See also: 壽司


For pronunciation and definitions of 寿 – see 壽司 (“sushi”).
(This term, 寿司, is the simplified form of 壽司.)


Etymology 1Edit

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A plate of maki-zushi, sushi rolled up in dried seaweed.
Kanji in this term

Grade: S

Grade: 4
kan’yōon on’yomi
Alternative spellings
壽司 (kyūjitai)

From 酸し (sushi, sour), the archaic (shi) terminal-form conjugation of modern 酸い (sui, sour).[1][2][3]

Originally, sushi was a form of fish that had been salted and fermented for preservation without refrigeration. The fish was sometimes packed with rice or rice mixed with vinegar in order to speed the fermentation process. In the Edo period, this was also known as hayazushi (早鮨, 早鮓) when packed in layers, pressed, and fermented for just one night. Something similar is still prepared today as narezushi (馴鮨, 熟鮨) that relies on fermentation with no added vinegar.

The kanji are an example of ateji (当て字).



寿()() (sushi (kyūjitai 壽司)

  1. sushi: vinegared rice served with fish or vegetables, etc.
Usage notesEdit

Sushi may be counted a number of ways:

Historically, かん or (kan) is a relatively recent innovation, appearing in the 1970s. In the Edo period when modern sushi first starts to appear, and all the way through the Meiji or Taishō periods, records only show the use of the generic (tsu) and (ko) counters.[6]

Derived termsEdit
  • Danish: sushi c
  • English: sushi
  • French: sushi m
  • Indonesian: susyi
  • Italian: sushi m
  • Polish: sushi n
  • Portuguese: sushi m
  • Spanish: sushi m

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S

Grade: 4
nanori on’yomi
Alternative spellings
壽司 (kyūjitai)


From classical adjective (ひさ) (hisashi, whence modern (ひさ)しい (hisashī, long-lasting, persisting for a long time)).


Proper nounEdit

寿(ひさ)() (Hisashi

  1. a male given name


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  4. 4.0 4.1 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  5. 5.0 5.1 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  6. ^ 飯田朝子 (Asako Iida) (04 2004) , 町田健 (Ken Machida), editor, 数え方の辞典 (Kazoekata no Jiten, “Counter Dictionary”)[1] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shōgakukan, retrieved 2013-07-08
    According to the Revised Food Dictionary (1974), it was in the Shōwa period that chefs started to call a plate with two completed sushi servings a “two-kan plate”, using “kan” to mean “piece”.