Category Archives: japanese-English Lexicon

Sushi: Japanese~English Lexicon (latest amended in October 2018, including history)

I thought that such a lexicon would become handy both for English-speaking newcomers and long term residents!

I wrote the Japanese pronunciation first, the Chinese (Japanese kanji) characters and the English translations.

Bear in mind that many varieties of sushi have many names depending on the Japanese region. These are the common names.
If you have a question I will be glad to investigate!

By sushi I meant everything used in making it, be it omnivorous or vegetarian!
As for name of fish and seafood see separate articles!Sushi

Traditional Japanese Fish & Seafood Classification

Akami/赤身: red-fleshed fish (tuna, bonito, etc)
Ebi-Kani:海老・蟹: crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, etc)
Gyoran/魚卵: Fish roe (salmon roe, etc)
Hikarimono/光り物: “shining fish” (scabbard fish, etc.)
Ika-Tako/烏賊・鮹: Squids (cuttlefish) and octopuses
Kai/貝: shellfish
Nagamono/長もの: “long fish” (eels, etc.)
Others/その他: squilla and sea urchins, sea slug (sea cucumber),seaweed, tamagoyaki, vegetables, etc.
Saamon/サーモン: salmons
Shiromi/白身: white-fleshed fish (sole, etc.)

Sushi History

Although “sushi” is presently written “寿司”, it is only a modern way of writing it (“ateji/当て字”, onomatopoetic writing).
The real kanji caharacters for “sushi” are “鮓”, that is the combination of “sakana/魚/fish” and “su/酢/vinegar”.
One can also find “sushi” written as “鮨”, a combination of “sakana/魚/fish” and “abura/脂/animal fat”, but it is actually the original word for “shokara/塩辛/salted fish or squid
Actually “sushi” is the abbreviation of “sppashi” which meant “sour”!
Sushi chronologically appeared as such:
-Narezushi /熟れ鮨 (Nara and Heian Eras, 710~1185), when it was introduced from Soth East Asia. Its mst famous representatives (still found in Japan) are: funazushi/鮒ずし/Crucian Carp fermented with rice in Shiga Prefecture, sabanarezushi/鯖なれずし/mackerel fermented in rice also in Shiga Prefecture (also called sabazushi/鯖ずし) and sanmanamanarezushi/さんまなまなれずし/fermented Pacific saury/sanma/秋刀魚 traditionally presented with three slices of fish (Mie Prefecture).
Note: Narezushi is the abbreviation of Namarezushi. The concept of sushi was then completed different of modern day sushi as such sushi was only to accompany freshly steamed rice or rice balls at meals. Sushi in those times were the equivalent of modern pickles.
-During the Heian and Kamakura Eras (epecially during the 12th=14th Centuries) appeared the single word “sushi” which meant “hanzushi飯ずし/steamed rice sushi” aand “Tsukemonozushi/漬物ずし/Pickled sushi”. A typicla Hanzushi was Hokkaido salmon sushi called “Sake no hanzushi/鮭の飯ずし”, Ishikawa Prefecture “Kaburazushi/かぶらずし” made with buri/鰤/yellowtail-Japanese amberjack and Osaka “Osakazushi” made with mackerel.
-The present Osaka Style sushi, Hakozushi/箱ずし also called “Oshizushi/押しずし” or sushi pressed inside a box and cut in rectangular or square pieces appeared durin the Muromachi Era (14th~16th Centuries).
At the same time appeared the “Bozushi/棒ずし/sushi in the shape of a log”, notably in Ehime Prefecture, although the fish was then fermented together with rice. Nowadays the whole fish is pressed above normal sushi rice.
Steamed rice blended with vinegar in particular as the base for sushi appeared in the middle of Edo area (18th Century then). Its best example was the “Sasamaki tenuke zushi/笹巻き手抜きずし”, when pickled seafood and else were laid on longish ric”stickks” and left to pickle for a short time rolled inside leaves.
-The modern form of sushi appeeared in Edo (presently Tokyo) under the name of Edomaezushi/Edomaenigirizushi/江戸前ずし・江戸前握りずし/finger pressed sushi (around 1820), but stayed confined to the Tokyo area for a long time before getting known all over Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. But sushi was almost exclusively using pickled or marinated “neta/topping” until the end of WWII. modern times with the advent of better refrigerated and preserved fresh food witnessed more and more fresh raw fish used in the making of sushi. Edomaezushi is still popular in Tokyo but foreign visitors in particular should realize it has become only a small part of the sushi world and remember that any of the 47 Japanese Prefectures has its own particular sushi and neta/topping to boast! Therefore nowadays sushi is more of a whole country gastronomic adventure!

Sushi presentations

Ankimo/安肝: frogfish/monkfish liver steamed in sake and served as firm paste. Also nicknamed “Japanese Foie gras”!
Bara sushi/ばら寿司(also called Gomoku sushi/五目寿司, Tekone zushi/手こね寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Battera Sushi/バッテラ寿司: from “bateira” in Portuguese.Traditional sushi made with spotted gizzard shad
Bougata/Bougata Sushi/棒型寿司 (also called Bou Suhi/棒寿司: Fish wholly placed onto a long rice ball or whole fish pressed over pressed rice/oshi zushi. Served whole or cut.
California Roll/カリフォルニアロル: Californian style sushi roll including at least some avocado. Can be presented rolled with the dry seaweed outside or inside (often sprinkled with roasted black sesame seeds in the latter case)
Chirashizushi/散らし寿司: “Decoration Sushi”. Usually home-made style sushi consisting of a large dish, wooden vessel filled with sushi rice and topped with all kinds of ingredients
Dashimaki/だし巻き: a variety of Japanese omelet served as a roll
Donburi/Sushi Donburi/丼, 丼寿司: Sushi served as bowl full of sushi rice topped with a single or many toppings
Edomaezushi/Edomaenigirizushi/江戸前ずし・江戸前握りずし: traditional Tokyo-style sushi which first appeared around 1820. The present form was born in 1947
Funa Zushi/鮒寿司: Pickled crucian carp sushi (one of the traditional Narezushi/熟れ鮨)
Futo Maki/Futo Maki Sushi/太巻, 太巻き寿司: Large sushi roll, traditionally including at least seven ingredients rolled inside. Served cut into thin slices.
Gomoku sushi/五目寿司 (also called Bara sushi/ばら寿司, Tekone zushi/手こね寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Gunkan/Gunkan Nigiri/Gunkan Nigiri Sushi/軍艦, 軍艦握り, 軍艦握り寿司: “mother Ship style sushi. The rice ball is wrapped with a narrow band of dry seaweed slightly higher than the rice ball to allow space for ingredients otherwise difficult to present as simple nigiri sushi.
Hanzushi/飯ずし: traditional sushi in Heian Era (794 to 1185 A.D)
Hoso maki/Hoso maki Sushi/細巻, 細巻き寿司: long and thin sushi roll, usually served cut, unless requested otherwise
Inari/Inari zushi/稲荷, 稲荷寿司: traditional sushi presentation where a pouch made of fried tofu is filled with sushi rice alone or mixed with finely cut ingredients to resemble a traditional rice pack
Kaburazusi/かぶらずし: Traditional sushi prepared in Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures
Kaki no Ha Sushi/柿の葉寿司: traditional pressed sushi enveloped inside persimmon leaves
Kanpyou Maki/干瓢巻: traditional dry gourd shavings sushi roll
Kappa Maki/河童巻: cucumber sushi roll (Kappa/Water goblin are supposed to be fond of cucumbers!)
Ko Donburi/Sushi Ko Donburi/子丼, 寿司子丼: small donburi/sushi bowl, popular with ladies
Maki/maki Sushi/巻き, 巻き寿司: sushi roll
Matsumae Sushi/松前寿司: traditional mackerel sushi presented in Bogata style
Mehari sushi/めはり寿司: traditional sushi balls enveloped inside pickled leaves
Millefeuille/ミルフィーユ: A modern sushi style reminiscent of a French mllefeuille
Miso Shiru/味噌汁: miso soup
Namarezushi/なまれずし: traditional sushi form in from Heian and Muromachi Eras ( 13th~14th century)
Narezushi/熟れ鮨: Original form of sushi imported from South eastern Asia (710~). Pickled fish was wrapped around sushi rice for transport away from the sea.
Negitoro Maki/ネギトロ巻き: sushi roll containing grated tuna fat belly flesh
Nigiri/Nigiri sushi/握り, 握り寿司: sushi made with a hand-made ball of sushi rice topped with any ingredient
Oshi Sushi/押し寿司: type of sushi popular in the Kansai region where the sushi rice and toppings are tightly pressed inside a mold instead of being manually pressed rice balls.
Piri Kara Hotate Maki/ピリ辛ホタテ巻き: sushi roll containing scallops in a spicy mayonnaise
Sabanarezushi/鯖熟れ鮨: Pickled mackerel carp sushi (one of the traditional Narezushi/熟れ鮨)
Saimaki/最巻: a traditional presentation for shrimp sushi
Rainbow Maki/レーンボー巻: a modern form of Futo maki/太巻/large roll containing seven ingredients rolled inside. Served in slices.
Sake/shake hanzushi/鮭飯ずし: traditional salmon sushi made in Hokkaido
Sanma namarezushi/秋刀魚なまれずし: traditional sushi made with fermented mackerel pike im Mie and Wakayama Prefectures
Sasamaki tenuke sushi/笹巻き手抜きすし: traditional form of sushi dating back from the beginning of the 18th Century
Shiba ebi no suruimi ire tamagoyaki/芝海老のすり身入れたmご焼き:Japanese omelet containing striped shrimp paste
Shiyokara/塩辛: salted fish or squid
Tekka Maki/鉄火巻き: tuna sushi roll
Tekone zushi/手こね寿司 (also called Bara sushi/ばら寿司, Gomoku sushi/五目寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Te-Maki/Te-Maki sushi/手巻き, 手巻き寿司: hand-rolled sushi, usually in the shape of a cone
Te-mari Zushi/手毬寿司: Sushi presented in small round balls, especially popular with ladies
Tamagoyaki/卵焼き: traditional Japanese omelet

Sashimi presentations

Moriawase/盛り合わせ: large assortment
O-Makase/お任せ: Chef7s choice
O-Tsukuri/お作り: Sashimi plate
Sukeroku Zushi/助六寿司: traditional combination of Inari sushi and Futo maki
Tataki/叩き: 1) sashimi served finely cut like a tartar style
2) the fish fillet, especially bonito, is first seared over a charcoal or straw fire, then plunged into cold water before being served sliced

Ingredients (other than fish and seafood)

Baniku/馬肉 (also called Sakura/桜): horsemeat
Goma/胡麻: Sesame seeds, golden or black, both roasted
Gomatare/胡麻たれ/: sesame seeds dressing
Kanpyou/干瓢: died gourd shavings
Kome/米: rice
Momiji/紅葉(also called Shikaniku/鹿肉): venison
Miso/味噌: fermented soy bean paste
Niika/煎烏賊: simmered squid
Nori/海苔: seaweed, dry seaweed
Sakura/桜(also called Baniku/馬肉): horsemeat
Satou/砂糖: sugar
Shouyu/醤油: soy sauce
Shikaniku/鹿肉 (also called Momiji/紅葉): venison
Su/酢: vinegar: rice vinegar
Tamago/卵: egg
Uzura no tamago/鶉の卵: quail eggs
Yasai/野菜: vegetables (s)
Wagyu/和牛: wagyu beef

Technical terms

Bettarazuke/べったら漬: a traditional sweet pickled daikon
Dashi/出し: Japanese-style soupstock (also called dashi Jiru/だし汁)
Gari/ガリ: pickled ginger
Konbujime/昆布締め: raw fish pickled between fresh seaweed sheets
Neta/ネタ: sushi balls/nigiri toppings
Shari/シャリ: the ball of rice in a nigiri sushi
Zuke/漬け: pickled or marinated

Vegetarian Sushi/Vegan Sushi Ingredients ( also see “Algae/Seaweed” below!)

Daikon/大根: Japanese large radish
Gobou/牛蒡 (includes Yama Gobou/山牛蒡): burdock root
Goma/胡麻: sesame seeds
Goya/ゴーヤ (also called Niga uri/苦瓜 ): bitter gourd/ goya
Himesoba/姫蕎麦 (also called Soba no Me/蕎麦の芽): buckwheat sprouts
Kaiware daikon/カイワレ大根: daikon sprouts
Kanpyou/干瓢: dried gourd shavings
Kappa Maki/河童巻: cucumber sushi roll
Kinoko/茸:mushroom (s)
Kyuuri/胡瓜: cucumber
Matsutake/松茸: matsutake mushroom
Me/芽: Sprouts
Menegi/目ネギ: leek sprouts
Miso/味噌: fermented soy bean paste
Mitsuba/三つ葉: a trefoil
Myouga/茗荷: myoga ginger
Nameko: 滑子: nameko mushroom(s)
Nattou/納豆: fermented soy beans
Negi/葱: leek
Niga uri/苦瓜 (also called Goya/ゴーヤ): bitter gourd/ goya
Shiitake/椎茸: shiitake mushroom
Shyouga/生姜: ginger
Soba no Me/蕎麦の芽 (also called Himesoba/姫蕎麦): buckwheat sprouts
Takuan/沢庵: traditional pickled Japanese radish
Ume/梅: Japanese plum. Can be eaten only processed, not raw
Umeboshi/梅干: pickled (salt-pickled) Japanese plums
Ume Natto/梅納豆: a traditional combination of pickled Japanese plum and fermented soy beans
Yasai/野菜: vegetable(s)


-Konbu/昆布, or Laminariaceae Bory (Latin), comprises many varieties, some of them regional: Makonbu or Saccharina japonica(真昆布), Onikonbu or Laminaria diabolica(羅臼昆布), Rishiri Konbu or Laminaria ochotensis(利尻昆布), Hosome Konbu or Laminaria religiosa(細目昆布), Hitaka or Mitsuishi Konbu or Laminaria angustata(日高昆布、三石昆布), Naga or Hamanaka Konbu or Laminaria longissima(長昆布、浜中昆布), and Kagome or Kjellmaniella crassifolia(籠目昆布).
-Hijiki or hiziki (ヒジキ, 鹿尾菜 or 羊栖菜, hijiki) (Sargassum fusiforme, or Hizikia fusiformis) is a brown sea vegetable growing wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea, and China. Its two names mean deer-tail grass and sheep-nest grass respectively.
-Hibatama or Fucus, a genus of brown alga in the Class Phaeophyceae to be found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores almost everywhere in the world.
-Hondawara or ホンダワラ(馬尾藻、神馬藻 (Sargassum fulvellum)
-Mozuku, or Cladosiphon okamuranus (水雲; 藻付; 海蘊; 海雲) , a type of edible seaweed in the genus Cladosiphon, naturally found in Okinawa, Japan. Most of the mozuku now is farmed by locals, and sold to processing factories. The main use of mozuku is as food, and as source of one type of sulfated polysaccharide called Fucoidan to be used in cancer treatment aid health supplements.
-Wakame (ワカメ), Undaria pinnatifida, a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. In Japan it is most widely used in miso soup.

-Asakusa Nori, or アサクサノリ(浅草海苔 (Porphyra tenera).
-Tengusa/天草, which gives agar agar, a gelatinous substance. Historically and in a modern context, it is chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Japan, but also as solid jelly used as decoration in salads and others.
-Aosa/碧草 or sea lettuce comprising comprise the genus Ulva, a group of edible green algae that are widely distributed along the coasts of the world’s oceans.
-Aonori /青海苔 ,アオノリ, “blue seaweed” or “green seaweed”), also known as green laver, a type of edible green seaweed, including species from the genera Monostroma and Enteromorpha of Ulvaceae. It is commercially cultivated in some bay areas in Japan, such as Ise Bay. It contains rich minerals such as calcium, magnesium, lithium, vitamins, and amino acids such as methionine.
-Umibudou/海葡萄: or sea grapes from Okinawa, a delicacy of its own!

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents