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"Japanese" Scrabble® Words

Stephen Trussel

The "Japanese" words in the following list are all English – legal Scrabble words, as listed in the OSPD4.
The words in the [square brackets] are the Japanese character and romaji forms.

15 new words in OSPD33 : adzuki, enoki, gaijin, haniwa, kakiemon, kanban, karaoke, kata, koi, nori, ricksha, shitake, shiitake, surumi, tanuki
30 new words in OSPD44 : azuki, bento, dan, fusuma, gagaku, go, gyoza, jomon, juku, katsura, keiretsu, ki, koji, kombu, manga, mizuna, numchuck, obento, raku, ramen, romaji, roshi, sensei, shimisen, shogi, sika, soba, udon, umami, yakuza

ADZUKI, -S  the edible seed of an Asian plant [ 小豆 azuki]3
AIKIDO, -S  a Japanese art of self-defense [ 合気道 aikidō]
AZUKI, -S  the edible seed of an Asian plant [ 小豆 azuki]4

BANZAI, -S  a Japanese battle cry [ 万歳 banzai]

BENTO, -S  obento, a Japanese meal packed in a box [ 弁当 bento]4
BONSAI  a potted shrub that has been dwarfed [ 盆栽 bonsai]
BONZE, -S  a Buddhist monk [ 坊主 bōzu]
BUNRAKU, -S  a Japanese puppet show [ 文楽 bunraku]
BUSHIDO, -S  the code of the samurai [ 武士道 bushidō]

DAIKON, -S  a Japanese radish [ 大根 daikon]
DAIMIO, DAIMYO, -S  a former Japanese nobleman [ 大名 daimyō]
DAN, -S  a level of skill in martial arts [ 段 dan]4
DASHI, -S  a fish broth [ 出し dashi (broth, stock, sauce)]
DOJO, -S  a school that teaches judo or karate [ 道場 dōjō]

ENOKI, -S  a small mushroom [ エノキ enoki]3

FUGU, -S  a toxin-containing fish [ 河豚 fugu]
FUJI, -S  a silk fabric [ 富士 fuji]
FUSUMA  a sliding partition in a Japanese house [ 襖 fusuma]4
FUTON, -S  a cotton-filled mattress for use as a bed [ 布団 futon]

GAGAKU, -S  ancient court music of Japan [ 雅楽 gagaku]4
GAIJIN  a foreigner in Japan [ 外人 gaijin]3
GEISHA, -S  a Japanese girl trained to entertain [ 芸者 geisha]
GENRO, -S  a group of elder statesmen in Japan [ 元老 genrō]
GETA, -S  a Japanese wooden clog [ 下駄 geta]
GO, -S  a Japanese board game [ 碁 go]4
GOBAN, GOBANG -S  a Japanese game [ 碁盤 goban]
GYOZA, -S  a stuffed and fried pocket of dough [ 餃子 gyōza]4

HABU, -S  a poisonous snake [ ハブ habu (Trimeresurus flavoviridis)]
HAIKU  a Japanese poem [ 俳句 haiku]
HANIWA  Japanese clay sculptures [ 埴輪 haniwa]3
HIBACHI, -S  a cooking device [ 火鉢 hibachi]
HIRAGANA, -S  a Japanese cursive script [ ひらがな hiragana]
HOKKU  haiku [ 発句 hokku]
HONCHO, -ED, -ING, -S  to take charge of [ 班長 hanchō (section leader)]

IKEBANA, -S  the Japanese art of flower arranging [ 生け花 ikebana]
INRO  a Japanese ornamental container [ 印籠 inrō (medicine case, pill-box)]
ISSEI, -S  a Japanese immigrant to the United States [ 一世 issei]

JIUJITSU, JIUJUTSU, -S  a Japanese art of self-defense [ 柔術 jūjitsu]
JOMON  adj. pertaining to a Japanese cultural period [ 縄文 jōmon]4
JUDO, -S  a form of jujitsu [ 柔道 jūdō]
JUDOIST, -S  one skilled in judo [ 柔道 jūdō+ist]
JUDOKA, -S  a Judoist [ 柔道家 jūdōka]
JUJITSU, JUJUTSU, -S  a Japanese art of self-defense [ 柔術 jūjitsu]
JUKU, -S  an additional school in Japan for preparing students for college [ 塾 juku]4

KABUKI, -S  a form of Japanese theater [ 歌舞伎 kabuki]
KAKEMONO, -S  a Japanese scroll [ 掛け物 kakemono]
KAKI, -S  a Japanese tree [ 杮 kaki (persimmon tree)]
KAKIEMON, -S  a Japanese porcelain [ 杮右衛門 kakiemon]3
KAMI  a sacred power or force [ 神 kami (god, deity, spirit)]
KAMIKAZE, -S  a plane to be flown on a suicide crash on a target [ 神風 kamikaze (divine wind)]
KANA, -S  the Japanese syllabic script [ 仮名 kana]
KANBAN, -S  a manufacturing strategy wherein parts are delivered only as needed
[ 看板 kamban (signboard, in-business sign)]3
KANJI, -S  a system of Japanese writing [ 漢字 kanji]
KARAOKE, -S  a musical device to which a user sings along
[ カラオケ karaoke (<kara=empty+(Eng) orchestra)]3
KARATE, -S  a Japanese art of self-defense [ 空手 karate]
KARATEIST, -S  one skilled in karate [ 空手 karate+ist]
KATA, -S  an exercise of set movements [ 型 kata (shape, pattern)]3
KATAKANA, -S  a Japanese syllabic symbol [ カタカナ katakana]
KATSURA, -S  a deciduous tree of Japan and China [ 桂 katsura]4
KEIRETSU, -S  a coalition of business groups in Japan [ 系列 keiretsu]4
KENDO, -S  a Japanese sport [ 剣道 kendō]
KI, -S  the vital force in Chinese thought [ 気 ki (spirit, mind, heart)]4
KIBEI, -S  one born in America of immigrant Japanese parents and educated in Japan [ 帰米 kibei]
KIMONO, -S  a loose robe; KIMONOED, adj. [ 着物 kimono]
KIRIGAMI, -S  the Japanese art of folding [ cutting] paper [ 切紙 kirigami (paper-cutting)]
KOAN, -S  a paradox meditated on by Buddhist monks [ 公案 kōan]
KOI  a large and colorful fish [ 鲤 koi (carp)]3
KOJI, -S  a fungus used to start fermentation [ 麹 kōji]4
KOMBU, -S  kelp used in Japanese cooking [ 昆布 konbu]4
KOTO, -S  a musical instrument [ 琴 koto]
KUDZU, -S  an Asian vine [ 葛 kuzu]

MAHJONG, MAHJONGG, -S  a game of Chinese origin [ 麻雀 mājan (<Chinese)]
MAKIMONO, -S  a Japanese ornamental scroll [ 巻き物 makimono]
MANGA, -S  a Japanese graphic novel [ 漫画 manga]4
MEDAKA, -S  a Japanese fish [ 目高 medaka (killifish)]
MIKADO, -S  an emperor of Japan [ 帝 御門 mikado]
MISO, -S  a type of food paste [ 味噌 miso]
MIZUNA, -S  a Japanese mustard [ 水菜 mizuna]4
MONDO, -S  a rapid question and answer technique employed in Zen Buddhism [ 問答 mondō]
MURA, -S  a Japanese village [ 村 mura]

NETSUKE, -S  a button-like fixture on Japanese clothing [ 根付け netsuke]
NINJA, -S  a feudal Japanese warrior [ 忍者 ninja]
NISEI, -S  one born in America of immigrant Japanese parents [ 二世 nisei]
NOH  the classical drama of Japan [ 能 ]
NORI, -S  dried seaweed pressed into sheets [ 海苔 nori]3
NUMCHUCK, -S  nunchaku [ ぬんちゃく nunchaku]4
NUNCHAKU, -S  a Japanese weapon [ ぬんちゃく nunchaku]

OBENTO, -S  a Japanese meal packed in a box [ お弁当 o-bento]4
OBI, -S   (a long, broad sash, worn over a kimono) [ 带 obi]
ORIGAMI, -S  the Japanese art of paper folding [ 折り紙 origami]

PACHINKO, -S  a Japanese pinball game [ パチンコ pachinko]

RAKU, -S  a form of Japanese glazed pottery [ 楽焼 raku-yaki]4
RAMEN, -S  Japanese noodles in broth with bits of meat and vegetables [ ラーメン rāmen]4
RICKSHA, -S  a small, two-wheeled passenger vehicle [ 人力車 jinrikisha]3
RICKSHAW, -S  a small, two-wheeled passenger vehicle [ 人力車 jinrikisha]
RIKISHA, RIKSHA, RIKSHAW, -S  rickshaw [ 人力車 jinrikisha]
ROMAJI, -S  a system of transliterating Japanese into the Latin alphabet [ ローマ字 rōmaji]4
ROSHI, -S  the spiritual leader of a group of Zen Buddhists [ 老師 rōshi]4
RYOKAN, -S  a Japanese inn [ 旅館 ryokan]

SAKI, -S  a Japanese liquor [ 洒 sake]
SAMISEN, -S  a Japanese stringed instrument [ 三味線 shamisen]
SAMURAI, -S  a Japanese warrior [ 侍 samurai]
SANSEI, -S  a grandchild of Japanese immigrants to the US [ 三世 sansei]
SASHIMI, -S  a Japanese dish of sliced raw fish [ 刺身 sashimi]
SATORI, -S  the illumination of spirit sought by Zen Buddhists [ 悟り satori]
SATSUMA, -S  a variety of orange [ 蕯摩 Satsuma (place name)]
SAYONARA, -S  goodbye [ さようなら sayōnara]
SEN  a monetary unit of Japan [ 銭 sen]
SENSEI, -S  a teacher of Japanese martial arts [ 先生 sensei (teacher)]4
SENRYU  a Japanese poem [ 川柳 senryū]
SEPPUKU, -S  a Japanese form of suicide [ 切腹 seppuku]
SHAMISEN, -S  a Japanese stringed instrument [ 三味線 shamisen]4
SHIATSU, SHIATZU, -S  a massage using finger pressure [ 指圧 shiatsu]
SHIITAKE, SHITAKE, -S  a dark Oriental mushroom [ 椎茸 shiitake]3
SHOGI, -S  a Japanese game like chess [ 将棋 shōgi]4
SHOGUN, -S  a former military leader of Japan,
SHOGUNAL adj, SHOGUNATE, -S n, [ 将軍 shōgun]
SHOJI, -S  a paper screen used as a partition or door in a Japanese house [ 障子 shōji]
SHOYU, -S  soy sauce [ 醬油 shōyu]
SOBA, -S  a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour [ そば [蕎麦] soba]4
SIKA, -S  s small deer native to Asia [ 鹿 shika]4
SUKIYAKI, -S  a Japanese dish [ 鋤焼き sukiyaki]
SUMO, -S  a Japanese form of wrestling [ 相撲 sumō]
SURIMI  an inexpensive fish product [ 擂り身 surimi]3
SUSHI, -S  a dish of cold rice cakes topped with strips of raw fish [ 寿司 sushi]

TAMARI, -S  a Japanese soy sauce [ 溜まり tamari]
TANKA, -S  a Japanese verse form [ 短歌 tanka]
TANUKI, -S  the fur of a raccoon dog [ 狸 tanuki (raccoon dog)]3
TATAMI, -S  straw matting used as a floor covering [ 畳 tatami]
TEMPURA, -S  a Japanese dish [ 天婦羅 tempura]
TERIYAKI, -S  a Japanese food [ 照り焼き teriyaki]
TOFU, -S  a soft Oriental cheese made from soybean milk [ 豆腐 tōfu]
TOKONOMA, -S  a small alcove in a Japanese house [ 床の間 tokonoma]
TORII  the gateway of a Japanese temple [ 鳥居 torii]
TSUBA  a part of a Japanese sword [ 鍔 tsuba]
TSUNAMI, -S  a very large ocean wave TSUNAMIC adj [ 津波 tsunami]

UDO, -S  a Japanese herb [ ウド udo]
UDON, -S  a Japanese noodle made with wheat flour [ うどん [饂飩] udon]4
UMAMI, -S  a taste characteristic of monosodium glutamate [ うまみ [旨味] umami]4

WASABI, -S  a pungent herb [ 山葵 wasabi (Japanese horseradish)]

YAKITORI, -S  marinated chicken pieces on skewers [ 焼き鳥 yakitori]
YAKUZA  an alliance of Japanese criminal organizations [ やくざ yakuza]4
YOKOZUNA, -S  a champion sumo wrestler [ 横綱 yokozuna]

ZAIBATSU  a powerful family combine in Japan [ 財閥 zaibatsu]
ZAIKAI, -S  the business community of Japan [ 財界 zaikai]
ZAZEN, -S  meditation in Zen Buddhism [ 坐禅 zazen]
ZORI, -S  a type of sandal [ 草履 zōri]

With the exception of obi, (listed as a variant form of "obeah"), which has been used in English for over a century, I have only included words whose definitions in the OSPD clearly indicate that they come from Japanese. Of course there are English words from Japanese spelled the same as other English words, like sake, or yen, but I have not tried to include these. If you spot any I've missed, please let me know.
Thanks to Rebecca Slivka, Director of the Seattle Club, for pointing out shogunate, not in OSPD because of the length, but included in the Official Tournament and Club Word List (TWL).
Thanks to Tom Balabanov for finding enoki.

Special thanks to Miki Allen (who also found enoki, as well as surimi), for help checking the kanji, and for finding some of the new words from OSPD4.

Updated February 17, 2006