an earthenware made in the province of Iga

igano-uwo      a kind of fish

I(-)go           go

ijime         ill-treatment, bullying

ikebana         the Japanese art of flower arrangement

ikunolite, I-       [Ikuno (a mine of Japan) + -lite]

Imari (pottery, ware)   an earthenware made at Imari, in the province of Hizen

Imbe pottery      an earthenware made at Imbe, in the province of Bizen

imo         a (sweet) potato

inaka         the country, a rural district

inkyo, inkiyo      the act of resigning or renouncing one’s position

inro         an ornamental nest of boxes

In-yo         the positive and negative

ippon         in Judo, a score of one full point

iroha, irofa      the Japanese kana or syllabary

iro otoko      a handsome man, a lady-killer

Ishihara(-)blind      after Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), Japanese ophthalmologist

Ishihara method      after Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), Japanese ophthalmologist

Ishihara plates      after Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), Japanese ophthalmologist

Ishihara (test)      after Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), Japanese ophthalmologist

ishikawaite      a black oxide of various metals from Ishikawa District

ishime         a roughened, irregular surface of Japanese metalwork

iso-iwashi      a little fish of the surf

issei, Issei      a Japanese immigrant to America

Isuzu         [trdn]

itai-itai         a disease caused by the ingestion of cadmium

ittomasu      same as to [it < ichi (one) + to + masu (measure)]

ito-uwo         a three-spined stickleback

Ito sukashi      in Judo

itzebu, itzeboo, itzibu, ichibu  an obsolete silver coin in the form of a thin rectangular plate

iwasha          a fish of Japan which yields oil

Iwo Jima, Iwo Shima   a volcanic island, 50 km south of the Satsuma Peninsula, Kagashima Prefecture


janken(-pon)      a children’s game played with the hands

jidaimono      in kabuki, a historical play

jiga         a fossorial wasp which stores its nest with caterpillars for its young

jigotai         a defensive posture in Judo

jimigaki         a highly polished surface on metalwork

jingu         a Shinto shrine

jinja, jinsha      a Shinto shrine

jinkai senjitsu      [jin (people) + kai (wave, ocean) + senjutsu (tactics)]

jinrick(i)sha, jinrik(i)sha (n.)      a light two-wheeled hooded vehicle

jinrik(i)sha (v.)      [jin (person) + riki (power) + sha (vehicle)]

jinriki(sha)-man      [jin (person) + riki (power) + sha (vehicle) + man]

jinsen          a flat fan of feathers formerly used in Japan

jito         in the Japanese feudal system, a military land steward

jiujitsu, jiu(-)jutsu     jujitsu

Jiurojin         Jurojin

jo          a Japanese unit of length

Jo(-)do         the western paradise presided over by the Buddha Amida

Jodo(-shu)      a Japanese Buddhist sect founded by Honen

Jodo (Shinshu)      a Japanese Buddhist sect founded in 1175

johachidolite      [Johachido (Korean place name) + -lite]

Jomon (pottery), j-      a kind of very early hand-made Japanese pottery

joro         a prostitute

joruri         a type of dramatic recitation to musical accompaniment

josan         US slang, a girl friend

josei mondai      [josei (woman) + mondai (problem)]

judo, Judo      lit. way of softness, a modern form of jujitsu

judoesque      [judo (way of softness) + -esque]

Judo hall      [ju (gentle, soft) + do (way) + hall]

judogi         judo wear

judoist         an expert in Judo

judoka         [judo + -ka (expert)]

judoman      [judo + man]

ju(-)jitsian       [jujutsu + -ian]

ju(-)jitsu (n.)      the Japanese art of self-defence without weapons

ju(-)jitsu (v.)      [ju (gentle, soft) + jutsu (art)]

jujitsu politics      political tactics in which a person responds to criticism with countercriticism

ju(-)jitsuist      [jujutsu + -ist]

juku         a private school

junshi         suicide at the death of one’s lord

Jurojin, Jiurojin      the god of long life

juyaku         a senior executive


kabane         in ancient Japan, a series of titles of rank

kabocha (squach)   a pumpkin

Kabuki, k-      a traditional and popular form of drama

kabuki dance, K-      an action whose result is easily predictable

Kabukiesque      [kabuki + -esque]

kabuto         a helmet, a headpiece

kabuto gane      the pommel of a Japanese sword

kadsura, K-, kadzura (tree), K-  katsura

Kaga ware      a porcelain of the province of Kaga, Japan

kagemusha      a general’s double, a dummy general

kago         an open palanquin used in feudal Japan

kagura         a sacred dance performed at Shinto festivals

kagura-zame      a frill-shark

kaiken         kwaiken

kaiko-tsuchi      [kaiko (dismissal) + tsuchi (notice)]

kainic (acid)      [kainin < kainin-so 海人草 + -ic]

kairi          a nautical mile (6,080 feet)

kaisha ningen      a devoted company man

kaizen         improvement, betterment

kakebuton      a overlet, a quilt

kakemono      a picture or writing on silk or paper that is suitable for hanging

kaki         a persimmon of Japan

Kaki(y)emon (ware)   a porcelain first made by a Japanese artist, Sakaida Kakiemon (1596-1666)

kakke (disease)      beriberi

Kamakura era      from 1185 to 1333

Kamakura lacquer     [Kamakura (a town in central Japan) + lacquer]

Kambara (earth)      [Kambara (a town in Japan) + earth]

kami ()      a title given to daimyos and governors

kami, K- ()      a Shinto deity; a sacred power or force

kami(-)dana      a family altar

kamikaze (n.)      Japanese air attack corps

kamikaze (adj.)      suicidal

kami-religion      [kami (deity) + religion]

kana         a Japanese system of syllabic writing

kana-majiri(-bun)   a mixed writing of Chinese characters with the Japanese syllabary

kanamono      sword mounts

kanban         lit. a signboard; a special method of trade, just in time

kanji, Kanji      the corpus of borrowed and adopted Chinese ideographs

kannushi      a Shinto priest

Kano (school)      a school of Japanese painting founded by Sasanobu Kano (1434-1530)

kanryo(u)      bureaucracy

Kantei         an official residence

kanten         a gelatinous substance extracted from seaweeds

karamushi      steaming, the ramie

karaoke         a form of entertainment

karaoke bar      [kara (empty) + oke (orchestra) + bar]

Karariu         Japanese painting in the Chinese manner

karate (n.)      a system of unarmed combat

karate (v.)      to strike with a karate chop

karate-chop (n.)      [kara (empty) + te (hand) + chop]

karate-chop (v.)      [kara (empty) + te (hand) + chop]

karateist, karatist   karate-man

karateka      karate-man

karate-kick      [kara (empty) + te (hand) + kick]

karate-man      an expert in karate

karate sticks, karate-sticks     nunchaku

Karatsu (ware, pottery)     a hard pottery made at Karatsu in the province of Hizen

karimata       a two-headed arrow used in ancient times

karoshi         death from overwork

kashira         the metal pommel of a Japanese sword-hilt

kasube         a ray or skate of the family Rajidae

kasugamycin      [Kasuga (the place name in Japan) + mycin]

kata         a system of basic exercises or formal practice in Judo

katakana      one of the two varieties of the Japanese syllabic writing

katakiribori      a Japanese method of incised chiselling

katana         a long single-edged sword used by the samurai

katatsu        kotatsu

Katayama snail genus     [Katayama (a hill in Hiroshima Prefecture) + snal genus]

katsu         invigoration in Judo

katsu(w)o      an important food fish in Japan, a bonito

katsuobushi      (a piece of) dried bonito

katsura, kazura      a type of wig worn mainly by women

katsura (tree), kadsura (tree)    a Japanese Judas tree, a decidous tree

katsura-tree family     

katsuramono, kazuramono  one of the categories of Noh plays

Katsuwonidae, k-   a family of scombroid fishes

kawamutsu       a shiner or minnow found in the waters of Japan

Kawasaki disease     a disease found by Tomisaku Kawasaki, Japanese biologist

kawata         cotton plant

kaya         an evergreen tree of the pine family

kazura           katsura

kazuramono        katsuramono

kebori         a Japanese method of chiselling

Kegon, kegon      a Buddhist sect

Keidanren      The Federation of Economic Organization

keiretsu         affiliated, subsidiary

keirin         [kei (race) + rin (bicycle)]

Kempei(tai), k-      the military secret service in the period 1931-1945

ken ()         a game of forfeits played with the hands and with gestures

ken ()         a prefecture

ken ()         a Japanese unit of length equal to 71 inches

ken ()         a straight, double-edged Japanese sword

kenbei         hatred of the United States of America

kendo         a Japanese sport of fencing with bamboo swords

kendoist         [ken (sword) + do (way) + -ist]

kenjutsu      swordsmanship

kenrei         a prefectural ordinance;a prefectural governor

kesa-gatame      a diagonal hold in Judo

keyaki         an important timber tree with fine hard wood

kiaki           keyaki

kibei, Kibei      Japanese Americans trained in Japan

kichigai         a madman

kigyonai-shitsugyo     [kigyounai (in-house) + shitsugyo (unemployment)]

kiku ()      a chrysanthemum

kiku (菊紋)      kikumon

Kikuchi (electron lines)   after Masashi Kikuchi (1902-1974), Japanese physicist

Kikuchi line      after Masashi Kikuchi (1902-1974), Japanese physicist

Kikuchi patterns      after Masashi Kikuchi (1902-1974), Japanese physicist

kikumon, kiku(no)mon   [kiku (chrysanthemum) + mon (crest)]

kikyo         a bell-flower

kimigayo      the title of the Japanese anthem

ki-mon         an unlucky quarter: the north-eastern direction

kimono         a long robe with sleeves

kimono blouse      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + blouse]

kimono bodice      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + bodice]

kimono coat      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + coat]

kimono dress      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + dress]

kimono flannel      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + flannel]

kimono gown      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + gown]

kimono jacket      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + jacket]

kimono shirt      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + shirt]

kimono sleeve      [ki < kiru (to wear) + mono (thing) + sleeve]

kimonoed, kimonaed (adj.)  dressed in a kimono

Kimura term      one of the annual components of the variation of latitude, named after Hisashi Kimura, Japanese astronomer

kin          a Japanese unit of weight

kinfun         [kin (gold) + fun (dust)]

kinken seiji      political influence secured by large contributions to political parties [kin (money, gold) + ken (power) + seiji (politics)]

kiogen         kyogen

kingio, kingyo       [kin (gold) + gyo (fish)]

kinkan         a kumquat cultivated in China and Japan for its acid fruit

kinko         commercial trepang or beche-de-mer

Kinkozan ware      a Japanese pottery made at Awata and bearing the signature of the family Kinkozan

kinsatsu      paper money, a bank-note

kinsen         gold wire used by the Japanese in enamel-work

kiri         a very large but scarce tree

kirigami         the art of cutting paper into decorative forms

kiri(no)mon      [kiru (paulownia) + mon (crest)]

kirin, kylin      a fabulous animal of composite form

Kishiu pottery      a Japanese pottery made in the province of Kishu

kissaten         a coffee shop, a tearoom

kisu          a kind of fish

kitamakura      a diodonotoid fish, known as yokobuku and akamebuku

kitasamycin      after Shibasaburo Kitasato (1852-1931), Japanese bacteriologist

kiyogen         kyogen

Kline-Nishina formula   after Yoshio Nishina (1890-1951), Japanese physicist

koan         a paradox put to a student in Zen Buddhism

koban         a police substation

koban(g)      an oblong gold coin issued in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

koban(g) gold      [ko (small) + ban (size) + gold]

Kobe beef      [Kobe (a city in western Honshu, Japan) + beef]

kobeite         [Kobe (locality in Kyoto prefecture) + -ite]

kobi         the second line of defense [ko (back) + bi (defense)]

kobu           kombu

kobun         a follower, a satellite

koenkai         a supporters’ association [koen (support) + kai (association)]

kodogu         stage properties, props [ko (small) + dogu (props)]

kogai (コガイ)      [kogai < kamigaki < kami (hair) + kaki (scratch)]

kogai (公害)      environmental pollution in Japan [ko (public) + gai (pollution)]

ko-gatana        ko-katana

kohai         one’s junior(s)

koi (carp)      a common carp in Japan

koi-cha         [koi (strong) + cha (green tea)]

koji         a yeast or other starter prepared in Japan from rice

kojic acid      [koji + -ic + acid]

Kojiki         the oldest extant history of Japan

kojiri         a chape, the tip of a sheath

ko-katana, ko-gatana      a knife, a pocket knife

kokeshi         a kind of wooden doll

Kokka (n.)      [Kokka Shinto (State Shinto began in 1868 and ended in 1945)]

Kokka (adj.)      [Kokka Shinto (State Shinto began in 1868 and ended in 1945)]

koku         a Japanese unit of capacity, esp. of rice

Kokuho Rose      the brand name of rice grown in California

kokujin         a black, a Negro

kokumin(-gun)      the Japanese territorial army

komban(-)wa      Good evening.

ko(m)bu, konbu      a brown seaweed or kelp

Komei         the name of a political party in Japan

Kondo alloy      after Jun Kondo (1930- ), a physicist

Kondo effect      after Jun Kondo (1930- ), a physicist

koniak(u), konjak, konnyaku     a tuberous plant of the family Arace

Konica         [trdn]

konnichi(-)wa      Good afternoon!

konnyaku        koniak

kora         koro

Korin (school, style)     after Ogata Korin (1658-1716), a Japanese artist in the Edo period

koro         an incense-burner, usually highly ornamented [ko (incense) + ro (burner)]

koseki         census registration

kotatsu, katatsu      a Japanese foot warmer

koto         a musical stringed instrument

kotoite         after Bunjiro Koto (1856-1935), Japanese geologist and petrographer

koza         a hierarchically organized academic unit

kozo         a kind of paper tree, a paper mulberry

kozuka         a knife attached to a sword sheath

Kubo         the Imperial Court

kudzu (vine)      a perennial climbing plant

Kuge, k-         in feudal Japan, the nobility attached to the Imperial Court

kuge(-)shudan      [kuge (nobility) + shudan (group)]

kujira shaku      shaku

kumaso, Kumaso      an indigenous Caucasoid people of Japan

kumi         a class, group, gang, squad

kumite         sparring in martial arts [kumi < kumu (to grip) + te (arm, hand)]

Kumon         a systematic, inductive method of teaching mathematics, after Toru Kumon, Japanese mathematics teacher

Kunaicho      the Imperial Household Agency

kunrei         an official order

kura         a fire-proof store-house

kurikata      the cord ring with a scabbard

kurisumasu-keki      a Christmas cake [Japanese English]

kurogo         a stage assistant

kuromaku      godfather

kuromatsu      [kuro (black) + matsu (pine)]

Kuromoji      any one of several Asiatic trees of the genus Benzoin

kuronbo         a dark-skinned person

Kuroshi(w)o, k-      the Gulf Stream of Japan

Kuroshio Countercurrent    [kuro (black) + shio (current) + countercurrent]

kuroshio (extension)    [kuro (black) + shio (current) + extention]

kuroshio (system)    [kuro (black) + shio (current) + system]

kuruma         a vehicle, a rickshaw

kurumaya      one who pulls a rickshaw [kuruma (vehicle) + ya (expert)]

Kurume (azalea)      [Kurume (a town on the island of Kyushu) + azalea]

Kutani (ware)      a kind of gold and dark red porcelain first made at Kutani

kuwazoku      kwazoku

kuzushi         in Judo, a method of unbalancing one’s opponent

Kyocera         [trdn]

kwaiken         a dagger, a dirk    [kai (bosom) + ken (sword)]

kwan         an old Japanese unit of weight equal to 8.28 pounds

Kwannon      the Goddess of Mercy

kwazoku, kuwazoku   the nobility, the peerage in the Japanese social scale

kylin         kirin

kyogen         a comic interlude presented between performances of Noh plays

Kyoto ware      a ware made in Kyoto

kyu         in Judo or karate, the grade given to the less proficient

kyudo         archery, bowmanship


larmen         ramen, Chinese noodle

Little Tokyo      [Japanese English]

love hotel      [Japanese English]


machi         a Japanese town or commercial center

madogiwa(-zoku)      sidetracked employees

magatama      a bead necklace

mai         a slow Japanese folk or theater dance featuring hand gestures

maiko         a girl who is being trained to become a geisha

makimono      emakimono, a scroll containing pictures

makiwara      a punching post used in practicing karate

makiye         gold or silver lacquer

makizushi      rolled sushi

mama(-)san      the mistress of a bar

mamushi      a small venomous pit viper, an adder

mana         Chinese characters used phonetically or ideographically in Japanese

manekineko      a figure of a beckoning cat

manga         a caricature, a cartoon, a comic magazine

manju         lit. a bean-jam bun, political fund

manyogana      a system of writing in 8th-century Japan

manzai         a traditional art form performed during the New Year holidays

maru         appended as a suffix to name of Japanese ships and boys

marumi kumquat      any of several round-fruited kumquats

maruta         a human body for an experiment in the war-time

maruyu, maru-yu   a system of small tax-free savings accounts

masu          a small salmon of the rivers of Japan and northern Asia

matsu         an ornamental and valuable timber pine

matsucoccus      [matsu (pine tree) + -coccus]

matsuri         a solemn celebration or festival held periodically

matsutake      a mushroom

mawashi      the cotton or silk belt worn by a sumo wrestler

Mazda         [trdn]

mebos         umeboshi, a confection of salted dried apricots

medaka         a small freshwater poeciliid fish

Meiji (period)      from 1868 to 1912

Meiji rifle      a breech-loading rifle used in the Meiji period

menuki         pair of ornaments on a sword hilt

metake, medake      a tall slender bamboo

miai         the first step in an arranged marriage

Midori (Melon Liqueur)   [trdn]

midzu-ame      [midzu (water) + ame (starch syrup)]

mijakite         [mijak < Miyake-shima (an island of Japan) + -ite]

mijama skimmia    a kind of shrub, named after Miyama, a place name in Japan?

Mikado, m-      a spiritual emperor in the feudal era of Japanese history

The Mikado      a comic opera by Govert and Sullivan (1885)

Mikadoate, m-      [Mikado + -ate]

mikado brown      [Mikado + brown]

mikado locomotive   [Mikado + locomotive]

mikado orange      [Mikado + orange]

Mikado pheasant   [Mikado + phesant]

mikado type      [Mikado + type]

mikado-yellow      direct yellow [Mikado + yellow]

Mikado Yellow G      the commercial name of a direct dye

mikan         a Satsuma orange

Mikimoto (pearl)      after Kokichi Mikimoto (1858-1954), Japanese pearl farmer

Minamata disease   a toxic encephalopatyhia [Minamata (a district in Kyushu) +disease]

mingei         Japanese folk-art

mino          a kind of rain-coat of straw, rushes or the like

Mino pottery      [Mino (a province of Japan) + pottery]

Minolta         [trdn]

Minseito      a political party of Japan, formed in 1929

minshuku      a tourist home, a guest house

mioga         a kind of plant, Zingiber Mioga

mirin         a heavy and sweet cooking sake

Mishima (ware)      a type of ceramic ware

miso         a paste made from soya beans and rice malt

Mitsubishi      [trdn]

Mitsouko      [trdn]

mitsukurina, M-      a kind of shark, named after Kakichi Mitsukuri (1857-1909), Japanese botanist

mitsumata      a deciduous shrub cultivated for its bark used in papermaking

Mitsukurinidae      after Kakichi Mitsukuri (1857-1909), Japanese botanist

miya         a shrine or Shinto temple in Japan

Miyagawanella      after Yoneji Miyagawa (1885-1959), Japanese bacteriologist

miyakite      [Miyak < Miyakojima (an island of Japan) + -ite]

Miyako         the capital of Japan

Mizuho Plateau      a plateau on the Antarctic Continent

mizuna (green)      [mizu (water) + na (greens)]

mo          a Japanese unit of measure

mochi         a cake made from pounded rice

mochi-dai      political fund

mokum(e)      a Japanese alloy used in decorative work on gold and silver

momme         a Japanese unit of weight equal to 3.75 grams

Momoyama (era)      late 16th century

mompe(i)      baggy working trousers

mon         a family crest or badge

mon          the ten thousandth part of a silver yen

mondo         a rapid question and answer technique employed in Zen Buddhism

monogatari      a tale, a story

moose         a lover of an American soldier [< musume]

moretsu sarariman     an aggressive office man

moroko         a kind of small fish, a roach

motsu-nabe      pot-boiled giblets

mousee     mousmee

mousmee, musumee, mousee     a Japanese girl working at a restaurant

moxa         a soft woolly mass prepared from the young leaves used in Japanese popular medicine [< moegusa< moe (burning) + gusa < kusa (grass)]

moxibustion      cauterization by means of moxa

moxocausis, M-      cautery by use of the moxa

mume           ume

mura         a village, a small town

muraji         in early imperial Japan, one of the hereditary titles

Muranashiji lacquer   lacquer with small gold flakes in irregular clusters

Murata rifel      after General Baron Murata, Japanese officer

mushi disease       [mushi (bug) + disease]

musho         mochi

musme, musume      an unmarried girl, a daughter


Nabeshima (porcelain, ware)    a ware painted principally in blue with plants, fishes, etc.

Nabeshimayaki, Nabeshima yaki     Nabeshima porcelain

naegite         a silicate of uranium and thorium found in placer tinwashings at Naegi, near Takayama

Nagami kumquat, n-   a kumquat having oval fruit and a persistent style base

nagatelite      [Nagate < Nagatesaki (a peninsular in Japan) + -lite]

Nageia          a kind of plant , named after the Japanese name of Nageia Nagi

Nakanuri lacquer   a pure lacquer freed from water

nakodo         one who acts as go-between in the arrangement of a marriage

namako         a sea cucumber or slug

namban         [nam < nan (southern) + ban (barbarian)]

nanako         a type of decorative metalwork

nandin(a), N-      a monotypic genus of Chinese and Japanese evergreen shrubs

nandinine      an armorphous, poisonous, pulverulent alkaloid

nanga, N-      an intellectual style of Japanese painting

na(p)pa (cabbage), N-    [nappa (greens, vegetables) + cabbage]

Nara (era)      from 710 to 794

narikin         a newly-rich person, a wealthy parvenu

nashi         a pear (tree)

Nashiji (lacquer)      a lacquer containing gold or silver flakes

natsume      a jujube (tree)

natto         fermented soybean

nekozame      a kind of shark

nemawashi      maneuver behind the scenes

Nembutsu, n-      a Buddhist invocation, prayers to Amida Buddha

netsuk(e), netsuk    a small piece of ivory, wood, or other material

nibu          an oblong square-cornered silver coin

nichibei         [nichi < nihon (Japan) + bei < beikoku (America)]

Nichiren (Buddhism)     a Buddhist sect founded by a priest named Nichiren

Nichiren Shoshu      The Nichiren Shoshu of America, NSA

Nichirenshu      Nichiren Buddhism

nighter         a night game [Japanese English]

nigirizushi      a hand-shaped sushi

nigori       muddiness or impurity, in speaking the Japanese language, the substitution of sonant consonants for surds

Nihon, Niphon      Japan    [literally, the origin of the sun]

Nihongi         the Chronicles of Japan

Nihongo         the Japanese language

nihonmachi, N-      [nihon (Japan) + machi (town)]

nikkei         a Japanese American

Nikkei (index)      the relative price of representative shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Nikkei Dow      [ni(hon) + kei(zai shimbun) + dow]

Nikkei Stock Average     [ni(hon) + kei(zai shimbun) + stock average]

Nikkofir, Nikko fir     an evergreen tree

nikko-kisuge      a day lily named for the locality, Nikko

Nikon         [trdn].

nikubori         [niku (thickness) + bori < hori (carving)]

ningyoite, N-      a new mineral named for the locality, Ningyo Pass

ningyoujoruri, ningyo-joruri  the traditional puppet show

Ninigi          in Japanese legend

ninja, N-      a warrior trained in the art of ninjutsu

ninja squad      a small group of trained fighters

ninjozata      [ninjo (bloodshed) + zata (affair)]

ninjutsu, ninjitsu     the art of stealth or invisibility

Ninsei ware      a type of pottery made by Ninsei, the greatest ceramic artist

ninsi(n), ninzin      an umbelliferous plant, a Korean carrot

ninsoku         a coolie

Nintendo      [trdn]

Nintendo epilepsy   [trdn + epilepsy]

Nintendo generation   [trdn + generation]

Nintendo neck      [trdn + neck]

Nip         usually used disparagingly [Nip(ponese)]

Niplet         [Nip(ponese) + -let]

Nippon (n.)      [< Nihon (literally, the origin of the sun)]

Nippon (attrib.)      [< Nihon (literally, the origin of the sun)]

Nippon chrysanthemum     [Nippon < Nihon + chrysanthemum]

Nippon Club      [Nippon < Nihon + chrysanthemum]

Nippon vellum      [Nippon < Nihon + chrysanthemum]

Nipponese (a.)      [Nippon + -ese]

Nipponese (n.)      [Nippon + -ese]

Nipponian (a.)      [Nippon + -ian]

Nipponian (n.)      [Nippon + -ian]

nipponise, N-      [Nippon + -ise]

Nipponism      [Nippon + -ism]

nipponize, N-      [Nippon + -ize]

Nippostrongylus      a genus of strongyloid nematode worms

nis(s)ei, N-      an American born of Japanese parents

nishiki         Japanese brocade

Nishikide ware      a variety of Satsuma pottery with decorations resembling brocade

nishikiye      a colour print, developed in the 18th century

nishu          a small rectangular Japanese silver coin, no longer used

Nissan         [trdn]

no, noh, No(h), No   the traditional masked drama

No(h) play      [No + play]

No Dance      [No + Dance]

Noh mask      [No + mask]

nogaku, N-      the genre of the Noh drama

nokyo, N-      [no < nogyo (agriculture) + kyo < kyodokumiai (cooperative association)]

noren         a shop’s curtain, credit

nori           amanori, a food prepared from fronds of a seaweed

norimon(o)      a kind of litter or palanquin

norito         Shinto ritualistic prayers

noshi         a Japanese token of esteem, originally a piece of dried awabi

notan         the combination of lights and darks in Japanese art

nunchaku(s)      two hard wood sticks of Okinwara origin used as a defensive weapon

Nuritate lacquer        


Obaku         one of the three principal branches of Zen Buddhism

Obaku Zen Buddhism     

oban(g)         a large oval gold coin of the 16th to 19th centuries

obento          [o (honorific) + bento]

obi, obe         a sash used to tie a kimono, a belt

obi-styled sash     

obocchama      a greenhorn of a boy

O-bon         [o (honorific) + bon]

ochaya         [o (honorific) + cha (tea) + ya (house)]

o-daiko         [o (big) + taiko (drum)]

odori         a dance, dancing

office lady, OL      [Japanese English]

ofuro          [o (honorific) + furo]

ogi          a Japanese folding fan

ogi otoshi       a game using ogi

o(-)goshi, O-      a hip throw in Judo

Ohi pottery      [Ohi (a village in the eastern part of Kanazawa) + pottery]

ohteki         a flute, yokobue

oiran         a courtesan of high standing

ojime         a bead or bead-like object, often very elaborate

ojosan         a girl, a daughter

Okazaki fragment     after Reiji Okazaki (1930-1975), Japanese geneticist

oki-anago       [oki (off-shore) + anago (conger-eel)]

oki-gisu       [oki (off-shore) + gisu < kisu (a kind of fish)]

Okie           Okinawa

okimono         a standing ornament or figure placed in the alcove

Okinawan (a.)      [Okinawa + -an]

Okinawan (n.)      [Okinawa + -an]

Okuninushi       in Japanese legend

okusan         your [his] wife

omi         in early imperial Japan, one of the hereditary titles

omiai, o-miai      [o (honorific) + miai]

omori         a full or good helping (of boiled rice)

o-muraji, omuraji   [o (grand) + muraji]

on         the sense of deep gratitude; kindness, favour

onigiri         a rice-ball

onna         a woman

onnagata      in Kabuki, a man who plays female roles

onsen         [on (hot) + sen (spring)]

orei mairi      a visit to a shrine or temple for thanksgiving

Oribe ware      a porcelain made by Furuta Oribe

origami         the art of folding paper into intricate designs

orihon         a book formed by folding a printed roll

osaekomi waza      a method of holding down one’s opponent on the mat

oseibo         a year-end present

oshibori (towel)      a towel wrung out usually in hot water

Osho Rajneesh      [osho (a Japanese priest) + Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931- )]

O-soto-gari, o-      a major outer cut in Judo

otokogi         a shivalrous spirit

otoshi dama      a New Year’s gift

oyama         same as onnagata, lit. female figure

Oyashi(w)o Current     

ozeki         a sumo wrestler of the second highest rank


pachinko      a pin-ball game popular in Japan

Pac-Man, Pac Man   [trdn]

Pac-Man defense      [trdn + defense]

Pac-Man counterattack   [trdn + counterattack]

pompom   US slang    [< pon-pon (belly)]

Power Rangers      [Japanese English]



raku (ware), R-      a distinct variety of lead-glazed pottery

ramanas(u) (rose)   a red-flowered cultivated rose

ramen         quick-cooking Chinese noodles

randori (n.)      a session of informal practice in Judo

randori (v.)      practice judo informally

red tai         [red + tai (sea bream)]

Reiki, reiki         spirit or soul

renga         linked-verse poetry, consisting of a series of half-tanka

rengeso clover      a clover-like plant grown for green manure and for forage

ri (1)         a Japanese unit of distance equal to about 2.44 miles

ri (2)         a Japanese unit of area equal to 15.55 square kilometers 

ricksha(w)      [< (jin)rikisha (a light two-shealed hooded vehicle)]

rickshaw-cycle      [rickshaw < jinrikisha + cycle]

rickshaw man      [rickshaw < jinrikisha + man]

rickshaw-tricycle      [rickshaw < jinrikisha + ticycle]

Ricoh         [trdn]

rikisha         [< (jin)rikisha (a light two-shealed hooded vehicle)]

rikishi         sumo wrestler

rikka         a traditional form of flower arrangement

Rikken         constitutional, applied to a Japanese political party

rikutsuppoi      very argumentative

rin         a Japanese unit of money, length and weight

rinnotam(a), rin-no-tam(a)    a bell-shaped gem containing silver in it

Rinzai         one of the three principal branches of Zen Buddhism

rio         ryo

rishitin         [< rishi-ri (the name of a variety of potato)]

Risshu         [Ris < Ritsu (disciple) + shu (sect)]

Ritsu, ritsu      a Buddhist sect introduced in the 8th century to Japan

Ro-iro lacquer      a variety of Japanese lacquer of a pure black or greenish black color

Roju, Roju      the senior councillors in the former feudal system of Japan

romaji, Romaji, Romazi     a system of romanized spelling for the Japanese language

Romajikai      [roma (Roman) + ji (letter) + kai (association)]

ronin         in feudal Japan, a lordless wandering samurai 

Roshi         the spiritual leader of a community of Zen Buddhist monks

rotenone      [< roten (derris plant)]

Ro-urushi lacquer    a dark green varnish made by adding to branch lacquer a small proportion of tooth-dye

rumaki         [< (ha)rumaki (a hot crape of Oriental origin)]

ryo, rio, riyo (両)      a former Japanese monetary unit

ryo, rio, riyo (量)      a former Japanese unit of weight, a Japanese ounce

Ryobu (Shinto)      a Shinto sect fostering a mixture of Shinto and Buddhism

ryokan         a traditional inn [ryo (travel) + kan (inn, building)]

ryotei         a Japanese-style restaurant

ryu, riu         a style or school of art

Ryukyu         the former name of Okinawa

Ryukyuan (n.)(a.)   [Ryukyu + -an]


sabi         in Zen, a quality of simple restrained, and mellowed beauty

sai         a type of dagger of Okinawan origin 

sakaki         a small Japanese and Indian evergreen shrub

Sakata-Taketani    equation after Sakata and Taketani, majoring in quantum mechanics

sake, saki      a fermented liquor made from rice

sake bottle      [sake + bottle]

sake cup      [sake + cup]

sake shop      [sake + shop]

sakura         a flowering cherry tree

salaryman, salary man     a salaried man, an office worker [Japanese English]

salarywoman, salary woman    a salaried woman [Japanese English]

sama         a honorific suffix

samisen, shamisen     a 3-stringed Japanese musical instrument resembling a banjo

sampaku (eyeball), sanpaku    visibility of the white of the eye below the iris

samurai, S-      a member of the military caste in the former feudal system of Japan

samurai bond      unsecured yen-dominated bonds

samurai code      [samurai + cup]

samurai ethic      [samurai + ethic]

samurai-minded      [samurai + minded]

samurai order      [samurai + order]

samurai spirit      [samurai + spirit]

samurai sword      [samurai + sword]

samurai warrior      [samurai + warrior]

san, -san      a honorific title suffixed to personal names

Sanda ware, S-      [Sanda (a city in Hyogo Prefecture) + ware]

sanpaku         sampaku

Sanron, s-      a Japanese Buddhist school founded in A. D. 625

sansei, S-      a third generation of Japanese American

sanukite      [Sanuki (a district in Japan) + -ite]

sarakin   loan sharks    [sara < salary + kin < kinyu (loan)]

sarariman      salary man

sasa         bamboo grass

sasanqua, sasankwa   an evergreen shrub

sashimi         a dish consisting of thin slices of raw fish

sato-imo         a taro

satori         in Zen Buddhism, a sudden indescribable and uncommunicable inner experience of enlightenment

Satsuki         the rainy season

Satsuma anthracnose     a disease of the Satsuma orange

Satsuma mikan      [Satsuma (the former name of a province on the island of Kyushu) + mikan (tangerine)]

Satsuma (orange), s-    a variety of mandarin orange

Satsuma (tangerine), s-    a variety of mandarin orange

Satsuma (ware), s-    a kind of cream-coloured pottery

sawara (cypress)      a Japanese evergreen tree

sayonara      Good-bye.

se         a Japanese unit of land area equal to 118.6 square yards

Sega         [trdn]

seibo         oseibo

Seiji ware      stone-ware or porcelain having a neutral gray or celadon glaze

Seiyuhonto      a Japanese political party formed in 1924

Seiyukai      the moderate political party in the Meiji period

seiza         an upright kneeling posture adopted in meditation

sekitei         a rock garden of Japanese style

sekiwake      the third-highest rank in sumo wrestling

seku-hara      [seku (sexual) + hara (harassment)]

sempai         a senior

sen         a Japanese monetary unit; a copper or bronze coin

Sendai (virus)      [Sendai (a city in northern Honshu, Japan) + virus]

sennin         an elderly recluse who has acquired immortality through meditation and self-discipline

senryu         a humorous or satirical kind of verse, after Karai Senryu (1718-1790), a judge of liked-poetry competitions

sensei         a teacher or instructor

sentoku         a golden-yellow bronze vessel made after the Chinese fashion

seoi nage      a shoulder throw in Judo

seppa         a pair of oval washers, each of which had an aperture to receive the tang

seppa-dai      a washer platform

seppuku, S-      hara-kiri

Seshime lacquer  

sesshin         in Zen Buddhism, intensive sessions of meditation

Seto (ware)      [Seto (a city near Nagoya, Japan) + ware]

sewamono      in kabuki and bunraku theatre, a domestic drama or melodrama

shabu-shabu      a dish of thinly sliced beef cooked in boiling soup

shafu         [sha < kaisha (company) + fu (tradition)]

shaku (尺)      a Japanese unit of length equal to 11.93 inches

shaku (しゃく)      a stick or baton of wood or ivory used by Shinto priests

shakudo         a Japanese alloy of copper with a little gold

shakuhachi      an end-blown flute, made of bamboo

shamisen      samisen

sharawaggi, sharawadgi    [probably, < sorowazu (want of symmetry, or studied beauty of irregularity)]

shayo zoku      a declining upper-class family

shiatsu, shiatzu      a kind of therapy

shibai         a play, a drama

Shibayama, s-      a distinctive style of inlay work, named after Shibayama, a Japanese family of carvers

shibi         the albacore

shibu (n.)      astringent juice

shibui (n.)      astringent

shibui (a.)      tasteful in a quiet or profound way

shibuichi      an alloy consisting of one part of silver and three parts of copper [shi (four) + bu (parts) + ichi (one)]

shibuichi-doshi      an ornament attached to tsuba made of shibuichi

shibumi         [shibu (astringent) + mi (taste)]

Shiga(’s) (bacillus)   after Kiyoshi Shiga (1870-1957), Japanese bacteriologist

Shiga dysentery (bacillus)    after Kiyoshi Shiga (1870-1957), Japanese bacteriologist

Shigaraki pottery     [Shigaraki (a province in central Japan) + pottery]

Shigella, shigella      a genus of nonmotile aerobic bacteria, named after Kiyoshi Shiga

shigellosis, S-      after Kiyoshi Shiga, Japanese bacteriologist

Shihan, s-      an honorific title addressed to Judo master

shiitake         a mushroom cultivated on logs

Shijo art      [Shijo (a street in Kyoto) + art]

Shijo master      [Shijo (a street in Kyoto) + master]

Shijo school      [Shijo (a street in Kyoto) + school]

shika (deer)      a pseudaxine Japanese deer similar to the red deer

shika nippon      [shika (deer)+ nippon (Japan)]

shikibuton      [shiki < shiku (to spread) + buton < futon (mattress)]

shikii         coarse rough silk filling, a heavy silk and rayon fabric

shikimi, S-      a Japanese sacred tree whose bark is burned as incense during certain religous rites

shikimic (acid)      a hydro-aromatic acid

shikimin      a colorless, poisonous crystaline glucoside

shikimol      [shikimin + -ol]

shikken, S-      a chief executive officer and later a virtual regent under the Japanese shoguns

Shimada (coiffure)     a young unmarried ladies’ formal hair-style

Shimbun      used in the title of Japanese newspapers

shime-waza      the art of strangulation in Judo

shimose (gunpowder)     after Masachika Shimose (1859-1911), Japanese naval engineer

shimosite      after Masachika Shimose (1859-1911), Japanese naval engineer

shimpa, S-      the first realistic form of Japanese theater

shin         a god or the gods collectively

Shin, Shin (sect)      the name of a major Japanese Buddhist sect

Shin Buddhism  

shingeki, S-      contemporary Japanese theater

Shino pottery      a pottery noted for its nearly pure feldspathic glaze

Shingen tsuba, s-      [Shingen + tsuba (guard)]?

Shingon         a Buddhist sect that emphasizes a mystical symbolism of matras and mudras

shinjinrui      the new breed

Shinkansen, s-      a railway system carrying high-speed passenger trains

Shin(-shu), Shin(-)shu     a Buddhist sect founded by Shinran in the 13th century

shintai         an object believed to contain the spirit of a kami

Shinota ware      [Shinota + pottery]

Shinotawara (fowl)    a breed of domestic fowls with very large tails

Shinto, s- (n.)      the native religious system of Japan

Shinto, s- (a.)      [shin (deity) + to < do (way)]

Shintoism, s-      [shin (deity) + to < do (way) + -ism]

Shintoist      [shin (deity) + to < do (way) + -ist]

Shintoistic, s-      [shin (deity) + to < do (way) + -istic]

Shintoize      [shin (deity) + to < do (way) + -ize]

shippo (ware), sippo     a cloisonn-enamel ware

shira(-)kashi      [shira < shiro (white) + kashi (oak)]

Shirase Coast      after Nobu Shirase (1864-1946), Japanese explorer of the Antarctic

Shirase Glacier      after Nobu Shirase (1864-1946), Japanese explorer of the Antarctic

shirozame      a galeorhinoid shark

shishi         a lion, especially as a decorative motif on Japanese porcelain

shiso         a beefsteak plant

shitamachi      Tokyo neighborhoods

shitogi tsuba      [shitogi (rice dumpling) + tsuba (guard)]

shizoku         a samurai, the military class in the Meiji period

sho, sho (1)      a Japanese grain or liquid measure equal to 0.38 gallon 

sho, sho (2)      a classic Japanese musical instrument

shochu, sochu      a rough spirit

shodan         a degree of proficiency equivalent to first Dan

shogaol         [shoga (ginger) + -ol]

shogi, Sho-gi      a board game resembling chess

Shogoin turnip, s-   [Shogoin (a town in Kyoto) + turnip]

shogun, syogun, siogun, ziogoon  the hereditary commander-in-chief of the army from the 8th century into the 19th century

shogun bond      [shogun + bond]

shogun CB      [shogun + CB]

shogun lease      [shogun + lease]

shogunal      [shogun + -al]

shogunate, S-      [shogun + -ate]

Shogunite, s-      [shogun + -ite]

shogunship      [shogun + -ship]

shoji (screen)      a paper sliding door or screen in Japanese houses

Shojo         Hinayana Buddhism 

shokai         a firm, a company

shokku         [Japanised English] a shock in political or economic affairs

shomio, siomio      one of a low grade of warrior nobles in the feudal system [sho (small) + mio (name)]

shongi         shogi

Shorin ryu      one of the two main styles of Okinawan karate

shosagoto      in Kabuki, a mime performed to music

shosha         sogo shosha

Shotokan      one of the five main styles of karate

Showa (period)      from 1926 to 1989

shoyu, shoya      soya

shubunkin, S-      a goldfish of a breed having transparent scales

Shugo, shugo      in the Japanese feudal system, a military governor

Shuha, Shuha (a.)   of or relating to any of the thirteen Shinto sects

shunga         an erotic painting or print

shunto, S-      the annual round of wage-bargaining

shuriken      a weapon in the form of a small star

shusa         a team leader

shuto         in Karate, a sharp, shopping blow made with the side of the hand

shypoo         shippo

sika (deer)      a small red deer

Sinto(o), Sintu      Shinto

siogoon         shogun

siomio         shomio

skibby         US slang, a Japanese prostitute; a Japanese used in contempt

Skimmene      a colorless dextrorotatory liquid contained in the oil from skimmia

Skimmetin      a colorless crystalline compound

skimmia, S-      an evergreen shrub

Skimmin      shikimin

skosh (adv.)      U. S. Slang, a little, a small amount

soba         a type of noodle that is made from buckwheat

sobaya         a buckwheat-noodle shop

sochu         shochu

sodoku         rat-bite-fever

soeyu         shoyu

sogoshoku      [sogo (integrated) + shoku (profession)]

sogo shosha      a very large general trading company

Sohyo         the left-wing trade union federation

Soia         soy, a genus of plants of the same family Fabaceae

Soka Gakkai      in Japan, a lay religious group

sokaiya         strong-arm gangsters hired to control or disrupt shareholder’s meeting

somoist          sumoist

Sony         [trdn]

soogee (n.)      clean rope used to wash with

soogee (v.)      wash down

soroban         a Japanese abacus

sosaku hanga      [sosaku (original work) + hanga (wood block print)]

soshi         a mercenary

Soto         one of the three sects of Zen Buddhism

soy, shoya      a sauce made from soybeans [< shoyu]

soya, shoyu      a sauce made from soybeans [< shoyu]

soya bean      [shoyu + bean]

soya (bean)milk      [shoyu + (bean)milk]

soya bean oil      [shoyu + bean oil]

soya burger      [shoyu + burger]

soya flour      [shoyu + flour]

soya link      [shoyu + link]

soya meal      [shoyu + meal]

soya oil         [shoyu + oil]

soya sauce      [shoyu + sauce]

soya sausage      [shoyu + sausage]

soyate         a mixture of salts of fatty acids from soybean oil

soy(-)bean      the seed of an annula leguminous plant from which soy is made

soybean cutlet  

soybean cyst nematode       

soy(bean) flour    

soybean lecithin    

soybean meal    

soybean milk    

soybean oil     

soybean oil meal    

soybean sauce    

soybean soup     

miso soup    

soy biscuit      [shoyu + biscuit]

soy bottle      [shoyu + bottle]

soy burger      [shoyu + burger]

soy cyst nematode   [shoyu + cyst nematode]

soy flour         [shoyu + flour]

soy frame      [shoyu + frame]

soy ink         [shoyu + ink]

soy jam         [shoyu + jam]

soy lecithin      [shoyu + lecithin]

soy milk, soymilk   [shoyu + milk]

soy oil         [shoyu + oil]

soy oil meal      [shoyu + oil meal]

soy-pea         [shoyu + pea]

soy protein      [shoyu + protein]

soy sauce      [shoyu + sauce]

soy-sauce Ovington   [shoyu + sauce + Ovington]

Soya Coast       

Subaru         [trdn]

sudoite         after Sudo Toshio (1911-  ), Japanese mineralogist

sugamo         an aquatic plant grown as a fertilizer and for its fiber

sugi         a Japanese cedar, the largest tree of Japan

suiboku         a style of painting, using black ink on a white surface

suibokuga      [sui (water) + boku (Japanese ink) + ga (painting)]

suimono         a clear soup based on fish stock

suiseki         the Japanese art of arranging stones on a tray

sukiya         a tea ceremony arbor

sukiyaki         a Japanese dish of meat seasoned with soy sauce, tofu, and greens

sumi         Indian ink, a black ink-stick

sumi-e, sumie      black-ink painting

sumi-gaeshi      in Judo

sumimasen      I am sorry.

Sumitomo      [trdn]

sumo (wrestling)      a form of wrestling in Japan

sumodom      [sumo + -dom]

sumoist, somoist      a sumo wrestler

sumo(-)tori      a sumo wrestler

sumo wrestler      [sumo + wrestler]

sumo wrestling      [sumo + wrestling]

sun         a Japanese unit of length equivalent to 1.1 inches

Suntory         [trdn]

surimi         fish meat that is minced, processed, seasoned, and flavored

surimono      a small sized colour print

sushi         a dish consisting of small balls of rice and slices of raw fish

sushi bar      [sushi + bar]

sushiya         [sushi + ya (bar, shop)]

sutemi-waza      the technique of throwing from a lying position in Judo

suzu         a bell of brass and bronze

Suzuki         [trdn]

Suzuki (method)      after Shin’ichi Suzuki, Japanese violin teacher

suzuri         an inkstone

suzuribako      [suzuri + bako < hako (case)]


tabi         thick-soled ankle-socks

tachi         a long sword

tachiai         the initial charge in sumo wrestling

tachibana      a Japanese wild orange

Tago-Sato-Kosaka   a comet discovered by the three amateur astronomers in 1969

tai          a Pacific sea bream

taiko, taico      tycoon

taiko         cylindrical or barrel drums

tai-otoshi, T-      th body drop throw in Judo

Taira         a noted powerful family in Japanese history

tai-sabaki      in Judo

Taisho (period)      from 1912 to 1926

Taka-Diastase, Taka-diastase  after Jokichi Takamine (1854-1922), biochemist and instrialist

taka-makiye      a type of Japanese lacquering

Takatori pottery      a pottery made at Takatori, a village in Chikuzen province

Takayasu’s (disease)   after Michishige Takayasu (1872-1938), Japanese ophthalmologist

tamari, tamari (soy) sauce  a variety of rich soy sauce

tameshiwara      the destruction in animate objects by means of karate blows

tamo         an Asiatic tree, the wood of Japanese ash

tan         a Japanese unit of land area equal to 0.25 acre

Tanabata, t-      a festival held annually on July 7

Tanabata Matsuri   [tanabata + matsuri (festival)]

tanka         a Japanese form of verse of five lines

tansu         a chest of drawers

tanto         a short sword

tanuki         a badger

tatami, tattami, tatamee   a rush-covered straw mat used in Japanese homes

tatami-floored      [tatami (straw mat) + floored]

tatami mat      [tatami (straw mat) + mat]

tatami-matted      [tatami (straw mat) + matted]

tatami matting      [tatami (straw mat) + matting]

tatami room      [tatami (straw mat) + room]

tatari         a curse, an evil spell

tatemae         an apparent rule or principle

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  ninja

temmoku (bowl)      the Japanese name for a large type of Chinese porcelain

temmoku glaze      [Temmoku (a mountain in Zhejiang Province, China) + glaze]

Tempo (tsuho), tempo   an oval bronze coin issued in the first half of the 19th century [Tempo (the period 1831-45) + tsuho (circulating treasure)]

tempura   fried food    [probably from a Portuguese or Spanish word]

tempura bar      [tempura + bar]

tempura restaurant   [tempura + restaurant]

tempura-ya      [tempura + ya (shop)]

Tempyo (era)      from 729 to 749

Tendai (sect)      a Buddhist sect introducted into Japan from China

tengu         a long-nosed goblin; a boaster

tenko         a roll-call of prisonsers or a muster parade

tenmoku      temmoku

tenno, T-      a title for the emperor of Japan

Tenrikyo      a religious sect in Japan

teppan(-)yaki      a Japanese dish consiting of meat or fish fried with vegetables on a hot steel plate [teppan (iron plate) + yaki (grilling)]

tera         a Buddhist temple

terakoya      in the feudal period, a private elementary school

teriyaki         a Japanese dish of broiled meat or fish

teriyaki sauce      [teri (glaze) + yaki (grilling) + sauce]

Tetron         [trdn]

three K’s      kitanai, kitsui, kiken (dirty, difficult, dangerous)

to, to         a Japanese grain or liquid measure

toami         a Japanese cone-shaped cast net

tobira         an evergreen shrub, Pittsosporum tobira

tobira family      pittosporaceae [tobira (an evergreen shrub) + family]

todorokite      [Todoroki (a mine in Hokkaido) + -ite]

tofu         a curd made from mashed soy beans

tofutti         tofu ice-cream [tofu + -tti]

togidashi      a type of Japanese lacquering

Tojo          Japanese minister of war and prime minister; US Slang, a Japanese soldier

tokkin         in Japan, a type of short-term corporate investment fund

tokko         a kamikaze party

toko, tokko      tokonoma

tokonoma      a sort of a cupboard, raised about a foot above the floor

Tokugawa (n.)      the Tokugawa dynasty, their period of rule

Tokugawa (a.)      of the Japanese ruling dynasty (1603-1867)

Tokyo Bay      [Tokyo + Bay]

Tokyo Rose      nickname given during World War II to female announcers broadcasting from Radio Tokyo

Tokyo Round      the Tokyo Round (1973-79)

Tokyoite         a native or inhabitant of Tokyo

tomoe-nage      a circular throw in Judo

Tomonaga-Schwinger theory  after Shin’ichiro Tomonaga (1907-1979), Japanese physicist

tonari gumi, tonarigumi   [tonari (neighbourhood) + gumi < kumi (association)]

toneru   dummy    [toneru < tunnel]

tongue sushi      American slang, deep kiss (cf. French kiss)

tonfa         a karate weapon

tori         the active partner in the performance of a throw or other judo technique

torii (gate)      a ceremonial gateway in front of a Shinto shrine

toro         a hanging lantern, a garden lantern

Tosa fowl      after Tosa, the former name of a province on the island of Shikoku

Tosa (dog, hound)   a big brindle fighting dog, named after Tosa

Tosa picture      after Tosa Mitsunobu (1434-1525), the founder of this school

Tosa school      an aristocratic Japanese family of court painters who flourished after the 12th century, after Tosa Mitsunobu (1434-1525), the founder of this school

Toshiba         [trdn]

toyo         a shiny smooth straw made from shellacked rice paper and used especially for hats

Toyota         [trdn]

tsuba, tsupa      a Japanese sword-guard

tsubaki         a camellia

tsubo (坪)      a Japanese unit of land area

tsubo (壺)      a pot, a jar

tsuga, T-       a genus of Asiatic evergreen trees

tsugaresinol      [tsuga + -resinol]

Tsugaru lacquer      a variety of Japanese lacquer with marbled or veined effects in various colors

tsugi ashi      a style of moving in Judo

Tsukahara (tuck)      after Mitsuo Tsukahara (1947-), Japanese gymnast

Tsukahara vault      after Mitsuo Tsukahara (1947-), Japanese gymnast

tsukemono      preserved roots or leaves of certain vegetables

tsukuri         preparatory action in Judo

tsunami         a tidal wave

tsunamic      [tsu (harbor) + nami (wave) + -ic]

tsupa         tsuba

tsurikomi      a very low hip throw in Judo

tsurikomi-ashi      a throwing technique in Judo

tsurikomi-goshi      a throwing technique in Judo

tsurugi         a sword

Tsushima Current   [Tsushima (the islands of southwest Japan) + Current]

Tsushima Strait      [Tsushima (the islands of southwest Japan) + Strait]

tsutsugamushi (disease), Tsutugamushi disease  an acute febrile disease

tsutsugamushi (mite), Tsutsugamushimite    [tsutsugamushi + mite]

tsutsumu      the Japanese art of wrapping or packaging

Tsutsutsi      any of several Asiatic azaleas

tsuyu         the rainy season

tycoon         the title by which the Shogun of Japan was described to foreigners

tycoonate       [tai (great) + kun + -ate]

tycoonery       [tai (great) + kun + -ery]

tycooness      [tai (great) + kun + -ness]

tycoonish       [tai (great) + kun + -ish]

tycoonism       [tai (great) + kun + -ism]

tycoonship      [tai (great) + kun + -ship]

tyotei (1)      Chotei

tyotei (2)      peacemaking, settling a quarrel


uchi(-)mata      a inner-high throw in Judo

uchiwa         a flat fan

Uda antenna      after Shintaro Uda, Japanese electrical engineer

ude         in Judo, lit. arm

ude-garami      an armlock in Judo

ude-gatame      an armlock applied the straight arm of one’s opponent

udo          an ornamental plant cultivated in Japan and China as a vegetable

udon         a kind of noodle made from wheat flour

ugui          a kind of fish, same as akahara

uguisu         the Japanese nightingale

uji (氏)         birth, family, clan

uji (うじ)      a silkworm disease in Japan

Uji cha         [Uji (a town near Kyoto) + cha (tea)]

uji(-)fly         a tachinid fly of Japan

ujigami         the tutelary deity of a particular village or area

Ujimyia       uji-fly

uke         the passive partner in Judo

ukemi         the art of falling safely in Judo

uki         in Judo

uki-gatame      a ground hold applied after the opponent has been thrown

uki-goshi      a throwing technique in Judo

uki-otoshi      a hand technique in Judo

uki-waza      a sacrifice throw in Judo

ukiyo-(y)e      an art-form consisting of wood-block prints

umami         [uma < umai (delicious, sweet) + mi (taste)]

ume, mume      a plum tree

Unshu Mikan      [Unshu (the province in central Japan) + mikan (tangerine)]

ura-nage      a kind of throw in Judo

urushi         a Japanese lacquer tree, Japan lacquer

urushi tree      [urushi + tree]

urushic (acid)      [urushi + -ic]

urushinic acid      [urushi + -nic + acid]

urushiol         an oily phenolic liquid

urushiye      a Japanese color print

uta         a Japanese poem, tanka

utai         a lyrical drama

utchari         a throwing technique in sumo wrestling

utsubo         a kind of fish, a moray

uyoku         the Rightists



wa         social harmony, peace, unity

wabi         in Zen, a quality of simple, serene, and solitary beauty

wacadash      wakizashi

Wagwaryu       [wagwa (Yamato?) + ryu (school)]

Wagyu bull      [wa (Japanese) + gyu (bull) + bull]

Wagyu meat      [wa (Japanese) + gyu (bull) + meat]

Walkman      [trdn]

waka         a form of classic Japanese poetry

wakame         a brown seaweed, used as a cooking ingredient

Wakasa lacquer      [Wakasa (the province in central Japan) + lacquer]

wakizashi      a dagger, a short sword

warabi         a brake whose young fronds are eaten in Japan

waribashi      disposable, wooden chopsticks

wasabi         a Japanese herb, whose thick root is used in Japanese cooking

washi         [wa (Japanese) + shi (paper)]

waza-ari      a score of half a point in Judo, half an ipppon

wooden kimono      US slang, a coffin



yagi (antenna), Yagi (antenna), Yagi (aerial)   after Hidetsugu Yagi (1886-1976), Japanese electrical engineer

Yagi-Uda antenna     after Shintaro Uda, Japanese electrical engineer

yakiburger      [yaki < yaku (to roast) + burger]

yakitori         a piece of grilled chicken meat

yakitoriburger      [yaki < yaku (to grill) + tori (chicken) + burger]

yakkaigoto      [yakkai(na) (annoying) + goto < koto (thing)]

yakuza         a gangster or racketeer

yamabe       a mountain trout

Yamaha   [trdn]

Yamaguchi-gumi, y-   the name of the largest syndicate of organized crime

yamamai      a large Japanese silk-worm, silk produced by this worm

Yamato (race)      a Japanese of the principal racial stock of Japan

yamato-damashii, Y-   [Yamato (pure Japanese) + damashii < tamashii (spirit, soul)]

Yamato-(w)e      [Yamato (pure Japanese) + (w)e (painting)]

Yamato Mountains    

Yamato-ryu, Yamato-ryu     the style of art in Japan

Yamato school      the style or school of art in Japan

Yaohan Plaza      [trdn]

yappari         as one expected

yashiki         a mansion, a residence

yashiro         a Shinto temple

Yayoi         the mainly neolithic culture in Japan

Yayoi type      a type of early Japanese pottery

Yayoishiki      [Yayoi + shiki (type)]

Yeddo hawthorn      [Yeddo (the former name of Tokyo) + hawthorn]

Yeddo crepe       [Yeddo (the former name of Tokyo) + crepe]

Yeddo poplin      [Yeddo (the former name of Tokyo) + poplin]

Yeddo spruce      Yezo spruce

yen         a Japanese coin, the basic monetary unit of Japan


Yezo, Yedzo      the former name of Hokkaido

Yezo spruce      an ornamental evergreen tree [Yezo (now Hokkaido) + spruce]

yezomasu       [Yezo + masu (salmon)]

Yobi          the army reserve of Japan

Yokohama bean      [Yokohama (a city in central Japan) + bean]

Yokohama fowl      [Yokohama (a city in central Japan) + fowl]

Yokohama crape    [Yokohama (a city in central Japan) + crape]

yoko-shiho-gatame   a side four-corner hold in Judo

yokozuna      a grand champion sumo wrestler who wears a Shinto hawser

yo(n)dan       a degree of proficiency representing fourth Dan

yoshiki-no      [yo (Western) + shiki (style) + no (of)]

Yoshino lacquer    

Yoshino paper      [Yoshino (a town in central Honshu) + paper]

Yoshinoya      [trdn]

Yoshiwara      an area in Tokyo where brothels were officially recognized

yufu          a fabric made from the bark of the paper-mulberry tree

yugawaralite      [Yugawara (a town in central Honshu) + -lite]

yugen         a hidden quality of graceful beauty or mystery

yugenism      [yu (faint, vague) + gen (profound truth) + -ism]

yukata, Y-      a light cotton kimono

yukawa         unit of length, after Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), Japanese physicist??

Yukawa(-)meson    after Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), Japanese physicist

Yukawa force      after Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), Japanese physicist

Yukawa particles      after Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), Japanese physicist

Yukawa potential   after Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), Japanese physicist

yukon         [yuk < Yukawa + on < meson]

yusho         a rice oil disease, because the patients ate food cooked with contaminated rice oil

yuzen(-zome), Yuzen (birodo)  after Miyazaki Yuzen Sai (?-1758), Japanese cut velvet

Yuzen process      a secret process of dying a painted fabric


zabuton         a flat floor cushion

zaibatsu         a large industrial conglomerate, usually family-controlled

zaikai         financial circles, the business world

zaitech         speculative money management

zazen, Zazen      Zen meditation

Zen (Buddhism)      a Japanese school of Muhayana Buddhism

Zen Buddhist      [Zen + Buddhist]

zendo         a place for Zen Buddhist meditation and study

Zen Master      [Zen + master]

Zen roshi      [Zen + roshi (old sacred master)]

Zengakuren      an extreme left-wing movement

zenic         [Zen + -ic]

zenist, zennist      [Zen + -ist]

zensho         all wins in sumo wrestling

ziogoon           shogun

ziogoonship        shogunship

zogan         inlaying with gold or silver

zoku         a kinsman, a lobbyist

zori         a pair of thonged sandals with straw soles


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