Common Japanese Terms

Common Japanese words that you'll see in my journals.

Around the House

Futon: traditional flat Japanese bed.

Tatami: bamboo woven into mats for the floor

Shoji: a paper or glass sliding door

Manshon: (mansion) a highrise building that contains many apartments


Sushi: raw fish with rice, usually served with wasabi and pickled ginger

Sashimi: raw fish without rice, usually with a dipping sauce

Norimaki: rice with fish and/or vegetables rolled in seaweed and sliced.

Onigiri: rice balls stuffed with various things

Cha: tea

Maccha: powdered green tea, used for drinking, in tea ceremonies, and for ice cream

Nori: sheets of dry seaweed

Wakame: shredded dry seaweed

Daikon: a large, mild radish

Soba: buckwheat noodles, often served cold

Tenpura: lightly batter fried seafood and vegetables

Udon: thicker noodles,served cold or hot

Sukiyaki: beef, vegetables and shirataki or konnyaku (yam noodles) cooked in a hotpot and dipped in raw egg

Nabe: a hotpot of various things

Nattou: fermented soybeans. I have never had this, and the reviews I hear are mixed.

Miso: soy paste used for cooking

Wasabi: nuclear Japanese horseradish

Sake: rice wine, served hot or cold

Mirin: sweet rice wine for cooking

Around the City

Densha: an above ground train, like the JR trains

Shinkansen: bullet train

Chikatetsu: the subway

Meitetsu: The local train line that runs through Komaki.

Izakaya: A little bar that serves various appetizers

Daimaru: Big Circle A name of a massive chain of department stores that have good restaurants at the top.


Keitai: cel phone. but not just any cel phone; these things take photographs, recieve email, and all sorts of things.

Manga: comic books. These range from mild children's fare to hard core porn. There's a little something for everybody.

Anime: cartoons in both movie and television form. Often based on manga or books, and like manga, they cover the whole spectrum of topics and age groups. Anime in Japan refers to all animation everywhere in the world; Americans use it in reference to Japanese animation only.

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