This page is still a work in progress.  Please let us know if you would like additional terms to appear here.

Baishakunin-A person or go-between who selects marriage partners for arranged marriages

Buddhahead-Japanese American from Hawaii

Gaman-“enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity”


Hapa-half Japanese


Hiragana-Japanese writing system used for native Japanese words

Ikebana-The traditional Japanese art of flower arranging

Issei-1st generation

Kabuki-Classic Japanese theatre

Kanji-Chinese characters used in Japanese writing

Katakana-Japanese writing system used to translate foreign (non-native) words into Japanese

Katana-Japanese sword

Katonk-Japanese American from the mainland

Kendo-Japanese sword fighting

Kibei-American born Japanese educated in Japan



Nikkei-Person of Japanese  Ancestry

Nisei-2nd generation

Sansei-3rd generation

Shikata ga nai-“it can’t be helped”

Shoyu-soy sauce

Yonsei-4th generation

Zori-Japanese sandals made of straw


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