Glossary

The following glossary lists most of the Japanese terms, and a few non-Japanese terms, that appear on this site. The headwords in boldface indicate the modern spellings in Hepburn romanization. They are followed by brief definitions in English, their representation in Japanese, and, in a sans-serif font, the alternate spellings as they appear in the texts on this site. When an alternate spelling would fall elsewhere in the alphabetical listing, a cross-reference to the main entry is included.

Even today, the spelling of Japanese words in the Latin alphabet is not completely standardized. It was even less consistent in the 19th century, and most of the writers whose works are quoted seem to have reproduced whatever spellings they happened to come across without regard to how accurately or consistently they represented the Japanese phonemic system. Some writers just seem to have created their own spellings to try to represent Japanese words as they heard them. As a result, some words, such as jinrikisha or Tokyo, are spelled in a number of different ways.

I was unable to identify the current referents of some of the place names. Those are indicated as “uncertain.” If any reader is able to identify them, please contact me.

Ad-zu-ma Bashi → Azumabashi

Ainu

the indigenous people of Hokkaido and of islands to the north

アイヌ

Aino

Akasaka

a district in central Tokyo

赤坂

Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto

a Shinto goddess

天鈿女命, 天宇受売命

Uzumé

Amida

a celestial Buddhist figure; Amitabha

阿弥陀

amma

massage

按摩

a-ma, ā-ma

andon

an oil lamp with a paper shade

行灯

an-don

Arashiyama

a mountain and district in western Kyoto

嵐山

arigatō

“Thank you.”

ありがとう

Arima

a village in southeast Hyogo Prefecture

有馬

Asakusa

a district in eastern Tokyo

浅草

A-sa-ku-sa

Asakusa Kannon

a Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo; also called Sensōji (浅草寺)

浅草観音

Asakusa-Kwannon

Ashinoyu

a hot springs resort in Kanagawa Prefecture

芦ノ湯

Asses’ Ears → Danjoguntō

Atagoyama

a hill in central Tokyo

愛宕山

Atago-yama, Atango-yama

awabi

abalone

鮑, 鰒

awabie

Awaji

an island in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea; Awajishima (淡路島)

淡路

Awata

a district in Kyoto

粟田

Azumabashi

a bridge over the Sumida River in Tokyo

吾妻橋

Ad-zu-ma Bashi

baka

an idiot; a fool

バカ, 馬鹿

bacca

ban

a category of gold coins, including koban (小判) and ōban (大判)

Banko

Banko ware, a style of pottery; also called Bankoyaki (万古焼)

万古

Bentendōri

a district in central Yokohama

弁天通

Benten-Doré, Benten-Tori

bentō

a box meal

弁当

Benzaiten

the God of Music, Eloquence, and Wealth; one of the seven Gods of Good Fortune; also called Benten (弁天)

弁財天

Ben-ten

bettō

a horsekeeper; a rickshaw puller

別当

betto

bikunin

a Buddhist nun; also called bikuni (比丘尼)

比丘尼ん

Biwako

Lake Biwa, a large freshwater lake in central Japan

琵琶湖

Biwa

Biyodoin → Byōdōin

bokuchikujō

pasturage; a ranch

牧畜場

Bokujo

boo → bu

Bōshū

the former name of a section of southern Chiba Prefecture; also called Awanokuni (安房国)

房州

Brocken and Vulcan Islands

names given by Western explorers to some of the Izu Islands. The Japanese names are uncertain.

bu

a unit of currency

boo

bugyō

a public official; a magistrate

奉行

Buñio

Byōdōin

a Buddhist temple in Uji, Kyoto

平等院

Biyodoin

Campira, Compera → Konpirasan

Castilla

a kind of Portuguese sponge cake associated with Nagasaki

カステラ

casteira, Castera

cha dai

a tip paid at an inn, teahouse, etc.

茶代

chirimen

silk crape

縮緬

Chūzenji

a Buddhist temple in Nikko

中禅寺

coban → koban

c’tah obee → shitaobi

Daibutsu

a large statue of Buddha. Two of the most visited ones are in Kamakura and Nara.

大仏

Dai Butsu, Dai-Bootz, Dai-butsz, Darbutz

Dai Cheenara → Kawasaki Daishi

Daikokusama

the God of Riches; one of the seven Gods of Good Fortune; also called Daikokuten (大黒天)

大黒様

daikon

a giant white raddish

大根

dai-kon

daimyō

a feudal lord

大名

Daimio, Daimiyô

Daiyagawa

a river in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture; flows from Lake Chūzenji (中禅寺湖) to the Kuni River (鬼怒川)

大谷川

Danjoguntō

the Danjo Islands; an island group west of Kyushu

男女群島

Asses’ Ears

Dannoura

a section of the Shimonoseki Strait between Honshu and Kyushu; the site of a major sea battle in 1185

壇ノ浦

Dan-no-ura

Darbutz → Daibutsu

Dejima

a small artificial island in Nagasaki Bay. Dejima was the only place in Japan where foreigners were allowed to reside and trade during the Edo Period.

出島

Decima, Desima

Dosembō

a district in southeastern Kyoto

童仙坊

Dōtonbori

an amusement district in Osaka

道頓堀

Dotombori

dzukin → zukin

Ebisu

the God of Fishing and Commerce; one of the seven Gods of Good Fortune

恵比須, 恵比寿, 夷, 戎, 蛭子

Ye-be-su-sama

Edo

the largest city in Japan and the center of government in the Edo Period (1600–1867). The city’s name was changed to Tokyo in September 1868. (Also spelled Jedo, Jeddo, Yedo, and Yeddo in nineteenth-century English texts.)

江戸

Yeddo, Yedo

ennichi

a regular festival day at a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine

縁日

Enoshima

an offshore island on Sagami Bay, about nine kilometers from Kamakura

江ノ島

Epunga

a place near Nagasaki. The Japanese name is uncertain.

eta

a class of people who suffered severe discrimination during the Edo Period. They were allowed to live only in certain areas and to engage in certain occupations, such as leatherworking and the disposal of dead animals. Their descendents and others continue to suffer prejudice and discrimination. The term “eta” is used now only in historical contexts.

穢多

yeta

Ezo

the islands north of Honshu, particularly Hokkaido; also, an indigenous inhabitant of the region

蝦夷

Yesso, Yezo

Fuji-san

Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan

富士山

Fuji, Fu-ji, Fusi-yama, Fusiama, Fujiama

Fujisawa

a city south of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture

藤沢

Fuji-sawa

Fujiya

a hotel in Hakone

富士屋

Fuji-ya

Fushimi

a district in southern Kyoto

伏見

Fujimi

futon

a thick mattress or bed quilt

布団

Gankirō

a brothel in Yokohama that catered to foreigners

岩亀楼

Gan-ke-ro

geisha

a woman who dances, sings, and provides companionship at banquets and parties

芸者

gaisha

geta

a wooden clog or sandal

下駄

ghe-ne, ghe-ni → zeni

Gifu

a district, now a prefecture, in central Japan

岐阜

Ginza

a commercial district in Tokyo

銀座

gobō

a plant with an edible root, sometimes called a great burdock

牛蒡

gobbo

gohei

a staff decorated with strips of white paper; used in Shinto ceremonies

御幣

Gosho

a palace of the Emperor

御所

Gosha

Gotō

a group of islands west of Nagasaki

五島

Gotto

goza

matting made from rushes

茣蓙

Gumma

a district, now a prefecture, north of Tokyo

群馬

Hachimanjin

the God of War

八幡神

Ha-chi-man-sama, Hatchiman

Hachiōji

a city west of Tokyo

八王子

Hachiogi

Hakodate

a port city near the southern tip of Hokkaido

函館

Hakodadi

Hakone

a mountain resort southwest of Tokyo

箱根

Hakoné, Hakoni

hanagami

a paper handkerchief

鼻紙

hana gami, hana-gami

happi

a loose jacket

法被

how-odie

harakiri

suicide by disembowelment; also called seppuku (切腹)

腹切り

Ha-ra Ki-ri, hara kari, hara kiri, hara-kiru, hara-wo-kiri, hari-kari

Haruna

a Shinto shrine in Gunma

榛名

hechima

the loofa vine or fruit; the fiber made from the loofa

糸瓜, 天糸瓜

hibachi

a charcoal brazier used for heating

火鉢

hibacho, hi-ba-chi, shibatchi

Hikone

a city in Shiga Prefecture

彦根

Hiogo → Hyōgo

hiragana

one of the two syllabic character systems for representing the pronunciations of Japanese words; mainly used for native Japanese vocabulary, including prefixes, suffixes, and grammatical particles

ひらがな, 平仮名

Hirakana, hi-ra-ga-na

Hizen

the former name of a district in Kyushu now encompassing Saga Preferecture and most of Nagasaki Prefecture; known for the pottery produced there (Hizen yaki, 肥前焼き)

肥前

Hodsugawa → Hozugawa

Homura → Honmura

Hondō

the main building of a Buddhist temple

本堂

Honmoku Misaki

a cape in Yokohama

本牧岬

Misaki

Honmura

a district in Yokohama

本村

Homura

Honshū

the main island of Japan

本州

Honshiu

Horikiri

a place in Katsushika, Tokyo, known for its iris garden

堀切

Hori-kiri

Hōryūji

a Buddhist temple in Nara

法隆寺

Horiuji

how-odie → happi

Hozugawa

a river that runs through southern Kyoto

保津川

Hodsugawa

Hyōgo

a prefecture in central Japan; includes the city of Kobe

兵庫

Hiogo

ichi

one

Itshee

ichibu

a coin worth one bu

一分

i-tshe-boo, ichi-bu, ichiboo, Itsheboo, itziboos

Idzu → Izu

ikura

“How much?”

いくら

i-ku-ra

Imaichi

a place in central Tochigi Prefecture

今市

Imiachi

inkyo

retirement from work and family responsibilities; a retired person

隠居

inkyosama

Iōjima

an island at the entrance to Nagasaki Bay

伊王島

Iwosima

Ise

a city in Mie Prefecture; the location of the Ise Shrine, a popular pilgrimage destination

伊勢

isshu

a unit of currency; one shu

一朱

i-shiu

Itschee → ichi

i-tshe-boo, Itsheboo, itziboos → ichibu

Iwosima → Iōjima

Izu

a peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture

伊豆

Idzu

Jedogawa → Yodogawa

jinrikisha

a ricksha; a rickshaw; a wheeled passenger vehicle pulled by one or two people

人力車

jin-ri-ki-sha, jin-ricsha, jin-ricsha, jin-riki-sha, jinricksha, jinrika-sha, Jinriki-sha, jinriki, jinriksha, ricksha, rikky

Jiogakko → Jogakkō

Jiokoba → jokōba

jiu-jitsu → jūjutsu

Jizō

a Buddhist diety, often represented by small stone roadside statues. The full name is Jizō Bosatsu (地蔵菩薩).

jogakkō

a school for girls

女学校

Jiogakko

jokōba

a school for girls

女紅場, 女工場

Jiokoba

jorō

a prostitute

女郎

jo-ro

jorōya

a brothel

女郎屋

jo-ro-rei

jūjutsu

judo

柔術

jiu-jitsu

jusanjo

a training and work center for the handicapped and underprivileged

授産所

Jusansho

Kaga

a region on the coast of the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture

加賀

kago

a palanquin; a passenger vehicle carried on a long pole by two or more people

駕籠

kango

Kagoshima

a prefecture in southern Kyushu

鹿児島

Kaiso → Kisogawa

kamaboko

cured fish paste shaped into semicylindrical blocks

蒲鉾

Kamakura

a city in Kanagawa Prefecture southwest of Yokohama

鎌倉

Kama-kura

kami

a diety or spirit

Kanagawa

formerly a village near Yokohama; now the name of the surrounding prefecture

神奈川

Kanda

a section of central Tokyo

神田

kane

money

kanebako

a money box

金箱

kani-box

kango → kago

Kangyōba

an institution established in Kyoto to promote agriculture, industry, and commerce

勧業場

Kuwangiyoba

Kannon

the Buddhist deity of mercy

観音

Kwannon

kappa

a mythical amphibious animal

河童

karuma → kuruma

kashi

sweets, including cakes and candies

菓子

ku-wa-shi

katakana

one of the two syllabic character systems for representing the pronunciations of Japanese words; now mainly used for vocabulary borrowed from other languages

カタカナ, 片仮名

ka-ta-ka-na

Katsuragawa

a river that runs through southern Kyoto

桂川

Kawasaki Daishi

a Buddhist temple in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. It is not certain that this is the temple referred to in the text as “Dai Cheenara.”

川崎大師

Dai Cheenara

kaya

a mosquito net

蚊屋, 蚊帳

Keiō Gijuku

a private school established in Tokyo in 1868; the forerunner of Keio University

慶應義塾

Keiogijiku

kemono, Keremon → kimono

kiku

a chrysanthemum; represented on the Imperial crest

kimono

Japanese-style outer clothing

着物

kimona, kemono, Keremon

Kioto (musical instrument)→ koto

Kioto, Ki-o-to, Kiyoto, Kiyôto (city) → Kyōto

kiri

a paulownia tree, the leaves of which are represented on official Japanese government seals

Kisogawa

the Kiso River, which runs from central Nagano Prefecture through Gifu, Aichi, and Mie Prefectures

木曽川

Kaiso

Kiu-siu, Kiushiu, Kiusiu → Kyūshū

Kiyô Bashi → Kyōbashi

Kiyomizu

a district in Kyoto, known for the ceramics produced there (Kiyomizu-yaki, 清水焼)

清水

Kiyômidzu

koban

a gold coin; a small ban

小判

ko-ban, coban

Kōbe

a city and port in Hyogo Prefecture

神戸

Kobé, Kobi

koku

a unit of volume used to measure grain; equivalent to about 180 liters

Kokura

a city at the northern tip of Kyushu

小倉

Komo

a district in Kyotanba-cho, Funai-gun, Kyoto

蒲生

Konpirasan

a mountain in Nagasaki

金比羅山

Campira, Compera

koto

a zither-like musical instrument

Kioto

Kowadzu → Kōzu

Koyasu

a district in Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture

子易

Koyias

Kōzu

a district facing onto Sagami Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture

国府津

Kowadzu

kuji

a public official; also called kujikata (公事方)

公事

kugi

Kumamoto

a city in western Kyushu

熊本

Kunnui

a district in southwestern Hokkaido, facing onto Uchiura Bay

国縫

kuruma

a vehicle; a car; a rickshaw

karuma

Kurume

a city in southwestern Fukuoka Prefecture

久留米

Kuwangiyoba → Kangyōba

ku-wa-shi → kashi

Kwannon → Kannon

Kyōbashi

a district in central Tokyo, just north of Ginza

京橋

Kiyô Bashi

Kyōto

a city in central Japan; the Imperial capital from 794 to 1868

京都

Ki-o-to, Kioto, Kiyoto, Kiyôto

Kyūshū

one of the four main islands of Japan

九州

Kiu-siu, Kiushiu, Kiusiu

Mae-yaski → Umeyashiki

maiko

a dancing girl

舞妓

mamushi

a type of poisonous snake

matsuri

a festival

祭り

Miaco, Miako → Miyako

Mibu

a place in Shimotsuga-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture

壬生

mino

a straw raincoat

Misaki → Honmoku Misaki

Mishima

a city in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture

三島

Mita

a district of Tokyo; the location of Keio University

三田

Miyako

the capital of Japan, specifically Kyoto until 1868

Miaco, Miako

Miyanoshita

a district in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

宮ノ下

Miyatsu

a city in northern Kyoto Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast

宮津

Miyadju

mochi

rice cake

mogusa

moxibustion; a medicinal therapy in which sticks of dried mugwort are burned and placed on certain points on the patient’s body

moxa

mon

a former unit of Chinese currencty; called “cash” in English

cash

moosoome → musume

Motomachi

a commercial district in Kobe

元町

Moto Machi

moxa → mogusa

Mukōjima

a district in Tokyo east of the Sumida River

向島

musume

a young woman; a daughter

moosoome, musumé

Nagasaki

a city and port in Kyushu

長崎

Nangasaki

Nagoya

the third largest city in Japan, located in Aichi Prefecture

名古屋

naibun

privacy; secrecy

内聞

nayboen

Nakada

a place in Koga City, Ibaraki Prefecture

中田

Nakata

Nambu

the former name of the area around Morioka in northern Honshu

南部

Nangasaki → Nagasaki

Nantaisan

a volcanic mountain in northwest Tochigi Prefecture

男体山

Nan-tai-Zan

nanten

a kind of flowering plant; called nandina or heavenly bamboo in English

南天

Nara

a city in central Japan; the Imperial capital from 710 until 784

奈良

nayboen → naibun

Nectarine

an brothel in Yokohama; called Shinpūrō (神風楼) in Japanese

ネクタリン

netsuke

a decorative toggle attached to clothing

根付

nitski

nibu

a coin worth two bu

二分

Nigatsudō

a hall located within the Todaiji temple compound in Nara

二月堂

Ni-gwatsu-dō

Nihon

Japan. In many cases on this site, the word refers only to the island of Honshu; today, its meaning includes Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido, and many smaller islands. In modern Japanese, the name of the country is pronounced either Nihon or Nippon.

日本

Niphon, Nipon

Nikkō

a city in northwest Tochigi Prefecture

日光

ningyō

a doll

人形

nin-gi-yo

ninsoku

a laborer; a coolie

人足

Nin-so-ku

Niphon, Nipon → Nihon

Nishi Honganji

a Buddhist temple in Kyoto; also spelled Nishihongwanji or just Hongwanji

西本願寺

Nishihanguan-ji

nishu

a unit of currency; two shu

二朱

ni-shiu

nitski → netsuke

Nivarra

a place in the Seto Inland Sea. The Japanese name is uncertain.

Nokogiriyama

a mountain in southwestern Chiba Prefecture

鋸山

norimono

a palanquin; a kago; a passenger vehicle carried on a long pole by two or more people

乗物

Norimon, no-ri-mo-no

ōban

a gold coin; a large ban

大判

O-ban

obi

a wide belt worn with a kimono

Obee, obé

o-cha no yu

the tea ceremony

お茶の湯

Odaszu

a village in Hokkaido. The current Japanese name is uncertain.

Odawara

a city in southwestern Kanagawa Prefecture

小田原

Wodowara

Ogi → Ōji

o-hayō

“Good morning.”

おはよう

O-hay-o de goza-i masu, O-hay-o, Ohaio

Ohosaka → Ōsaka

Oity → Ōtsu

Ōji

a district in northern Tokyo

王子

Ogi

o-mawari-san

a policeman

お巡りさん

Ōmori

a district in southern Tokyo

大森

Omora

Ōsaka

a major city in central Japan

大阪

Ohosaka, Osaca, Ozaka

Ōshima

an island in the Izu chain

大島

o-tentō-sama

the sun; the God of Heaven

お天道様

O-Tenz-to-sama

Ōtsu

a city in Shiga Prefecture, on the southwestern shore of Lake Biwa

大津

Otzu, Oity

Owari

a region in western Aichi Prefecture

尾張

Ōyama

a place in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture

大山

o-yasumi nasai

“Good night.”

お休みなさい

Ozaka → Ōsaka

pan

bread

パン

Papenberg

the name given by the Dutch to an island at entrance to Nagasaki Bay; called Takaboko-jima (高鉾島) in Japanese

Pappenberg

ricksha, rikky → jinrikisha

Ri-yo-go-ku → Ryōgoku

Rock Island

an island among the Izu chain. The Japanese name is uncertain.

Rokkōsan

a mountain in southeast Hyogo Prefecture

六甲山

rōnin

a free samurai, one without a master

浪人

Ro-nin

ryō

a unit of currency

rio

Ryōgoku

a bridge across the Sumida River in Tokyo; also, the district near that bridge

両国

Ri-yo-go-ku

Sagami

a region southwest of Tokyo, facing onto both Tokyo Bay and Sagami Bay, that corresponds to the present-day Kanagawa Prefecture. “Cape Sagami” is now called the Miura Peninsula (Miura Hanto, 三浦半島).

相模

Saibai Shikenjo

an agricultural laboratory that was located in Kyoto

栽培試験場

Saibaishi Kenjo

Sakai

a city and port immediately south of Osaka

sake

rice wine

saké, saki

sakura

a Japanese cherry tree; the blossoms of that tree

-sama

a suffix added to names of gods; now used as very polite suffix when referring to or addressing other people

Samisen → shamisen

samurai

a member of the warrior class of premodern Japan

Sanjūsangendō

a Buddhist temple in Kyoto

三十三間堂

Sanji Sanguento

satsu

paper money

satz

Satsuma

a district in western Kagoshima Prefecture

薩摩

satz → satsu

Seboo → shibu

Seikakujō

a tannery; a leather processing plant

製革場

Seikuwajo

Seimikyoku

an institute for research and education on science and technology, established in 1869

舎密局

Semikiyoku

Sekigahara

a place in southwestern Gifu Prefecture; site of a major battle in 1600

関ヶ原

Semikiyoku → Seimikyoku

sen

a unit of currency equivalent to one-hundredth of a yen

Senkōjō

an institute devoted to dyeing technology

染工場

shamisen

a three-stringed plucked musical instrument

三味線

Samisen

Shiba

a district in Tokyo

Shi-ba

shibatchi → hibachi

shibu

a coin worth four bu

四分

Seboo

shikimi

the Japanese star anise tree

skimmi

Shimizudani

a place in central Tokyo

清水谷

Shi-midzu-dani

Shimoda

a port city on the southeastern tip of the Izu Peninsula

下田

Simoda

Shimonoseki

a city in Yamaguchi Prefecture at the western tip of Honshu

下関

Simonosaki, Simonoseki

Shimosuwa

a town in central Nagano Prefecture

下諏訪

Shimo-no-Sewa

Shinagawa

a district in southern Tokyo

品川

Sinagawa

Shinbashi

a district in central Tokyo

新橋

Shin Bashi

Shintō

the indigenous polytheistic religion of Japan

神道

Sintooism, Sintoo, Sinto, Sintu

shipō

cloisonné

七宝

shippo

shitaobi

a loincloth

下帯

c’tah obee

shōji

a sliding paper screen or door

障子

shokkōba

a weaving factory

職工場

shōyu

soy sauce

醤油

sho-yu

Simoda → Shimoda

Simonosaki, Simonoseki → Shimonoseki

Shimo-no-Sewa → Shimosuwa

Sinagawa → Shinagawa

Sintooism, Sintoo, Sinto, Sintu → Shintō

skimmi → shikimi

sōshi

paper used for writing practice

草紙

so-shi

Sumida

a river that runs through Tokyo

墨田

Sumiyoshi

a section of southern Osaka Prefecture

住吉

Suōnada

the western portion of the Seto Inland Sea

周防灘

suzumy → tsuzumi

tabi

socks with a split between the first two toes

足袋

tabie

Taikun

the political leader of Japan during the Edo Period; the Shogun

大君

Tycoon, Tykoon

Tanba

a section of today’s Kyoto and Hyogo Prefectures

丹波

Tamba

Tango

a section of today’s Kyoto Prefecture

丹後

tatami

a straw mat

ta-ta-mi

Tatsumiya

an inn formerly located in Yoshino, Nara

辰巳屋

Tatsuta

a place in Nara Prefecture

竜田

tenpōsen

a copper coin issued during the Tenpō era (1830–33)

天保銭

tempo

Tenshi-sama

the Emperor

天子様

Tōjin

a Chinese or Korean person; a foreigner

唐人

To jin

Tokaidō

a highway that ran between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto

東海道

Tokaida

Tôkiyô, Tokio → Tōkyō

Tokugawa

the clan that ruled Japan during the Edo Period

徳川

Tōkyō

the capital and largest city of Japan; called Edo (江戸) until 1868

東京

Tokyo, Tôkiyô, Tokio

tōri

a road or street

通り

torii

an arch at the entrance to a Shinto shrine

鳥居

Tōrinji

a Buddhist temple in Yokohama

東林寺

To-rin-gee

Ts’kiji → Tsukiji

Tsugaru

the western part of Aomori Prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Honshu and Hokkaido.

津軽

T’zugar

Tsuki-sama

the moon

月様

Tsukiji

an area of central Tokyo where foreigners were allowed to live in the late 1800s

築地

Ts’kiji

tsuzumi

a hand drum

suzumy

Tycoon, Tykoon → Taikun

T’zugar → Tsugaru

Ueno

a place and park on the northern side of central Tokyo

上野

Uyeno

uguisu

a bush warbler

Uji

a section of southern Kyoto

宇治

Umeyashiki

a tea house in what is now Ota Ward, Tokyo

梅屋敷

Mae-yaski

Uraga

the place in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, where the American ships commanded by Matthew C. Perry arrived in 1853

浦賀

Utsunomiya

a city in central Tochigi Prefecture

宇都宮

Uyeno → Ueno

Uzumé → Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto

wakamiya

an auxiliary Shinto shrine, dedicated to the son of the god of the main shrine

若宮

waraji

straw sandals

草鞋

Wodowara → Odowara

Yaami

a hotel in Kyoto

也阿弥

yakunin

a government official or bureaucrat

役人

Yacoonin, yakoneen, yakonin, ya-cu-nin

Yamada

a former name for an area in Ise City, Mie Prefecture

山田

yamakago

a palanquin (kago) used in the mountains

山駕籠

yashiki

a samurai’s residence

屋敷

ya-shi-ki

Ye-be-su-sama → Ebisu

Yesso, Yezo → Ezo

Yeddo, Yedo → Edo

yeta→ eta

yen

a unit of currency. Pronounced “en” in modern Japanese, but the spelling “yen” is standard in English.

Yodogawa

a river that runs from Lake Biwa to Osaka Bay

淀川

Yodi-gawa, Yodo-gawa, Jedogawa

Yokohama

a city and port in Kanagawa Prefecture

横浜

Yokuhama

Yokosuka

a city in Kanagawa Prefecture

横須賀

Yokuhama → Yokohama

yoroshū

“All right.”

よろしゅう

yo-ro-shiu

Yōsanba

a facility for raising silkworms

養蚕場

yose

a theater for storytelling

寄席

Yoshino

a section of southern Nara Prefecture

吉野

Yoshiwara

a brothel district in Tokyo

吉原

yottsu

Definition

四つ

yutz

Yumoto

a hot-springs resort near Hakone

湯本

Yurappu

a place in western Hokkaido

遊楽部

Yurup

yutz → yottsu

zeni

money; cash

ghe-ne, ghe-ni

zōri

sandals

草履

zodie

zukin

a headscarf; a hood

頭巾

dzukin