Jisho: Stuff (objects, vehicles, furniture, etc.)

Order stuff at Japanese Style.

musical instruments

Den-den daiko A Japanese pellet drum. See Wikipedia.

Dizi A traditional Chinese transverse flute. See Wikipedia.

Ehru A traditional two-stringed Chinese instrument, in the huqin family. See Wikipedia.

Gaohu A Chinese stringed instrument developed from the ehru in the 1920s, for Cantonese opera. Part of the huqin family of instruments. See Wikipedia.

Guzheng A traditional Chinese plucked, 18-23 stringed instrument, the ancestor of the Japanese koto. See Wikipedia.

Huqin A family of bowed, usually two-stringed Chinese insruments. The family includes the ehru, zhonghu, gaohu, sihu (which has four strings), etc. See Wikipedia.

Koto A traditional Japanese plucked, 13-stringed instrument (the national instrument of Japan). Related to the Chinese guzheng. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Ocarina An ancient wind instrument, originating in China and Mesoamerica thousands of years ago, though the modern name "ocarina" originated in Italy in the 19th century. Also, one of the video games in the "Legend of Zelda" series is called "Ocarina of Time." See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Pipa An ancient Chinese plucked, four-stringed instrument. (Sparrow plays this in The Forbidden Kingdom.) See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Sanxian A traditional Chinese plucked, three-stringed lute, related to the Japanese shamisen. See Wikipedia.

Shakuhachi A kind of Japanese flute. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Shamisen Traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument, often used in kabuki plays and bunraku puppet theater (see arts & entertainments page). Related to the Chinese sanxian. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Taiko Great drum. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Yunluo "Cloud gongs." Traditional Chinese instrument, usually a set of ten gongs on a wooden frame. See Wikipedia.

toys, leisure items & such

Baoding balls Otherwise known as "Chinese Health Balls" (-Therapy balls, -Exercise balls, -Chigong balls, etc.), these originated in Baoding, China (see geography page) during the Ming Dynasty. Originally they were made of solid iron, though now they may be solid or hollow, made from various materials including iron, chrome, marble, jade, cloisonne, etc., they may come in various colors or with various designs painted on them, they may come with or without sounding plates or chimes within them which produce different tones. Well, the variety goes on and on. The point is, you twirl a pair of Baoding balls in one hand, which according to the Jingluo theory of channels running between acupuncture points and all the organs of the body, it stimulates the flow of chi or whatever, okay? The balls may be used as one type of practice of Qigong or "Chigong" (see philosophy page). See Wikipedia.

Bonseki Miniature Japanese Zen gardens made on trays. See also "karesansui" in the history & culture page. See Wikipedia.

Chinese finger trap or finger puzzle. I don't know any Chinese word for this, so if anyone does, please let me know. Anyway, they're pretty simple and fun. I'm sure most of you have tried one at some point, so you probably don't need me to explain them for you. Data got stuck in one in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Dee-Dee and Dexter got stuck together with one in an episode of Dexter's Lab. You may have seen them any number of other places in the media. You could maybe order one here, if you like. See Wikipedia.

Daruma A kind of spherical dolls without arms or legs. They represent Bodhidharma, who founded Zen Buddhism (see religion page) in China. Also the basis for yukidaruma (lower this page). See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Gashapon Capsule toys, or "candy toys," which come in vending machines or UFO catchers (see lower this page). They may also be bought as complete sets. Gashapon are generally of much higher quality than American capsule toys, and are often based on anime characters and such. See Wikipedia.

Hanafuda See games page.

Hina Doll. See also Hina Matsuri on the festivals page.

Kendama Japanese toy with a ball attached to a hammer & spike. Babbo from the anime MAR is an anthropomorphized kendama. See Wikipedia or Kids Web Japan (where you can play virtual kendama).

Ningyo Japanese traditional dolls. See Wikipedia. Also a type of water imp (see mythology page).

Omocha Toy.

Tamagotchi Made by Bandai, this is one of, if not the, origianl brands of digital (or virtual) pet. I don't really know what the word means, if anything at all. I'd appreciate it if anyone could educate me. I never owned one. All I know is after these things, lots of other digital pets hit the market, Gigapets and so forth. Nintendo made a digital Pikachu. I got Pikachu 2 GS. I also hear there was a digital Ryo-Ohki, from the Tenchi Muyo anime, and man would I love to get me one. Eventually Bandai made a new generation of digital pets, Tamagotchi Connection. Check out their website or see Wikipedia.


Bing Ma Yong Terracotta Warriors. A collection of statues in the mausoleum of Chinese emperor Qin. I daresay there are a number of movies and such fantasy stories in which terra cotta warriors are brought to life to serve as a real army. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Chabudai Low dining table or tea table, which people sit on cushions (zabuton) at or simply kneel at. See Wikipedia.

Chouchin Japanese paper lanterns. They are traditionally floated down a river on the last day of the Obon festival in the Toro-nagashi ceremony. (See festivals & traditions page.) Now, I'm no expert mind you, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the water/electric type pokemon "Chinchou," which evolves into "Lanturn," was probably named by juxtaposing the syllables in the word "chouchin." Are you with me? See Wikipedia.

Dekotora Decorated trucks. A trend in Japan in which trucks are extremely decked out. See Weirdomatic or Wikipedia.

Denwa Telephone. See also Keitai denwa.

Futon Bedding. It includes a mattress called a "shikibuton," made of a flexible material which can be folded or hung up when not in use; a comforter called a "kakebuton"; and a bean-filled pillow called a "makura." Western-style futons are loosely based on Japanese futons, but fairly different, most noticeably because they fold into couches. See About.com, Wikipedia, or Everything2.

Hanabi Fireworks.

Hashi Chopsticks. See Wikipedia or Everything2. See also waribashi.

Hashioki Chopstick rest. See Wikipedia.

Hibachi Brazier, or literally, "fire bowl." Before researching this entry, I always sort of thought it just meant "small grill," but as it turns out, hibachis come in many sizes and styles, can be made of metal, wood, or ceramic. They can be portable, but they can also be larger, and may look something like a coffee table, or other things, I guess. See Wikipedia.

Jidouhanbaiki (or "jihanki" for short). Vending machines. In Japan, these dispense everything you could possibly imagine, and also a great many things you couldn't (or wouldn't want to) imagine being sold in vending machines. See Wikipedia.

Kakebuton See futon.

Karakasa "Paper umbrella." (In Chinese it would be youzhi san.) However, this can also refer to kasa-obake, a type of tsukumogami (see mythology page).

Keitai denwa Mobile phone. "Keitai" means "to carry" and "denwa" means "telephone, so "ketai denwa" means "mobile phone," though cellphones are commonly called simply "keitai" for short. Keitai culture (see culture page for more info) is very big in Japan.

Koi-nobori Japanese carp wind socks, flags or streamers which are flown around Children's Day, May 5. Based on a Chinese legend about a courageous koi that was turned into a dragon. It occurs to me that this may be the basis for the pokemon "Magikarp" evolving into "Gyarados." See Wikipedia.

Kotatsu Heater-table. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Kusuri Medicine, drugs.

Makura See futon.

Maneki Neko is the Japanese beckoning cat (or fortune cat). The pokemon "Meowth" (and presumably the "Pay Day" attack) is based on maneki neko. See Everything2, TV Tropes, or Wikipedia.

Megane Glasses. See also meganekko (people page).

Rickshaw A two-wheeled cart pulled by a person to transport another person or goods. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Shikibuton See futon.

Shinbun or shimbun Newspapers. See Wikipedia or Everything2.

Shitajiki Under-sheet. Or "pencil board." Something placed under a sheet of paper as a surface for writing. They may have designs on them, such as from anime, and can be collectible. See Wikipedia.

Tatami Straw mat, a common type of floor covering. Neither shoes nor slippers are to be worn on tatami. See Wikipedia.

UFO Catcher A claw machine for trying to catch prizes of various sorts, usually plushes (especially super-deformed anime characters). I guess it may also refer to the prizes themselves. Of course, we have these things all over the place in America, but they're also quite popular in Japan.

Waribashi Disposable wooden chopsticks. See Everything2.

Youzhi san Chinese for "oil-paper umbrella." (In Japanese it would be karakasa.) See Wikipedia.

Yukidaruma Snowman, but with only two spheres rather than three. Somewhat modeled after daruma dolls.

Zabuton Floor cushion which one may sit or kneel on, perhaps while dining or drinking at the chabudai. See Wikipedia

See also: architecture & establishments, clothing, and martial arts (under "weapons & equipment")

Jisho Index