japanese kanji for octopus

What Is The Japanese Kanji For Octopus? | How To Say Octopus In Japanese? 

05 June 2024Shopify API

The Japanese kanji for octopus is 蛸. Read on to find out the component breakdown of 蛸. Learn how to say Japanese kanji for Octopus below! 

The Japanese language is a tapestry of intricate characters, each weaving together meaning and culture in a mesmerizing manner.

Among these characters, the kanji 蛸 (tako), representing "octopus," stands out as a testament to the fusion of linguistic artistry and cultural symbolism.

Join us as we decipher the strokes and meanings that compose 蛸, shedding light on how language and culture intertwine within the realm of Japanese kanji.

Japanese Kanji for Octopus Is 蛸 

The kanji character 蛸, pronounced as "tako," is the Japanese word for "octopus." This character is composed of two components: 虫 (mushi), meaning "insect" or "bug," and 音 (on), which refers to "sound." 

In the kanji 蛸, the radical 虫 represents the tentacles of the octopus, while 音 symbolizes its purported sound-making abilities.

As with many kanji characters, the connection between the form and the meaning is a fascinating aspect of Japanese linguistics and cultural symbolism.

japanese kanji for octopus

How To Say Octopus In Japanese? 

To pronounce "octopus" in Japanese, you can use the word "tako." The pronunciation is quite straightforward, and it's similar to how the kanji 蛸 is read. Here's how you can say it:

English: Octopus Japanese: 蛸 (たこ) - Tako

To further enhance your understanding of this word, let's break down the pronunciation:

  • た (ta) - Pronounced as "tah"
  • こ (ko) - Pronounced as "koh"

When combined, these two syllables form "たこ" (tako), which means "octopus" in Japanese.

Breaking Down The Components Of 蛸

The Japanese language is a treasure trove of symbols, each character carrying a story that unfolds through its components. The kanji character 蛸 (tako), meaning "octopus," is no exception. 

By dissecting its components, we can unravel the layers of meaning and symbolism hidden within this intriguing character.

  1. Radical: 虫 (Mushi) - Insect Radical:

The radical 虫 (mushi) plays a pivotal role in the kanji 蛸. This radical is derived from the pictograph of an insect, and it often represents creatures that crawl or have a connection to insects, even though the primary meaning is "insect" itself. 

In the context of 蛸, the 虫 radical signifies the tentacles of the octopus, mirroring their slender and intricate nature.

  1. Component: 音 (On) - Sound Component:

The component 音 (on), meaning "sound," is an unexpected addition to the character 蛸. This component's inclusion might seem puzzling at first, but it adds an intriguing layer to the character's history and symbolism. 

In ancient times, there was a belief that octopuses possessed the ability to predict changes in the weather or the coming of rain through a sound that resembled that of insects. 

This association between octopuses and sound led to the incorporation of the 音 component, giving rise to the unique character 蛸.

By combining these two components - the tentacle-resembling 虫 radical and the sound-related 音 component - the kanji 蛸 visually encapsulates the essence of the octopus, both in terms of its physical attributes and its mythical auditory abilities.

Sentence Examples For 蛸 

  • 日本の海岸線では、美味しい蛸料理がたくさん楽しめます。
    (Nihon no kaigan-sen de wa, oishii tako ryouri ga takusan tanoshimeru.)
    On Japan's coastline, you can enjoy plenty of delicious octopus dishes.
  • 彼女は蛸の絵を描くのが得意です。
    (Kanojo wa tako no e o kaku no ga tokui desu.)
    She is skilled at drawing octopus illustrations.
  • 海中の蛸はしばしば岩場に隠れます。
    (Kaichuu no tako wa shibashiba iwaba ni kakuremasu.)
    Octopuses in the sea often hide among the rocks.
  • 私たちはタコヤキを作って楽しい時間を過ごしました。
    (Watashitachi wa takoyaki o tsukutte tanoshii jikan o sugoshimashita.)
    We had a fun time making takoyaki.
  • 蛸は柔軟な体を持ち、驚くほどの知能を持っています。
    (Tako wa juunan na karada o mochi, odoroku hodo no chinou o motteimasu.)
    Octopuses have flexible bodies and surprisingly high intelligence.
  • この料理には新鮮な蛸がたっぷりと使われています。
    (Kono ryouri ni wa shinsen na tako ga tappuri to tsukawareteimasu.)
    This dish features plenty of fresh octopus.
  • 蛸は深海で生息する神秘的な生き物です。
    (Tako wa shinkai de seisoku suru shinpiteki na ikimono desu.)
    Octopuses are mysterious creatures that inhabit the deep sea.
  • 彼は釣りで大きな蛸を捕まえました。
    (Kare wa tsuri de ooki na tako o tsukamaemashita.)
    He caught a large octopus while fishing.
  • 蛸は多くの日本の伝説や物語に登場します。
    (Tako wa ooku no Nihon no densetsu ya monogatari ni toujou shimasu.)
    Octopuses appear in many Japanese legends and stories.
  • アクアリウムで蛸を間近で見ることができました。
    (Akuariumu de tako o majika de miru koto ga dekimashita.)
    I was able to see octopuses up close at the aquarium.

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