Japanese Loanwords Quiz

Guess these Japanese words that have sneaked into the English language.
The definition is the meaning of the word in ENGLISH, not necessarily in Japanese
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: June 5, 2020
First submittedMay 6, 2012
Times taken37,363
Rating4.27
5:00
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Definition
Word
Miniaturized tree
Bonsai
17 syllable poem
Haiku
Suicide bomber
Kamikaze
Japanese comic book
Manga
Artistic paper folding
Origami
Formal Japanese robe
Kimono
Box lunch
Bento
Asian radish
Daikon
Fresh green soybeans
Edamame
Crescent-shaped dumpling
Gyoza
Rice wine
Sake
Definition
Word
Vinegared rice and raw fish
Sushi
Green condiment used with the above
Wasabi
Lightly battered fried veggies, etc...
Tempura
Military ruler of feudal Japan
Shogun
Japanese wrestling style
Sumo
Thin mattress on a foldable frame
Futon
Sing-along with pre-recorded backup music
Karaoke
Large sea wave caused by seismic shifts
Tsunami
Ornamental carp
Koi
9x9 number puzzle
Sudoku
+4
Level 68
Jun 28, 2012
Couldn't rice wine also be mirin?
+2
Level 38
Apr 4, 2015
I'm mirin
+1
Level 51
Jul 6, 2020
Mirin works now :)
+1
Level 31
Jul 7, 2020
this is a very delayed conversation
+3
Level 54
Jul 10, 2012
Good quiz, but could you be a little more forgiving on the spelling please. I knew several more than I got but just couldn't get the right spelling.
+2
Level 28
Jul 10, 2012
im with you on that. i wouldve gotten at least 5 or 6 more if spelling wouldve been more lenient
+2
Level ∞
Jul 10, 2012
Which ones? I do take a lot of alternate spellings!
+1
Level 85
Jul 10, 2012
I tried spelling koi a few different ways starting with c. Sadly, none worked.
+2
Level 34
Jan 7, 2013
How about some different spellings for kamikaze? Like kamakaze and kamikazi and kamakazi, etc. Thanks, quizmaster!
+1
Level 87
Apr 2, 2013
Banzai/bansai, saki, and jiaozi were variants I tried before getting them right. (Though I think the last may be a Romanisation from the Mandarin pronunciation... same characters, though.)
+2
Level 74
May 30, 2014
Banzai/bansai is a different word, isn't it? I always thought it was a sort of battle cry, but I may just be basing that on the British TV programme of that name.
+2
Level 78
Mar 25, 2015
I missed sake because I spelled it saki.
+2
Level 78
Sep 25, 2015
I wasn't saying that saki is a correct spelling. QM asked which ones we were having problems with on the spelling and that's the one I missed at first. Not all of us are familiar with the correct spellings, so if QM chooses to accept only proper spellings, it's one thing. If he/she is willing to be lenient on the spelling as long as we demonstrate we have the knowledge even if we don't know the correct spelling, that's another thing. Every quiz maker can be as strict or as lenient with answers as they choose. I'm another one who tries to accept any spelling which is close, but I also understand the POV of those who want only correct spellings.
+1
Level 67
Apr 20, 2016
I always take a moment to figure out where the Us and Os go in sudoku
+1
Level 44
Apr 19, 2014
The only one I missed on spelling was karaoke. The way it's usually pronounced had me trying karioke and karioki.
+1
Level 67
Jan 14, 2019
yea we say it kara-oke. But I have heard it being said like kari-oki in english ( is that in both british and american english or in one? pretty sure america says it like that. well, maybe more like karee yokee)
+2
Level 21
Apr 5, 2020
In american english its pronounced karee yokee, so Sifhraven is right about that
+1
Level 43
Jul 10, 2012
Surprisingly easy. Didn't get futon though.
+1
Level 71
Aug 23, 2013
I only got it because i remember it from another quiz about loan words. I always thought fouton was french. If you pronounce it FOU-tahn, it does sound Japanese, but if you say fou-TONE (minus the pronunciation of the 'NE' of course) it sounds french.
+1
Level 67
Jan 15, 2019
I think you might be confused with fauteuil which is a big luxury chair
+2
Level 67
Jul 10, 2012
I think you should accept obento. :/
+1
Level 48
Aug 14, 2013
Agree!
+1
Level 21
Apr 5, 2020
Heyyy I thought it was just me who put obento instead of bento at first!
+2
Level 22
Jul 13, 2012
I hate when I know the answer until I read the question and then the word escapes my brain
+1
Level 44
Jul 13, 2012
100% boo ya
+1
Level 67
Jan 15, 2019
lack of punctuation there threw me for a second, haha ( and not a second hahah ;) )

I thought, you got a 100% of what??

+1
Level 48
Aug 6, 2019
*booyah
+1
Level 28
Jul 16, 2012
this is a tough quiz because alternate spellings and incorrect spellings will kill you. saki is another accepted spelling. but moreover the kamakazzi type stuff.
+3
Level 63
Mar 25, 2015
Saki means "previous" in Japanese. Unlike English where we can read vowels multiple different ways, Japanese vowels (when romanized) can only be read one way: a = ah, e = eh?, i = Eat (minus the t) , o=oh?, u = ooooooooooooo. Saki and Kamikaze are two perfect examples of English mispronunciation.
+3
Level 76
Dec 10, 2012
I'm hungry.
+1
Level 47
Apr 18, 2013
I disagree with the clue for kamikaze as suicide bomber.
+1
Level 25
Jul 5, 2013
I couldn't get past the word Yukata for formal dress :(
+1
Level 63
Mar 25, 2015
Yukata is the informal garb often worn in summer time.
+1
Level 59
Oct 17, 2013
I do not like sushi and therefore couldn't think of that answer or wasabi. Oh well.
+2
Level 38
May 9, 2014
Anybody else just type "sushi" as soon as the quiz started before looking at the clues? LOL ... then I tried "samurai" and it didn't work, so I figured I'd better start reading.
+1
Level 57
Nov 30, 2014
I didnt think sushi was raw fish.... that that was actually the rice??? I thought Sushimi (probably spelt wrong, sorry) indicated raw fish???
+1
Level 67
Jan 15, 2019
all my life I have heard sushi. Now suddenly since about a year I started hearing about sushimi also in reference to raw fish, I still have to figure out exactly what it means ( and what the difference with sushi is, are they two different terms, or is this a british/american thing again) But never bothered to look it up haha.
+2
Level 57
Nov 25, 2019
When Japanese raw fish first started appearing on menus in the west, people in general did not want to eat it. It was generally referred to as 'sushi.' Technically the raw fish dish is sashimi. As we as a society became more knowledgeable about Japanese food, the term 'sashimi' became more common.
+1
Level 53
Jul 6, 2020
Raw fish alone is sashimi. Raw fish on top of bite sized rice is sushi. Raw fish with rice rolled into seaweed is a sushi roll.
+2
Level 79
Dec 25, 2019
sushi is a type of seasoned rice with various toppings or other ingredients rolled with it, most often raw fish. Raw fish by itself is sashimi. Sushi technically does not have to have fish.
+1
Level 88
Feb 5, 2020
I concur. Sushi is anything made with (the) vinegared rice preparation. It does not have to include seafood, and if it does, the seafood does not have to be raw.
+1
Level 78
Jul 6, 2020
I make sushi at home and I use all kinds of fillings - cooked shrimp, crab, veggies - even one with ham, avocado and cream cheese. I don't do raw fish at home, though, I leave that to the experts who have had training in how not to kill their customers.
+3
Level 33
Jan 20, 2015
Those 500+ episodes of anime have served me well XD And my brother had a futon when I was younger XD And that book in A Series of Unfortunate Events where they used wasabi as a cure XD And my siblings were really into origami when I was super young, so I kinda grew up with it XD OHMYGOSH MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN PREPARING ME FOR THIS QUIZ!!!
+2
Level 58
Jul 6, 2020
weeb
+1
Level 58
Mar 25, 2015
Without actually being able to speak or understand Japanese, I pride myself on my knowledge of Japanese language and how it has been imported to Western culture. But I can not for the life of me ever remember the name of that damn radish!!
+1
Level 63
Mar 25, 2015
100%. I kept typing "daimyo" for military ruler, then samurai thinking the quiz had its terminology incorrect, then realized that shogun was the obvious answer : P #JapaneseHistoryMajor
+1
Level 56
Mar 25, 2015
I think "kamakaze" should be accepted too
+1
Level 73
Mar 27, 2015
started typing yakuza before the page was even loaded, but no. no.
+1
Level 75
Apr 8, 2015
Gyoza is a chinese word borrowed by the Japanese language
+1
Level 48
Oct 15, 2015
Tempura is also borrowed first from Portuguese "tempero" or "temporas". Then English borrow this borrowed word from Japanese. Both tempura and gyoza can be called as "double-loanwords", at least in my words. :D
+1
Level 57
Nov 25, 2019
Anime and karaoke are also double loanwords. Anime comes from the English word 'animation' and the 'oke' comes from 'orchestra.'
+1
Level 73
May 6, 2015
I couldn't get passed anime and never, ever thought of manga.
+1
Level 40
Mar 14, 2016
Box lunch can also be obento obento is in a more polite way
+1
Level 55
Nov 24, 2016
Gyoza is Chinese.
+1
Level 72
Mar 5, 2019
Jiaozi is Chinese. Gyoza - the actual loanword in English - is most certainly Japanese.
+2
Level 58
Oct 29, 2017
To try to get other answers, I tried Tofu and Samurai, and was surprised they are not the answers to anything!
+1
Level 79
Oct 29, 2017
I tried goyoza for gyoza...
+1
Level 79
Jan 5, 2019
and I keep missing Bento and Daikon
+1
Level 37
Feb 13, 2019
Actually, tempura was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in Nagasaki during the mid-16th century...
+1
Level 79
Feb 24, 2019
but did the word come to English via Portuguese or Japanese?
+1
Level 72
Mar 5, 2019
Yeah, as someone above pointed out - it's a double loanword. It may have originate from Portuguese, but it comes to English via Japanese.
+1
Level 72
Mar 5, 2019
Needs more ninjas.
+2
Level 72
Mar 5, 2019
For those not familiar with Japanese spelling and pronunciation, I can see how getting some these could be difficult. Many of the common English pronunciations are woefully off. I think this is most true of karaoke, which seems to usually be pronounced in English as "carry-oak-y" despite that being very hard to arrive at from the spelling. Gyoza often gets rendered as three syllables (Guy-or-za) not two (the letter 'y' is always a consonant in Japanese). There's also the issue of English pronunciation usually transforming the 'e' sound, especially at the end of words, into what would be represented as 'i' in standard transliteration. For the uninitiated 'e' should be pronounced as in 'net' (always) and 'i' should be pronounced like the 'y' in 'baby'.
+2
Level 58
Jun 19, 2019
"Tenpura" should be accepted for tempura. While the latter is the more common spelling in the US, the character used in tempura (ん) is modernly transliterated as an 'n', instead of an 'm' as used in the past.
+1
Level 48
Aug 6, 2019
I agree, てんぷら (tenpura) is how it's spelled in Japanese, but ん (n) sounds like an m before a b, p, or m.
+3
Level 43
Jun 22, 2020
I've never heard of Bento. I was so confused because all I could think of was "lunchables"
+1
Level 17
Jul 7, 2020
I've heard it as the phrase 'bento box' which is a little box with separations for the different food items
+1
Level 78
Jul 6, 2020
We were at a hotel in Kansas City that had a kitchen, and we decided to cook our supper meal. My MIL and I walked down the street to an open market to look for fresh veggies. We saw the biggest parsnips I'd ever seen and we decided to cook them as part of our meal. We scrubbed them and cut them up into a pan, added some water, covered them and waited for them to cook. The room was suddenly engulfed in a terrible smell which we traced to the parsnips. We dumped them in the trash. My husband had gotten off the elevator and he said the odor was strong out in the hall and asked what it was. I told him it was the parsnips. He looked at them in the trash and started laughing as he said, "Those aren't parsnips, those are daikon radishes." I've never lived it down. I felt sorry for housekeeping the next day as they tried to rid that room of the pungent odor. So I had no trouble getting daikon on this quiz.
+1
Level 56
Jul 6, 2020
1) very few of these are loan words. tsunami, karaoke, and futon are probably the only real "loan words." 2) this is basically sourced from a sushi menu, and the remainder are basic pop culture references.
+1
Level 17
Jul 7, 2020
'Ornamental carp' had me thinking of some sort of mounted fish, as opposed to a pretty patterned one ;P