Talk:List of English words of Japanese origin/contentious words

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Here's the list as of [1]

I'm trying to organise each section under three headers, where we can move them around as we decide. Please add your own comments. Note that I'm in the UK, and I expect the US slant on these to be different. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Arts[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

karaoke 
カラオケ About this soundlisten , "empty orchestra"; entertainment where an amateur singer accompanies recorded music.
keep Common word and practice in the UK. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
keep LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
manga 
まんが or 漫画 About this soundlisten , Japanese comics; refers to comics in general in Japanese
keep Fairly common in the UK. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
keep LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
origami 
折り紙, artistic paper folding
keep Common word and practice in the UK. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
All three of these are sufficiently well-understood by most English speakers to qualify as true loanwords IMO. The toughest call is manga, but the slight difference in meaning (comics in general versus Japanese comics in particular) clinches it for me. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:56, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
keep LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably (IMHO) acceptable for inclusion[edit]

bokeh 
(from ぼけ boke), subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of an image projected by a camera lens.
Unknown, no comment. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
bunraku[1]
文楽, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre, performed by puppeteers, chanters, and shamisen players.
keep This is highly obscure, but amongst puppeteers (I hang around with puppeteers) this style of life-size puppets worked by a single (visible) operator directly alongside them is termed bunraku in UK practice. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Are these two possibly jargon rather than genuine additions to the language? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:56, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I haven't heard "bunraku" used outside of my Japanese classes. And this is the first time I ever heard of "bokeh" LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:27, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Blumenthal, Eileen (2005). Puppetry and Puppets. Thames & Hudson. p. 81. ISBN 0-500-51226-4. describes a 1983 Netherlands performance The Trees of Life by Figurentheater Triangel with "bunraku-type puppets". p. 43 also suggests that it's a fairly common form amongst street performers in Buenos Aires (dancer and bunraku puppet partner). Andy Dingley (talk) 15:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
otaku 
オタク or おたく or ヲタク, a geeky enthusiast, especially of anime and manga (note that the Japanese usage has a much stronger negative connotation than the Western usage).
keep Common word and practice in the UK, at least in comic shops. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd disagree with this: the term was sufficiently unfamiliar for a general English audience that, for instance, the character of Otacon in Metal Gear Solid had to be provided with a significant additional explanation in the English release explaining his name. It's not a word I'd expect to see used without such an explanation outside of specialist publications in English. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:56, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I am on the fence about this one. LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Metal Gear Solid dates (AFAIK) from 14 years ago. Things have changed since then. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:42, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Recognised as commonly in use, but is the concept absorbed into non-Japanese culture?[edit]

bonsai 
盆栽 About this soundlisten , "tray gardening"; the art of tending miniature trees.
week keep In common UK use, but the concept is still clearly the Japanese concept. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
haiku 
俳句 About this soundlisten , a very short poem consisting of three lines of 5, 7, and 5 morae (not syllables as commonly thought) each; see also tanka below.
Both of the above are sufficiently well-understood by single-language English speakers to qualify as genuine loan words. It doesn't really matter that the concepts themselves are still perceived to be Japanese: what matters is that English speakers have, by and large, chosen to adopt the Japanese words for them over their own. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:03, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Chris on this one for haiku and bonsai. LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:24, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
netsuke[2]
根付, a toggle used to tie the sash of a kimono also to attach small items such as inro and kinchaku: sometimes beautifully carved.
Jargon at best. I doubt this is commonly-understood. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:03, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Common enough in the UK that the Antiques Roadshow are happy to use it unexplained. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Used in reference to the Japanese practice, but is the concept at all common outside Japan?[edit]

ikebana 
生花, flower arrangement.
Not in common use. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
imari[3]
伊万里, Japanese porcelain wares (made in the town of Arita and exported from the port of Imari, particularly around the 17th century).
I don't see this as being a loan word: it's named after a geographic location. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
It has far more significance than just geography though. It's a well-known style of porcelain, exported into the UK and collected in the 18th century (Satsuma similarly). Its influence also shows up in home-produced Crown Derby wares. This is only going to be known amongst antique collectors, but within that group it's a well-known term. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say it wasn't a well-known word. I said that I didn't think it was really a loan word on accounts of following a very common structure for products manufactured in a particular geographic region. I don't think names structured in this format are typically considred to be loan words, not least because they're often protected against generalisation (e.g. Champagne). Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:33, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Look at the Crown Derby pieces though. They're described as "imari", despite having lost any connection to a Japanese location. It's like Bulgarian Champagne - EC rules notwithstanding, we take this "methode champenois" wine and call it champagne, knowing that it is similar in function but no longer has any geographical link. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:19, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
kabuki[4]
歌舞伎, a traditional form of Japanese theatre.
Source added to the article to suggest that this finds common use in political metaphor in the United States at least. Definite keeper. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Keep per Chris. LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
kakemono[5]
掛け物, a vertical Japanese scroll, of ink-and-brush painting or calligraphy, that hangs in a recess on a wall inside a room.
kakiemon[6]
柿右衛門, Japanese porcelain wares featuring enamel decoration (made in Arita, using the style developed in 17th century by 酒井田 柿右衛門 Sakaida Kakiemon).
Not in common use. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
kirigami 
切り紙, similar to origami, but involves cutting in addition to folding.
I don't think this is as commonly understood as origami. In general, this is simply referred to as papercraft in English AFAIK. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
koto[7]
琴, a traditional stringed musical instrument from Japan, resembling a zither with 13 strings.
makimono[8]
巻物, a horizontal Japanese hand scroll, of ink-and-brush painting or calligraphy
noh[9]
, a major form of classical Japanese music drama
senryu (senryū
川柳, a form of short poetry similar to haiku.
shamisen[10]
三味線, a three-stringed musical instrument, played with a plectrum.
sumi-e 
墨絵, a general term for painting with a brush and black ink.
tanka 
短歌, "short poetry"; an older form of Japanese poetry than haiku, of the form 5-7-5-7-7 morae (not syllables; see also haiku above).
ukiyo-e 
浮世絵, a type of woodblock print art or painting.
Against I collect woodblocks. Only amongst other collectors do I hear this word used. Likewise sumi-e. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think any of these seven would be commonly understood. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with Chris. The only reason why I know any of these is because of classes I have taken on the subjects. LlamaDude78 (talk) 14:51, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Business[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably (IMHO) acceptable for inclusion[edit]

kanban[11]
看板, literally a "signal" or "sign" signals a cycle of replenishment for production and materials and maintains an orderly and efficient flow of materials throughout the entire manufacturing process. Part of Six Sigma
One of a large number of quality system terms used in industry, of Japanese origin but adopted, usually under their original name, as the practice appears in the West. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
tycoon 
(from 大君 "taikun"), "great prince" or "high commander", later applied to wealthy business leaders
zaibatsu 
財閥, a "money clique" or conglomerate
Mostly used in fiction or serious economic discussion, but this term is fairly commonly used in the UK, and it's applied extensively to non-Japanese companies (especially South Korean) too. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Too obscure[edit]

karoshi 
(Japanese: 過労死 death by overwork / stress death)
keiretsu 
系列, a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings
OffJT 
オフジェーティー ofujētī, "off the job training", means "training outside the workplace"

Clothing[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

kimono 
着物, a traditional full-length robe-like garment still worn by women, men and children
Long history in the UK, since around 1870, and so misunderstood as to have become thoroughly naturalised by now. Although the British can't tell a kimono from a cheongsam or an ao dai, the word is used. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Used in reference to the Japanese practice, but is the concept at all common outside Japan?[edit]

geta[12]
下駄, a pair of Japanese raised wooden clogs worn with traditional Japanese garments, such as the kimono
inro[13]
印籠 inrō, a case for holding small objects, often worn hanging from the obi; (traditional Japanese clothes didn't have pockets)
Oppose Not uncommon amongst collectors and the antique trade (although not so common as netsuke), but only used in this context and still not understood widely. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
obi[14]
帯, a wide belt which is tied in the back to secure a kimono
zori[15]
草履 zōri, sandals made from rice straw or lacquered wood, worn with a kimono for formal occasions

Culinary[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably[edit]

adzuki,[16] azuki bean[17]
あずき or 小豆 About this soundlisten , type of bean grown in eastern Asia and the Himalayas, used in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines, usually served sweet
Found in "health food" cookbooks going back to the early '70s. Rarely cooked in the sweetened forms of their native cuisine. This is a bean that has entered the culture and brought its word along with it, but not its recipes. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
bento 
弁当 bentō, a single-portion takeout meal, box lunch
Best known amongst hipsters and my parent's generation wouldn't know it, but you will find bento on the high streets of most decent UK cities these days. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
edamame 
枝豆, soybeans boiled whole in the green pod and served with salt
as for bento. Andy Dingley (talk)
fugu 
河豚 or フグ, the meat of the toxic pufferfish, must be prepared by specially trained chefs by law. Also means pufferfish itself.
Not eaten, but known. Andy Dingley (talk)
ginkgo 
銀杏 or ぎんなん ginnan, a gymnospermous tree (Ginkgo biloba) of eastern China that is widely grown as an ornamental or shade tree and has fan-shaped leaves and yellow fruit (the word is derived from 17th Century Japanese 銀杏 ginkyō)
Fairly well known, at least in health food shops. Andy Dingley (talk)
hibachi 
火鉢, a small, portable charcoal grill; used in North America to refer to a teppan or a small shichirin-like aluminium or cast iron grill
Commonly used, no-one realises it's Japanese. That's the mark of an absorbed word. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
miso 
味噌, a thick paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt
As for bento, for miso soup at least. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
ramen 
ラーメン rāmen, the Japanese version of Chinese noodle soup, not limited to the instant variety
sake 
About this soundlisten ,nihon-shu(日本酒), an alcoholic beverage, brewed from rice. In Japanese, the word commonly refers to alcoholic drinks in general
satsuma 
(from 薩摩 Satsuma, an ancient province of Japan), a type of mandarin orange (mikan) native to Japan
Common in the UK since the 19th century. So common that few would now recognise the Japanese origin. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
tempura 
てんぷら or 天麩羅, classic Japanese deep fried batter-dipped seafood and vegetables. The word may be from Portuguese tempêro/seasoning.[18]
Increasingly common amongst foodies outside the original Japanese context. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
tofu 
豆腐 tōfu About this soundlisten  bean curd. Although the word is originally Chinese, it entered English via Japanese.
What else are you going to call it? Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
umami 
旨味 or うま味, the taste sensation produced by some condiments such as monosodium glutamate; a basic flavor in sea weed (昆布 kombu)
Recent adoption, but now very common. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Probably not[edit]

arame 
荒布, a type of edible seaweed
daikon 
大根, a kind of white radish
I can buy them in a supermarket, and there's no other name used for them. Is that close enough? Andy Dingley (talk) 14:55, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
dashi 
だし or 出汁, a simple soup stock considered fundamental to Japanese cooking
enokitake, enoki mushroom 
えのきたけ or 榎茸, long, thin white mushrooms, used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines
gyoza 
ギョーザ or 餃子 gyōza, Japanese name for Chinese dumplings, jiaozi (jiǎozi); may also be called pot stickers in English if they are fried
hijiki 
ひじき or 鹿尾菜, a type of edible seaweed commonly found on rocky coastlines
katsuo 
鰹, a skipjack tuna
katsuobushi 
かつおぶし or 鰹節, dried and smoked skipjack tuna (katsuo), which is shaved and then used in dashi
koji 
麴 or 麹 kōji, a fungus which is the active agent in the fermentation processes, of producing miso and soy sauce from soybeans, and of producing sake and shōchū from rice.
kombu 
昆布, dried kelp, which can be eaten or used as dashi
matsutake 
松茸, a type of edible mushroom, with a magnificently spicy aroma similar to cinnamon, considered to be a great delicacy and the most coveted mushroom in Japan
mirin 
味醂, an essential condiment of the Japanese cuisine, a kind of rice wine similar to sake with a slightly sweet taste
mizuna 
水菜, an edible plant, with flavor akin to the mustard plant
nappa, napa cabbage 
菜っ葉, Chinese cabbage, (in Japan, it is a generic term for leaf vegetables.)
nashi (pear) 
梨, a species of pear native to eastern Asia, which are juicy, round and shaped like apples. Often simply referred to as "asian pear(s)".
"Asian pear" or even "duck pear" is known, but not nashi
nori 
海苔, food products created from the seaweed laver by a shredding and rack-drying process that resembles papermaking.
panko 
パン粉, Japanese white bread flakes. Panko is made from bread without crusts, thus it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading found in Western cuisine.
sashimi 
刺身, a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of the freshest raw seafoods thinly sliced and served with only a dipping sauce and wasabi.
shabu shabu 
しゃぶしゃぶ, a meal where each person cooks their own food in their own cooking pot from an assortment of raw ingredients
shiitake mushroom 
しいたけ or 椎茸 About this soundlisten , an edible mushroom typically cultivated on the shii tree
shoyu 
醬油 or 醤油shōyu, Japanese soy sauce
soba 
蕎麦 or ソバ, thin brown buckwheat noodles
soy 
from shoyu 醤油
Oppose Common in the UK, but I think the origins are from China, not Japan. Japanese soy variants (shoyu, tamari) are still obscure. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
sukiyaki 
すき焼き or スキヤキ, a dish in the nabemono-style (one-pot), consisting of thinly sliced beef, tofu, konnyaku noodles, negi, Chinese cabbage (bok choy), and enoki mushrooms among others
surimi 
すり身 or 擂り身, processed meat made from cheaper white-fleshed fish, to imitate the look of a more expensive meat such as crab legs
sushi 
鮨 or 鮓 or 寿司, a dish consisting of vinegared rice combined with other ingredients such as raw fish, raw or cooked shellfish, or vegetables
takoyaki
たこ焼, たこ焼き, or 章魚焼き, literally fried or baked octopus
tamari 
溜まり or たまり, liquid obtained by pressing soybeans
teppanyaki 
鉄板焼き, a type of Japanese cuisine that uses a hot iron griddle (teppan) to cook food
teriyaki 
照り焼き or テリヤキ, a cooking technique where fish or meat is being broiled/grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade; in Japanese, it is used exclusively refer to poultry cooked in this manner.
udo 
ウド or 独活, an edible plant found on the slopes of wooded embankments, also known as the Japanese Spikenard
udon 
うどん or 饂飩, a type of thick wheat-based noodle
umeboshi 
梅干, pickled ume
wakame 
ワカメ or 若布, a type of edible kelp, often used in miso soup (Japan), and salads
wasabi 
わさび or 山葵, a strongly flavoured green condiment commonly known as Japanese horseradish
yakitori 
焼き鳥 or 焼鳥, a type of chicken kebab

Government and politics[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably (IMHO) acceptable for inclusion[edit]

mikado[19]
帝, a dated term for "emperor"; specifically for the Emperor of Japan
Another one that came to England with the first wave of Japonisme in the 1870s, no-one knows what it means, but it's widely recognised as a word. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
shogun[20]
将軍 shōgun About this soundlisten , the title of the practical ruler of Japan for most of the time from 1192 to the Meiji Era
When it can be used decontextualised as a car model name, that's a word that has already entered the language. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Would the man on the street be able to give even an approximately correct answer to "what is a shogun" if asked, other than "a type of 4WD"? A brand name is simply a brand name. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
The "man on the street" would probably get as close as "Chinese emperor" or somesuch. Which isn't really that far from the truth, as an "oriental potentate", filtered through the man on the street's usual inaccuracies. James Clavell's novel came out in the mid '70s. Oddly, from his other novel titles, tai-pan hasn't become anywhere near as well-known (it had a flurry of use after a Somerset Maugham novel in the '20s) and even gaijin isn't well enough known to appear on this page. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:53, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Probably not[edit]

daimyo[21]
大名 daimyō, "great names"; the most powerful Japanese feudal rulers from the 12th century to the 19th century
genro[22]
元老 genrō, retired elder Japanese statesmen, who served as informal advisors to the emperor, during the Meiji and Taisho eras

Martial arts[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably (IMHO) acceptable for inclusion[edit]

These arts are well-recognised.

judo[23]
柔道 judō, refers to the Olympic sport.
jujutsu[24]
柔術 jūjutsu
karate[25]
空手
sumo[26]
相撲 sumō

Probably not[edit]

Not well-known arts (in comparison to judo)

aikido[27]
合気道 aikidō
kendo[28]
剣道 kendō

Religion[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

All of these are widely known and used amongst people who wish to discuss a bonze passing a torii (which would be an ecumenical matter). However not many British need to talk about such things, or have absorbed the concept outside of its original context.


Probably[edit]

zen 
禅, from Chinese 禪 (Mandarin Chán), originally from ध्यान Sanskrit Dhyāna / Pali झन Jhāna, a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism.
This is about the only one with any common (if usually misunderstood) use. Andy Dingley (talk)
koan[29]
公案 kōan, a paradoxial story or statement used during meditation in Zen Buddhism
Popular amongst hipsters, if not the general population. Brian Eno used it as the brandname for a music generation program in the '90s. Admittedly Brian Eno (the Chuck Norris of music) is all-knowing and all-wise anyway, but it shows that he thought the term had enough widespread recognition back then to be a useful name. Andy Dingley (talk)
Further developed into the hacker koan, which is sufficiently devolved from the original Buddhist definition to warrant calling this claimed. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:21, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
satori[30]
悟り, enlightenment in Zen Buddhism
If the West Coast beat poets could use this in the 1950s, then it's fairly well adopted by now. Andy Dingley (talk)

Probably not[edit]

bonze[31]
(from 凡僧 bonsō), a Buddhist monk
shinto[32]
神道 shintō, the native religion of Japan
torii[33]
鳥居, traditional Japanese gates commonly found at the gateway to Shinto shrines

Other[edit]

Agreed as included[edit]

Agreed as excluded[edit]

Under discussion[edit]

Probably[edit]

futon 
(from 布団, a flat mattress with a fabric exterior stuffed with cotton, wool, or synthetic batting that makes up a Japanese bed.)
Widespread, in a form different from the original.Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
geisha 
芸者, traditional Japanese artist-entertainers
Misunderstood, but in use. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
honcho[34]
班長 hanchō, head, chief
Very common, no-one recognises the Japanese origin, thoroughly absorbed. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
kamikaze[35]
神風, the literal meaning is "divine wind"; used to refer to a Japanese soldier in World War II who crashed an airplane into an target, committing suicide; also refers to the airplane used in the suicide crash
Very common, even when misused. Also harikiri, but not seppuku Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
koi 
鯉, Western usage: ornamental varieties of the common carp (but in Japan this just means "carp" – the ornamental variety are called "nishikigoi" 錦鯉)
Common Andy Dingley (talk)
kudzu 
(from 葛 or クズ kuzu) A climbing vine found in the south-eastern US, which is native to Japan and south-eastern China
Unknown in the UK, but creeping through the US Andy Dingley (talk)
moxibustion 
(from moxa + (com)bustion), an oriental medicine therapy which involves the burning of moxa (see above)
In alternative health circles, fairly well known Andy Dingley (talk)
rickshaw 
(from 人力車 jinrikisha/ninryokusha), a human-pulled wagon
sayonara 
左様なら or さようなら sayōnara the Japanese term for "goodbye" (note, though, that in Japanese, it has formal and final connotations: one would not say it if one expects to meet again soon)
Uncommon, but in use.
shiatsu 
指圧, a form of massage
Well known, even if not widely practised. Andy Dingley (talk)
skosh[36]
A small amount, from 少し or すこし sukoshi, meaning "a bit" or "a few"
Etymology uncertain as to whether it's the same origin, but this is used in Liverpool and (AFAIK) Glasgow. Andy Dingley (talk)
sudoku 
数独 sūdoku About this soundlisten , a number placement puzzle, also known as Number Place in the United States.
tsunami 
津波, literally "harbour wave"; Large wave caused by earthquakes or other underwater disturbances.
urushiol 
(from 漆 or うるし urushi, a plant that gives a skin rash on contact) a chemical substance found in poison-ivy, used to make lacquer-ware
An English language chemical term for the ingredient, derived from the Japanese term urushi for the finished wares. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


Probably not[edit]

akita 
秋田 (from 秋田犬, akitainu or akitaken), the Akita Inu, a large breed of Japanese dog
domoic acid 
(from ドウモイ doumoi in the Tokunoshima dialect of Japanese: a type of red algae)
hentai 
変態 About this soundlisten , Western usage: pornographic Anime, usually either Japanese in origin or drawn in a Japanese style; Japanese usage: metamorphosis, transformation, abnormality, or perversion
I would argue that this has been fully adopted as a generic term for "cartoon pornography" in the English-speaking West, and not necessarily with any Japanese connotations (other than that Japan is an, erm, prolific exporter of such works). Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
katsura (tree) 
桂, large deciduous trees, native to eastern Asia
kawaii 
可愛い, cute and/or lovely.
In use in some circles, but perhaps not as well known as otaku. Andy Dingley (talk)
I wouldn't argue that this is at all widely-understood outside of specialist circles. There are plenty of English words for the same thing. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
mottainai 
勿体ない, wasteful.
moxa 
もぐさ or 艾 mogusa, mugwort or cotton wool or other combustible material, burned on skin during moxibustion
sensei 
先生, the Japanese term for "master", "teacher" or "doctor". It can be used to refer to any authority figure, such as a schoolteacher, professor, priest, or politician.
Very likely to be understood by that portion of the editing community which watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Saturday mornings during the Eighties, but I wouldn't think it to be generally understood. The language already has plenty of equaivalent words. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Probably better known in the martial arts community than turtles. I know of no equivalent word in English. Amongst those who use it at all, the additional connotations of the meaning are used very specifically and with great care. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:56, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
The Turtles were martial artists. :) Seriously, though: martial arts incorporate dozens of bits of terminology directly from the original language, but these should probably be considered jargon if their use is specific to that activity. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 15:31, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
shiba inu 
柴犬, the smallest of the six original and distinct Japanese breeds of dog
tanuki 
狸, the Japanese name for the animal, Nyctereutes procyonoides, known as a raccoon dog in English
See List of fictional badgers and talk: for some more discussion of this. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

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