Kanji of the Day: 生 (い(きる)/う(む)/なま/せい/しょう) i-kiru/u-mu/nama/sei/shō (life)

Aside from “life”, 生 can also be used to describe things that are “raw”, “fresh”, or “draft”.

For instance, 生キャラメル (nama kyarameru), or fresh caramel, which contains more fresh cream than regular caramel (kyarameru) made a huge presence in the dessert industry in Japan a few years ago. Similarly, truffles are called 生チョコレート(nama chocore-to) since they also contain more fresh cream than regular chocolate. They are a popular gift item particularly for Valentines’ Day. 生どらやき (nama dorayaki) is an upgraded version of regular どらやき, which is a round red bean pancake, and has whipped cream filling inside on top of red bean paste. Mmm…


You may also see signs outside of Japanese restaurants that says “生ビールあります” or nama bi-ru arimasu, meaning “we serve draft beer”. When ordering draft beer, you may just say “生下さい” (nama kudasai), instead of “生ビール下さい” to make yourself sounds a bit cooler 😉


Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to a very common Japanese tongue twister!

Can you repeat “生麦 (nama mugi – uncooked barley) 生米 (nama gome – uncooked rice) 生卵 (nama tamago – raw egg)” really fast 3 times?!

Please let us know if you tried this tongue twister, and were successful! Happy Monday!


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