Nihonshock Japanese Vocab Bank

Here, you will have easy access to all past our spotlight vocabulary words. This is a new area of the website so please excuse it for being a little rough around the edges, I'll be upgrading it as necessary.


指南 [shinan] – Literally “pointing south”, this word means teaching or instruction. Why south? This word has its origins in ancient Chinese south pointing chariots…

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がんぷく [ganpuku] – Combining the character for eye (眼) with fortune (福), ganpuku means ‘the joy of beholding a beautiful/rare sight’.

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ななひかり [nanahikari] – Literally: “seven lights”, this word refers to a person whose success or fame is owed largely to their powerful/influential parents (or spouse).

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ためぐち [tameguchi] – Refers to speaking to someone else as an equal (without using humble/honorific or formal language).

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しののめ [shinonome] – Composed of the kanji for ‘east’ and ‘cloud’, shinonome means “early dawn” (the time when the eastern sky starts to become visible).

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さえずり [saezuri] – Although the kanji is rarely used, saezuri can mean either ① the singing of birds (especially mating season singing), or ② a whale’s tongue.

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つつもたせ [tsutsumotase] – This word refers to a kind of con in which a man’s wife or lover seduces another man, whom is then coerced into giving up his money.

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