8.8. Invertebrates


8.8.1. Molluscans


All of the molluscans listed here except snails are edible. (Escargots are not so popular in Japan.)

(ta)(ko)
tako
octopus

(i)(ka)
ika
squid

(ha)(ma)(gu)(ri)
hamaguri
clam

(a)(sa)(ri)
asari
short-necked clam

For your interest: This is the most popular shellfish in Japan.

(si)(zi)(mi)
sizimi
corbicula

For your interest: Corbiculas are small shellfish often used for miso soup.

(ho)(ta)(te)
hotate
scallop

(ka)(ki)
kaki
oyster

Note: This word has a different accent from persimmon.

The five words above are all (ka)(i) /ka' i/ "kai" (shellfish).

(ka)(ta)(tu)(mu)(ri)
katatumuri
snail


8.8.2. Crustaceans


(ka)(ni)
kani
crab

(e)(bi)
ebi
shrimp, lobster


8.8.3. Insects


Japanese has many words for (mu)(si) "musi" (insect) because insect's sound is as evaluated as bird's song. There are not always good English translations.

(ka)(bu)(to)(mu)(si)
kabutomusi
beetle (found in forests)

Note: This word is used only for beetles with a big horn found in forests. It is the combination of (ka)(bu)(to) "kabuto" (warrior's helm) and (mu)(si) "musi" (insect). The English word beetle has much wider meaning.

(ku)(wa)(ga)(ta)
kuwagata
stag beetle

For your interest: (ka)(bu)(to)(mu)(si) "kabutomusi" and (ku)(wa)(ga)(ta) "kuwagata" are so evaluated as pets in Japan that one beetle can cost 50,000 yen.

(ko)(o)(ro)(gi)
rogi
cricket

(ki)(ri)(gi)(ri)(su)
kirigirisu
a kind of grasshopper

(se)(mi)
semi
cicada

For your interest: Cicadas are very common in the summer in Japan. There are many kinds of cicada such as (a)(bu)(ra)(ze)(mi) "aburazemi", (mi)(n)(mi)(n)(ze)(mi) "minminzemi", (hi)(gu)(ra)(si) "higurasi", and (tu)(ku)(tu)(ku)(bo)(u)(si) "tukutukusi". Most Japanese people can distinguish them by hearing their sound.

(ti)(small yo)(u)
tyô
butterfly

Note: The word (ti)(small yo)(u)(ti)(small yo) "tyôtyo" also means butterfly. It is better when you want to avoid confusion with the word for intestines.

(ga)
ga
moth

(to)(n)(bo)
tonbo
dragonfly

(a)(ri)
ari
ant

(ha)(e)
hae
fly

(ka)
ka
mosquito



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Copyright(C) TAKASUGI Shinji (ts@sf.airnet.ne.jp)