Hyphenated Japanese terms are listed as single words.
The inclusion of an anime or manga title in these entries is not a recommendation of that title, see my Recommended Anime and Manga page for a list of my recommendations
dachi waifu (Dutch wife) ダッチワイフ
Dutch wife. A love doll, these can range from inexpensive blow up models to pricey life sized dolls. There are some with the features of porn actresses and even childlike models. Manga:
In GTO (v.1 ch.3) when Nanako first comes to his apartment Onizuka does not want her to come in until he cleans up the mess which includes an inflatable love doll. Sources:
Constantine, Peter. Japan's Sex Trade p.195
Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box p.186
Dagashiya are sellers of candy and small toys catering to children. The origin of such stores was in the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) when neighborhood watchmen would set up a side business selling sweets and toys. The stock of dagashiya is cheap sweets and inexpensive toys that could be bought with pocket change. It is not unusual for such a shop to have former customers bringing their own kids or grand kids in for a treat. This type of shop is not as common as it once was but some do remain, many of the sweets they sell can only be found in such shops. These shops are sometimes called dagashiyasan. Manga:
In 20th Century Boys (v.1 p.165) the boys find a poster on a fence near their favorite dagashiya for the film Wanton Women Wet And Wild, in the danchizuma (housing complex wife) genre of pink films (see: pinku eiga, The Anime Companion 2 p.71). Later in the series (v.12 p.105) Kyoko uses the word dagashiya in referring to her experiences in the virtual world. Sources:
Ashburne, John & Abe Yoshi. World Food Japan p.162
Bestor, Theodore C. Neighborhood Tokyo p.24
Kiritani, Elizabeth. Vanishing Japan p.208-211 Toys Sold in Cheap Sweet Shops 駄菓子屋のおもちゃ p.5
Waley, Paul. Tokyo Now & Then p.128, 173, 292
A simple mochigashi, mochi confection, made with a thin wrapping of mochi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.87) around a large amount of an filling. The making of daifuku dates from the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25). Anime:
Jigoro offers ichigo (strawberry) daifuku, translated as "strawberry filled cake", to Yawara, and greatly enjoys it himself, in the first episode of Yawara! Sources: Illustrated Eating in Japan p.131 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.261
daikan 代官 (The Anime Companion 2 p.15)
Sources: Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.263
daikokuten 大黒天 OLD FORM 大黑天 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.21)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.465, p.647 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.264
daikon (radish) だいこん or 大根 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.21)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.250 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1243
Awa odori (Awa dance ) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.8)
Bon odori (Bon dance) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.13)
DANCE WITH BASKET see: dojō sukui (The Anime Companion 2 p.16)
danchi (housing complex) 団地
A multiunit housing complex with several buildings. This type of apartment complex started after the Kanto earthquake (see: Kantō Daisinsai; The Anime Companion 2 p.41) in 1923, the first danchi was built in the Daikan'yama district of Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104). Such apartment complexes became much more common in the post W.W.II era, especially after the founding of the Nihon Jūtaku Kōdan (Japan Housing Corporation) in 1955. A common type of post war apartment is the 2DK type consisting of two rooms and a dining/kitchen area. Before the introduction of this type of apartment the dining was done in a common room that would function as a living room during the day and a bedroom at night. There are also 1DK for single persons and 3DK and 4DK for larger families. Many such buildings have floors of retail and office space below floors dedicated to apartments. Anime:
In Pom Poko we see danchi in the Tama New Town (see: Tama Nyū Taun, The Anime Companion 2 p.97) development during the parade sequence and the later illusion sequence.
In Whisper of the Heart Shizuku and her family live in such an apartment, this also located in the Tama New Town area. Sources:
Inaba Kazuya and Nakayama Shigenobu. Japanese Homes and Lifestyles p.112, 116 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.272
danchizuma (housing complex wife) 団地妻
An apartment (danchi (housing complex)) dwelling housewife (tsuma). The term is also use to describe a sub-genre of pink film (see: pinku eiga (The Anime Companion 2 p.71) involving the adulterous adventures of such housewives. The already existing sub-genre of adulterous housewives was first called "danchizuma" in a series of 21 films released by the Nikkatsu film studio starting with their first Roman Porno film titled Danchizuma Hirusagari No Joji (Apartment Wife Afternoon Affair) in 1971. Later the pink film industry as a whole adopted the term danchizuma for such films with housewives. Anime: Consenting Adultery can be seen as an anime example of a story in the danchizuma sub-genre. Manga:
In 20th Century Boys (v.1 p.165) the boys find a poster on a fence near their favorite candy store for the film Wanton Women Wet And Wild, the term Danchizuma is just above the title. By the way at least some of the names on the poster are of people in the manga industry that Urasawa has worked with. Sources:
Sharp, Jasper. Behind the Pink Curtain p.272-3
Weisser, Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser. Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films p.47-50
A traditional system by which construction contractors agree on the division of bids for projects. Traditionally this was a way of spreading the work around so companies could share in the income project generated. It also restrained the social disruption that could result from business failures in the trade from aggressive competition. In the 1980s foreign corporations and governments protested that this traditional system was just a form of bid rigging and was a barrier that kept non-Japanese firms from entering the market. Under foreign pressure the Japanese government passed laws outlawing dango, however few foreign construction companies have entered the Japanese market since then. Anime:
Kintaro, in an attempt to obtain a contract when his company has been locked out of getting it, opposes a dangō in Salaryman Kintaro (ep.16, 17). Sources:
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan's Cultural Code Words: 233 Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese p.53-54
Matsushita Fumio. Design and Construction Practice in Japan A Practical Guide p.53-54
dango (dumpling) だんご or 団子 OLD FORM 團子 (The Anime Companion 2 p.15)
Hosking, Richard. Dictionary of Japanese Food p.36 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.272-3
Dannoura no Tatakai 壇ノ浦の戦い OLD FORM 壇ノ浦の戰ひ (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.21)
Sources: Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.273
darani (dhāranī) 陀羅尼
Mahayana Buddhist (see: Bukkyō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.15) esoteric spells, which are chanted in the original Sanskrit. While darani are used mainly in Shingonshū and Tendaishū Buddhism they are also found in many other traditions in Japan. These were promoted by Kūkai (Kōbō-Daishi) upon his return from studying Esoteric Buddhism (see: mikkyō; The Anime Companion 2 p.56) in China. Darani are condensed versions of teachings found in Buddhist sūtras, some darani are even found within sūtras such as in the Myōhōrengekyō (Lotus Sūtra). Darani are usually longer than mantra though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably by some. Anime:
A darani is used by Himiko in the Vampire Princess Miyu (ep. 3) OVA series when she is confronted with a case of kitsune-tsuki (fox possession). Manga:
Toma Enō uses a darani in Path of the Assassin (v.4 p.247-8) to change a serpent into an obi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98). Sources:
Breen, John and Teeuwen, Mark eds. Shintō in History p.79
Inagaki, Hisao. A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms p.37
Payne, Richard K., editor. Tantric Buddhism in East Asia p.12, 14-16
Reader, Ian. Religion in Contemporary Japan p.33
A contraction of the English phrase "decorated truck", These are not tricked out pickups but full sized heavy work vehicles. The decorations usually include mural sized paintings, large calligraphy, exhaust extensions, massive bumpers, piping front and back, much of all of this in chrome and with lights, at times enough lights to make the trucks look like a moving pachinko (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.104) parlor. The style was popularized by the 1975 Truck Yaro film staring Sugawara Bunta as a truck driver with a decorated rig. The popular film resulted in truck owners modifying their rigs often with items cannibalized from other types of vehicles such a tour buses. In time specialty shops began supplying items and the styles varied and expanded. Today there are even hobbyists who own such trucks, belong to clubs and meeting for gatherings with entire families. Anime and Manga:
In GTO (v.2 ch.10 and ep.2) we see Great Driver Onizuka on the road in Akita Ken and then back, oh how back, to Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104). Anime:
In Maison Ikkoku (ep.1) we see a very simple decotora with lights on the edges of the trailer blinking in a pattern.
In Pom Poko a truck is seen at night with the decorative lights on.
A very modern decotora with a cheesecake mural on the side is seen in the highway scene in Lupin the 3rd Crisis in Tokyo.
In Millennium Actress we get a good night time view of a decotora with lots of lights and a mural of cranes along side of the trailer.
In the future there will be decotora in space. the proof is in the Dirty Pair “We’re Space Truckers!” episode and in Cowboy Bebop episode 7 "Heavy Metal Queen".
In the GTO manga (v.20 ch.159) Ryuji delivers a decotora with a large phoenix motif mural on the trailer to Onizuka's school. Sources:
Kato Tomoyuki. The Art Trucks of Japan
In 1634 the Tokugawa bakufu (The Anime Companion 2 p.8) began building Dejima, an artificial island in Nagasaki Harbor, using funds from 25 wealthy merchants. When the island was completed in 1636 all the Portuguese in Japan were ordered to move there. After the Shimabara Uprising (Shimabara no Ran; The Anime Companion 2 p.84) Tokugawa Iemitsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102) ordered all Portuguese and their families deported to Macao. In 1641 the island was turned over to the merchants of the Dutch East India Company, who had been living in Hirado and were now required to live on Dejima. The complex of buildings included sixty five structures for which the merchants annually paid the city of Nagasaki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90) 55 kan, or 206 kilograms, of silver. During the long period of national isolation that was to end 213 years later during the Bakumatsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.8) this was the only place foreigners were allowed to reside in Japan. During the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) Dejima ceased to be an island as it was connected to the city by filling in the water between it and the city. Dejima translates as 'exit island' Anime:
A different Dejima of the future, again an isolated resident for foreigners, is mentioned in the first episode of Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG and sees lots of action in the final episodes. Manga:
In Peacemaker Kurogane (v.3 p.105) Tatsunosuke asks Sakamoto Ryōma (The Anime Companion 2 p.76) if he bought his gun in a store for foreigners in Dejima.
In Samurai Executioner (v.6 p.205) a prisoner known as Yaheiji of Dejima, the head of a smuggling ring, is to be executed. Sources:
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p. 88
Goedertier, Joseph M. Dictionary of Japanese History p. 40 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.277 Web Site: Dejima Comes Back to Life.
DELIVERY OF PREPARED FOOD see: demaé (The Anime Companion 2 p.16)
demaé (delivery of prepared food) 出前 (The Anime Companion 2 p.16)
Sources: Discover Japan v.1 p.84 Eating in Japan p.74 Outlook On Japan p.72
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PARTY see: Minshatō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.84)
DEMON FACED END TILE see: onigawa (The Anime Companion 2 p.69)
denki-gama (electric rice cooker) でんきがま or 電気釜 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.22)
Sources: Eating in Japan p.162, and local stores
Dennō Gakuen 電脳学園
Also known as Cyber School, Cybernetic Hi School or Cybernetic High School. A series of PC quiz games released by GAINAX on HD disks. Over time four games were released in the series. The original one was the first bideo gēmu released by GAINAX and was largely designed by Akai Takami who did everything except the programming and music. The object of these quiz games is simple, undress girls. By keeping the art in-house or commissioning art for the games costs were kept to a minimum.
Each game had a separate theme:
The first Dennō Gakuen game consisted of answering questions from school girls about anime, special effects movies, and manga.
The second, Dennō Gakuen 2: Highway Buster, was about cars and motorbikes with art by Shinda Mane, Akitaka Mika, and Kikuchi Michitaka (Asamiya Kia)
The third Dennō Gakuen 3: Top o Nerae! was based on the famous GAINAX anime GunBuster (Top o Nerae!) The player would challenge Kazumi, Jung, and Noriko to become a GunBuster pilot, and of course undress the girls.
The fourth was Dennō Gakuen 4: Ape Hunter J. This game involved tracking down 'evolved apemen' who were hard to distinguish from humans. It also returned the first game's goal of undressing school girls.
Later the first game would be re-released on CD-ROM for both Windows and Macintosh. Anime:
In the third interview during the 1985 Zoku (More) second part of Otaku no Video the game shown is the first Dennō Gakuen game and is identified as Cybernetic High School. The character on the screen is Hiroko. Sources:
Takeda Yasuhiro. The Notenki Memoirs p.129, 173. Web Site: Ninelives Dennō Gakuen page (last checked on Nov 7, 2005)
denwa (telephone) でんわ or 電話 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.22)
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.82 A Look Into Tokyo p.171 Today's Japan p.121
DEPARTMENT STORES see: depāto (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.23)
depāto (department store) デパート (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.23)
The commissioner (bugyō) who administered the five great highways in the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25). This position dated from 1659 and was held by one of the ōmetsuke, starting in 1698 a kanjō bugyō served concurrently. Manga:
Ogami Ito carries out an assignment directly in front of the offices of the dōchū bugyō in Lone Wolf and Cub (v.13 p.93). Sources:
Goedertier, Joseph M. A Dictionary of Japanese History p,62
Louis Frédéric. Japan Encyclopedia p.253
Nakai, Kate Wildman. Shogunal Politics p.124
dogs and pregnant women (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.23)
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.36
dohyō (sumō ring) 土俵
The ring used for sumō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.127) bouts. Originally the rings were simply a circle of participants and viewers, by the early Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) a rope secured around four poles served as the area for competition. Eventually a standard was established of a mound of earth (do) with long straw sacks (hyō or tawara) used to mark the circle. The modern mound for professional sumō is a trapezoid, 54 centimeters tall (21 inches) and 5.7 meters (18.7 feet) on each long side. The upper edge of the mound is lined with 32 earthen filled straw sacks buried so one side protrudes. Inside the square is a circle with a diameter of 4.6 meters (14.9 feet) made of 20 sacks. If any part of a rikishi lands outside the circle he has lost the match, the area outside the circle is covered with easily disturbed sand that is swept after each bout. The judges can use footprints and other marks in this sand to assist them in making decisions as to who is the winner. Inside the circle, near the center, are two parallel lines, shikirisen, where the fighters position themselves before the bout. Over all of this in sumō halls is a Shintō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.121) style roof that is suspended from the ceiling, at each corner is a tassel in one of four colors symbolizing the four seasons. In professional sumō the dohyō is built before each 15 day tournament. Anime:
In Kami Chu! (ep.9) we find that the famous battleship Yamato (The Anime Companion 2 p.116) had a dohyō on the deck. Manga:
In Maniac Road (v.1 p.99) Aoba explains that captain Yamaguchi Tamon of the battleship Ise so loved sumō that he had soil hauled on the ship and a dohyō made for his crew. Sources:
Buckingham, Dorothea N. Essential Guide to Sumo p. 56-58 Illustrated A Look Into Japan p.122 Illustrated Martial Arts & Sports in Japan p. 26-27. Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.290.
dōjinshi (fanzine) 同人誌 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.23)
Schodt, Frederik. Dreamland Japan p.36
dōjō (training hall) 道場 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.23)
Frederic, Louis. Dictionary of the Martial Arts p.27
Draeger, Donn F. Classical Bujutsu p.43-
dojō sukui 泥鰌掬い or 泥鰌掬 (The Anime Companion 2 p.16)
Sources: Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.291
dokudami どくだみ or 毒痛み (The Anime Companion 2 p.16)
Levy, Ran. Wild Flowers of Japan p.25-26
DOLL FESTIVAL see: Hina Matsuri (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.45)
A low rank of samurai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.110) which were often given minor duties. The term can be translated as "like minded" or "shared Hearts". Many of the police officers in major cities during the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) were dōshin. Police duties for dōshin would include patrols, investigation and guarding prisoners. Those with patrol duties would often have assistants who were commoners. The pay of dōshin police officers was so low that they would often run small businesses on the side, a violation of regulations. Manga:
In Samurai Executioner one often sees dōshin carrying out their duties as guards or patrolmen.
In Blade of the Immortal occasionally see dōshin, usually in conflict with one or more of the major characters in the series. Sources:
Cunningham, Don. Secret Weapons of Jujutsu p.60, 61
Cunningham, Don. Taiho-Jutsu p.45-46 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1754
A guardian deity for boundaries and roads, the term is often translated as "travelers guardian deity" it can also be translated as "earth ancestor deity". Dōsojin are also referred to as dōrokujin and sae no kami, sae meaning obstructing. These deities obstruct evil from harming villages and travelers. They are also associated with procreation, easy childbirth and protecting children. Stone images are placed at the boundaries of villages, roadsides, bridges, crossroads, mountain passes, overlooking valleys and the sea or placed on the Shintō altar (see: kamidanaThe Anime Companion [vol.1] p.60) in a home or business, these later images are often wooden. The forms of the images vary greatly from simple pillars (often phallic), stones with the word dōsojin carved on them, to carvings of human figures and deities such as Jizō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.55) and Fudō-Myōō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.29), a common form is a couple next to each other. Anime and Manga:
An arraignment of stones behind a dōsojin, translated as "traveler's guardian deity" in the anime and "roadside guardian" in the manga, is used as a signal by Nae and Yuta in Mermaid Forest (ep.11) and Mermaid Saga (v.2 p.149). Anime:
In Rurouni Kenshin (ep.85) Kenshin wonders if a pillar at Ryujin lake is a "dousojin to bless travelers". Manga:
In Dororo (v.2 p.31) we see an upright stone with the kanji for dōsojin written on it and a hokora (small wayside shrine) next to it at the border of the village.
A large phallic dōsojin with "Dōso Kinsei Daijinrei carved" on it is seen next to Oyaji bridge in Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clan (v.2 ch.9, 11). The original Japanese version of the manga has 道祖金精大神靈 Dōso Konsei Daishinrei on the dōsojin. Sources: Basic Terms of Shintō p. 7
Czaja, Michael. Gods of Myth and Stone: Phallicism in Japanese Folk Religion p.45-46, 258-59; images 76-79
Bocking, Brian. A Popular Dictionary of Shinto p.24 Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.295
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.430
Dōtonbori 道頓堀 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25)
Bisignani, J. D. Japan Handbook p.515
DOUBLE SUICIDE see: shinjū (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.119)
DOWRY see: yuinō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.149)
dozō (traditional storehouse) 土蔵 OLD FORM 土藏 (The Anime Companion 2 p.17)
Sources: Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.295 & 1459