Anime Companion Supplement - N

Na - Nar - Ne - Ni - Nin - No - Ny -

This series of pages is a supplement to two of my books The Anime Companion and The Anime Companion 2.

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Special Supplement: Rurouni Kenshin OVAs

Each Supplement page consists of:
1. A list of entries in the books with page numbers.
2. New entries for items not found in the books.
3. Japanese characters for entries
4. Secondary sources used to find information for each entry.
5. Additional information for some entries.
6. Links to select Internet resources related to the entries.

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For more information about this supplement see The Anime Companion Supplement main page. Additions are announced in the Anime Companion Supplement News page and in my Blog.

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

nabe (iron pot) なべ or 鍋 (The Anime Companion 2 p.59)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.102

chirinabe (The Anime Companion 2 p.12)

nabemono (The Anime Companion 2 p.59)

nabemono (one pot meals) なべもの or 鍋物 (The Anime Companion 2 p.59)
Ashburne, John & Abe Yoshi World Food Japan p.71, 183
Japanese Inn and Travel p.50
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.102
nabeyaki-udon 鍋焼きうどん OLD FORM 鍋燒うどん (The Anime Companion 2 p.59)
Ashburne, John & Abe Yoshi World Food Japan p.267
Nagasawa Kimiko & Camy Condon. Eating Cheap in Japan p.32
Nagasaki 長崎 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1032
Web site:
Nagasaki bugyō (Nagasaki Commissioner) 長崎奉行
A special commissioner, bugyō, in Nagasaki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90) to oversea trade with the Dutch and Chinese posts and oversee many local offices. Originally this position was appointed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.140) and continued by Tokugawa Ieyasu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102). During the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) the position was considered so important that a special metsuke who countersigned orders and acted jointly in many tasks. During the Bakumatsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.8) the Nagasaki bugyō also had to prepare for possible invasion. At one time there were four Nagasaki bugyō, this was later reduced to two with one working in Nagasaki and the other in Edo on alternating years.
The Nagasaki bugyō inspects a ship in Lone Wolf and Cub (v. 22 p.85).
Goedertier, Joseph M. A Dictionary of Japanese History p.192
Nakai, Kate Wildman. Shogunal Politics p.110
Titsingh, Isaac. Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns p.6

NAGASAKI COMMISSIONER see: Nagasaki bugyō (Nagasaki Commissioner)

NAGASAKI MAGISRATE see: Nagasaki bugyō (Nagasaki Commissioner)

nagaya (row house) 長屋 (The Anime Companion 2 p.59)
Cybriwsky, Roman. Historical Dictionary of Tokyo p. 102
Naito Akira. Edo: The City That Became Tokyo p. 28, 64, 141
Must See In Nikko p.123
Inaba Kazuya and Nakayama Shigenobu. Japanese Homes and Lifestyles p.79-81
naginata (halberd) なぎなた or 薙刀 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.91)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1035
Martial Arts & Sports in Japan p.19, 158-
Outlook on Japan p.32
Naha 那覇[市]
The capital of Okinawa Ken (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99). An important city for trade for the Ryūkyū Shotō (Ryūkyū Islands). It was the capital of the Ryūkyū kingdom when Japan incorporated the islands into the new ken (prefecture) (The Anime Companion 2 p.44) system in 1879. During World War II the entire city was leveled. After the war Naha was administered by the US military until Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972. The economy is mainly based on small businesses, local goods and tourism.
In Full Metal Panic! (ep.4 ) the class is on a flight to Naha when they find things are not quite right.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1036
Web Site:


naikaku (Japanese Cabinet) 内閣
The pre-World War II cabinet system was established in 1885 to strengthen the executive branch and increase acceptance by the Western Powers. The cabinet and Prime Minister (see: shushō) were responsible to the Emperor but not to the Diet (see: Kokkai, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.72) and were chosen by an oligarchy. The cabinet also had limited authority as it shared power with several other political institutions. After W.W.II the government restructuring centralized administrative power in the Prime Minister and cabinet, the Prime Minister having power to appoint and remove cabinet members. Also no officer of the Self Defense Forces (see: Jieitai, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.53) can be on the cabinet as the cabinet must be composed entirely of civilians. Either house of the Diet can pass impeachment resolutions against cabinet members, the lower house can dissolve the cabinet forcing a new election and the majority of cabinet members must be elected members of the Diet.
A meeting of the Prime Minister and cabinet is seen in episode 22 of Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG series.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1227-1228
Web Site:
Prime Minister and His Cabinet

NAILING DOLL TO TREE see: ushi no koku mairi (The Anime Companion 2 p.111)

Naimushō (Ministry Of The Interior) 内務省 (The Anime Companion 2 p.60)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.554
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p. 43

NAKAMURA THEATER see: Nakamura-za (Nakamura Theater)

Nakamura-za (Nakamura Theater) 中村座
A major kabuki (The Anime Companion 2 p.35) theater founded by Nakamura Kanzaburō I in 1624. originally located in Nakabashi in Edo (The Anime Companion 2 p.18), what is now Nihombashi-dōri 2 chome. Originally the theater was called Saruwaka-za and for a time, in the 1660s and 70s, Tsuruya Kanzaburō-za. The great fire of 1657 (Meireki no taika) destroyed the building which was quickly rebuilt. Several popular plays were produced by this theater in the Genroku jidai. In 1714 the Nakamura-za became one of the Edo sanza (Edo three theaters) when another theater, the Yamamura-za was shut down by the authorities. In 1841 a fire led to all of the theaters being relocated to Saruwaka-chō in Asakusa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.5) by order of Mizuno Tadakuni in the Tempo reforms. In the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) the theater again changed it's name to the Saruwaka-za, in 1884 it relocated to Shin Torigoe-chō and in 1892 changed the name to Torigoe-za, in January 1893 the theater burned down and was not reopened.
Ghost Slayers Ayashi episode 8 takes place not long after the 1841 fire and relocation of the theaters.
In Act 4 of Ayakashi Samurai Horror Tales: Yotsuya Ghost Story we find out the Nakamuraza was where Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (Ghost Story of Tōkaidō Yotsuya) was first shown in 8th year of Bunsei.
Leiter, Samuel. New Kabuki Encyclopedia p.452-453
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.112-113, 135

NAKANO WARD see: Nakano-ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.60)

Nakano-ku 中野区 OLD FORM 中野區 (The Anime Companion 2 p.60)
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p. 22, 176
Waley, Paul. Tokyo Now & Then p. xxxii, 253
Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas p. 30-31
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1041
Web Sites:
Nakano (official site)
Nakasendō 中山道 or 中仙道 (The Anime Companion 2 p.60)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1041
Papinot, E. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan p.429
namahage 生剥
A custom found in many parts of North West Japan where young men dress in horned fierce masks, carry knives as well as wooden pails and wear straw capes (mino; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.84). They then visit homes in their village asking if there are any disobedient children, demanding to punish them and lecturing kids about laziness. They are assured the children are good hard workers then fed and given sake (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.109) and sometimes money as they leave. The custom is done to ensure a good harvest and safety for the households.
Namahage with leaf cloaks are seen entering the bath house and later exiting the elevator in Spirited Away.
Illustrated Festivals of Japan p.132
Illustrated Japanese Inn & Travel p.154
Illustrated Today’s Japan p.68
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1044
Yoda Hiroko and Matt Alt. Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide p.118-121
namako 海鼠or なまこ
Also known as sea slug, sea cucumber or holothurian. An invertebrate sea dwelling animal. Two kinds are eaten in Japan; nanamako (Stichopus japonicus) and kinko (Cucumaria japonicus). Namako are sold live in markets and eaten raw in Japan, whereas in China they are always dried. To eat namako the Japanese slice it and serve it as a sunomono or dip it in a vinegar and soy sauce (shōyu; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.124) mixture. The internal organs are salted and fermented to make konowata which is eaten as as side dish when drinking sake (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.109)
The school has a legend of a man faced sea cucumber in Haunted Junction (ep 2)
In Planetes Fee is looking at Tanabe's pet sea cucumber with a disgusted look on her face when Yurii explains that the Japanese eat them (v.2 supplement after phase 7)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.103
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1333

NAMA-YUBA (RAW YUBA) see: yuba (soybean curd skin)

namazu (catfish)
Catfish. Japan has three native species the common namazu, Parasilurus asotus, grows to about 2 feet long and is found in freshwater streams and lakes especially where water plants are found and eats small animals, smaller fish and frogs. This species is also found in South China, Korea and Manchuria. The other two species are found in Lake Biwa (see: Biwako, The Anime Companion 2 p.10), the larger of the two, the ōnamazu, grows to about 28 inches long. The two common forms of cooking are kabayaki, sanshoyaki and tenpura (The Anime Companion 2 p.99). It is considered a seasonal food (shokumi) for the month of June. Legends have it that earthquakes (see: jishin, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.54) are caused by a gigantic namazu moving underground. The earthquake catfish is restrained by a gigantic stone (the kaname-ishi) holding it in place. The stone was placed by the warrior kami (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.59) Take-mika-zuchi-no-mikoto (Kashima Daimyōjin) and the top of the stone can be seen at Kashima Shrine. The Shintō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.121) kami of Earthquakes is Nai-no-kami who is identified with the namazu, in the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) attempts were made to separate the two. In the late Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) a belief came to be that namazu could predict earthquakes.
In Rurouni Kenshin (ep.66) Kenshin salt roasts a catfish he has caught.
Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology 220-221
Bocking, Brian. A Popular Dictionary of Shinto p.131
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.169
Kamohara Toshiji. Fishes of Japan in Color p.21
Sanmi Sasaki. Chado The Way of Tea: A Japanese Tea Master's Almanac p.313
namazu-e (catfish picture) 鯰絵
A genre of ukiyo-e prints that came into existence in Edo (The Anime Companion 2 p.18) days after the Ansei Edo Jishin (Ansei Edo Earthquake) of 1855 depicting the giant namazu (catfish) believed to cause earthquakes (see: jishin, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.54). By a few weeks there were over 400 different designs of these popular prints in the city, often with the kaname ishi of Kashima Shrine pressing down on it's back. Some of the prints depicted the catfish as merely the creator of destruction, others as a source of wealth as he forced the rich to spend money on reconstruction of their homes and businesses, thereby providing an income for the contractors and workers who were hired to do the rebuilding and the prostitutes they would spend surplus money on. Some have the catfish being punished, even eaten, others show him making the rich puke or shit money, There is even one with the catfish as the takarabune (treasure ship) riding over waves of roof tiles (see: kawara, The Anime Companion 2 p.43) with the lucky gods (see: Shichifuku-jin, (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.117) depicted as firemen, carpenters, sellers of kawaraban and a prostitute, all occupations that benefited in some way from disasters.
In episode 95 of the Rurouni Kenshin TV series we get to see two girls looking at a namazu-e which depicts a stone tied to the catfish's head. The whiskers of the catfish are around the neck of a rich man as they have a tug-of-war and the man's gold coins are spilling on the ground.
Cybriwsky, Roman. Historical Dictionary of Tokyo p.103
Salter, Rebecca. Japanese Popular Prints p.108-113
Smits, Gregory. "Shaking up Japan: Edo Society and the 1855 Catfish Picture Prints" Journal of Social History, 39:4 (Summer 2006) p.1045-1078

NAME CARDS see: meishi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.82)

NAME, CHANGING CHILD'S see: tsūshō (The Anime Companion 2 p.110)

NAME OF A MALE CHILD see: yōmyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.118)

NAME ON FUNERAL TABLET see: kaimyō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.58)

nameko なめこ or 滑子
Pholiota nameko. A type of mushroom originally found only in Japan but now cultivated. These button shaped brown mushrooms have a gelatinous quality prized by the Japanese. Nameko are sold canned or are pickled as they do not preserve well. They are used in miso soup (misoshiru; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.85), one pot meals (nabemono; The Anime Companion 2 p.59) and aemono.
Miso soup with nameko is seen during the prisoners discussion of food for the New Year in Doing Time (p.121)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.104
Waycott, Agness. Sado: Japan’s Island in Exile p.25

NAMING A BABY see: shichiya (The Anime Companion 2 p.83)

NAMU AMIDA see: nenbutsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)

NAMU-AMIDA BUTSU see: nenbutsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)

Namu Myōhōrengekyō 南無妙法蓮華経
Namu Myōhōrengekyō is a chant that is translated in various ways, some of them are "All glory to the Lotus Sūtra"; "I take my refuge in the Lotus Sūtra"; "praise to the sūtra of the lotus blossom of the fine dharma"; and "Hail to the sūtra of divine law". The namu part of the phrase means "adoration to" or "homage to" and is sometimes interpreted as "I take refuge in". The remainder of the phrase is the Japanese name of the Lotus Sūtra, the Myōhōrengekyō. The term used to describe this phrase is the daimoku. The chanting of the daimoku to achieve salvation was a major teaching of Nichiren the founder of Nichirenshū (Nichiren sect) and is a major chant of that sect of Buddhism (see: Bukkyō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.15).
In Urusei Yatsura Cherry chants "nam myou hou renge kyou" (ep.95 story 117 "Lum's Classic Tales of Japan")
Mustachio in Astro Boy (v.9 p.204) chants "nanm-youhou-renge-kyou" while using a *uchiwa-daiko (prayer drum).
Inagaki Hisao. A Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Terms p.223
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1047
Miner, Earl; Odagiri Hiroko and Robert Morrell. Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature p.272

NANAIRO TŌGARASHI see: shichimi tōgarashi (The Anime Companion 2 p.83)

nanakusa (seven herbs) 七草
The seven herbs. This actually refers to two different groups of plants, one set for the spring called haru no nanakusa and another set for the fall called aki no nanakusa. The spring ones are gogyō (cottonweed), seri (dropwort or Japanese parsley), nazuna (shepherd's purse), hotokenoza (henbit), hakobera (chickweed), suzuna (see: kabu) and suzushiro, also known as daikon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.21). Eating these seven plants in the spring is an ancient tradition, starting in the Muromachi Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90) making a gruel called nanakusa-gayu and eating it on the 7th day of the first month of the old calendar became a custom. Today this is followed on January 7th. This food is also offered to the kami (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.59). It is said that eating the herbs keeps one in good health. The fall herbs are also used in floral decorations during the moon viewing events and the Bon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.12) festival. The fall plants are ominaeshi, hagi (Japanese bush clover), kuzu (kudzu), susuki (eulalia) (The Anime Companion 2 p.94), nadeshiko (fringed pink), fujibakama (boneset), and asago (kikyō or Chinese bellflower). The fall version of the soup is called aki-nanakusa.
In Peacemaker (ep 14) is the line: "Seven spring herbs, shepherds purse, Ere do the Western birds, To the lands of the East Come across the sea to roost."
In Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clan (v.5 p.108) we see seven plants gathered by Ochie. These are identified as patrinia, pampas, nadeshiko, Chinese bell flower, arrow root, bush clover, and throughwart.
Bocking, Brian. A Popular Dictionary of Shinto p.131-132
Illustrated Eating in Japan p.63
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1047

NANAMAKO see: namako

NANSEI ISLANDS see: Ryūkyū Shotō (Ryūkyū Islands)

Nara 奈良 [市] (The Anime Companion 2 p.61)
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p. 355
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1173
Web Site:
Nara City

NARITA AIRPORT see: Shin Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.121)

NARITA FUDŌ see: Shinshōji

NARITA TEMPLE see: Shinshōji

NARITASAN see: Shinshōji

NARITAZAN see: Shinshōji

naruko (bird rattles) 鳴子
Bird rattles. A simple system consisting of small boards with segments of bamboo attached. These would be hung on a rope that could be yanked to make noise and scare birds and animals away from crops.
In both Ranma 1/2 Anything Goes Martial Arts (ep. 17) and Urusei Yatsura (TV 18 (ep. 69 story 92) they are used as alarms rather than to frighten pests.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1054
naruto なると or 鳴門 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.91)
Eating in Japan p.92
nashi (Japanese pear) なし or 梨
The Japanese pear, Pyrus pyrifolia, sometimes called 'sand pear' in the West. This fruit is round, looking at first glance like a large apple, they even have a similar crispness to an apple. The two major varieties are brown and green, one can taste a hint of caramel in the brown variety. These are grown from Southern Hokkaidō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.46) to Kyūshū (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.78)
A pear is offered to Fuu in Samurai Champloo (ep.8)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.106
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia 1194
nasu (eggplant) 茄子 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.91)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.327
Eating in Japan p.102

NATIONAL MERIT AWARD see: Kokumin Eiyo Shō (People's Honor Award)

NATIONAL DIET LIBRARY see: Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan (National Diet Library)

NATIONAL SCIENCE MUSEUM see: Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan (The Anime Companion 2 p.48)

Natsume Sōseki 夏目漱石 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.91)
Who's Who of Japan p.160
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1064
nattō 納豆 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)
Eating in Japan p.148
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1064



NAWA NOREN see: noren (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)

Nebuta Matsuri (Nebuta Festival) ねぶた祭 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Japanese Life and Events p.62
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1070
negi (spring onion) ねぎ or 葱 (The Anime Companion 2 p.61)
Eating in Japan p.156
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.107
Ashburne, John & Abe Yoshi. World Food Japan p. 65

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION see: chōnaikai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.19)

NEJI (TWIST) see: sodegarami (sleeve entangler)

neko (cat) 猫 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.169
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.180, 434
neko (queer slang) ネコ or ねこ
A slang term used by Japanese lesbians (see: rezubian; The Anime Companion 2 p.73) and gay men. The word is not the same as for cat (see: neko; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)), rather it is a play on o-nē, from o-nē-san (older sister). by dropping the honorific "o" and adding ko (child). It refers to the person in a relationship, physical or emotional, who assumes the passive role. Neko can be translated as bottom, passive or femme. A neko is often assumed to be paired with a tachi (top/butch) if they are in a relationship.
One of the clients in Love Lessons (ep.1) is a woman of whom it is said 'She desires a lesbian partner of a cat-like quality" cat-like is a translation of the English phrase "neko type."
Long, Daniel. "Formation Processes of Some Japanese Gay Argot Terms" American Speech, Vol. 71, No. 2, (Summer, 1996), pp. 219
nekomata 猫又, 猫叉, or 猫股
A type of bakeneko (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.8) with a split tail. These are cats that have lived for so long that they developed supernatural abilities. They can walk on their hind legs and manipulate the dead as if they were puppets. For these reasons long tailed cats often had their tails cut and cats were kept away from corpses and *coffins.
In GokuSen (ep 5) a new gang is causing trouble which calls itself the nekomata gang.
In Kami Chu! (ep.8) Tyler the cat has lived so long he became a nekomata.
Lum is dressed as a nekomata in Urusei Yatsura (ep.80 story 103).
Ren wonders if the yōkai that is rumored to be in the school is a nekomata in Kon Kon Kokon (v.1 p.36).
Casal, U.A. "The Goblin Fox and Badger and Other Witch Animals of Japan" in Asian Folklore Studies v.18 (1959) p.59-
Koge-Donbo. Kon Kon Kokon v.1 p.205
nenbutsu 念仏 OLD FORM 念佛 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1071
Who's Who of Japan p.51
nenbutsu odori (dancing nembutsu) 念仏踊
A type of joyful dance (odori) with nenbutsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92) chanting or Buddhist hymns and music, flutes, bells and drums being common instruments. This type of dance is said to have been originated in the 10th century by the monk Kūya and it spread throughout Japan in the Kamakura Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.59) being championed by Ippen, founder of the Ji sect of Pure Land Buddhism. The movement of stamping on the ground in nenbutsu odori is also considered to repel demons. During the Bon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.12) festival nenbutsu odori is one type of dance used. Nenbutsu odori has had a great deal of influence on folk dance, such as the Bon odori (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.13), and secular performing dance including in early kabuki (The Anime Companion 2 p.35) where Izumo no Okuni (The Anime Companion 2 p.33) is recorded to have performed such dances as entertainment. Sometimes of nenbutsu odori is romanized as nembutsu odori.
Late in Pom Poko a nenbutsu odori group is founded among the tanuki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.133), listen carefully when the subtitles say "Buddhist dancing cult" and you will hear the phrase "odori nembutsu".
Iwasaka Michiko & Toelken, Barre. Ghosts and the Japanese p.28.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1072.
Leiter, Samuel. New Kabuki Encyclopedia p.465-466.
nengajō (New Year's card) 年賀状 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)
Discover Japan v.1 p.4
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.76
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1081

NENJŪ GYŌJI see: matsuri to nenchū gyōji (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81)

NERIMA WARD see: Nerima-ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.61)

Nerima-ku 練馬区 (The Anime Companion 2 p.61)
Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas p.38-39
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1073
Web Sites:
Nerima (official site)

NEW HALF see: nyū hāfu (The Anime Companion 2 p.64)

NEW RELIGIONS see: shinkō shūkyō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.120)

NEW TŌKYŌ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT see: Shin Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.121)

NEW YEAR'S BELL RINGING see: joya no kane (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.55)

NEW YEAR'S CARDS see: nengajō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.92)

NEW YEAR'S FIRST DREAM OF THE YEAR see: hatsuyume (first dream of the year)

NEW YEAR'S FOODS see: osechi-ryōri (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102)

NEW YEAR'S MONEY FOR CHILDREN see: otoshidama (new year gift)

NEW YEAR PARTY see: bōnen-kai ("forget the year party")

NEW YEAR RICE CAKE ORNAMENT see: kagami-mochi (New Year rice cake ornament)

NEW YEAR'S SOBA see: toshikoshi soba (The Anime Companion 2 p.106)

NEW YEAR'S SOUP see: zōni (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.150)

NEW YEAR'S TEMPLE BELLS see: joya no kane (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.55)

NEW YEARS ARROWS see: hamaya (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.39)

NEW YEARS ORNAMENTS see: kadomatsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.58)

NEW YEARS PINE see: kadomatsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.58)

NEW YEARS SHRINE OR TEMPLE VISIT see: hatsumōde (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.42)

NEW YEAR'S SONG CONTEST see: Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Contest)

NEW YOSHIWARA see: Yoshiwara

NEWSPAPERS see: shinbun (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.119)

NEWT, CHARRED see: Imori no kuroyaki (charred newt)

Nezumi Kozō 鼠小僧 (The Anime Companion 2 p.62)
Enbutsu Sumiko. Old Tokyo p. 148
Who's Who of Japan p.117

NHK see: Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)

NHK TAIGA DORAMA see: Taiga dorama (Taiga Drama)

niboshi (small dried fish) 煮干 or にぼし
Small dried fish. Several species are used for this, the most common is small anchovies. The fish are boiled and sun dried to preserve them. Dashi (The Anime Companion 2 p.15) is sometime made by soaking these dried fish overnight.
Niboshi, translated as 'dried sardines', is given to the cat at Christmas in Kami Chu! episode 13.
In Rose Hip Zero (v.1) Hata advises Kido to eat 'dried sardines' as a source of calcium (p.40) later ( p.160) we see Hata reaching into a bag of niboshi on his desk.
Illustrated Eating in Japan p.152
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.108
Nichibei Shūkō Tsūshō Jōyaku (Japan-U.S. Friendship and Commerce Treaty) 日米修好通商条約 OLD FORM 日米修好通商條約 (The Anime Companion 2 p.62)
Cybriwsky, Roman. Historical Dictionary of Tokyo p.66
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.503
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p.188
Web Sites:
The Harris Treaty, 1858
Treaty between the United States and Japan, signed on 29 July 1858.
Nichibei Washin Jōyaku (Treaty of Kanagawa) 日米和親条約 OLD FORM 日米和親條約 (The Anime Companion 2 p.62)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.732
Web Sites:
U.S. - Japan Treaty of Kanagawa (1854)
U.S.-Japan Treaty, 1854

Nichiren sect see: Nichirenshū (Nichiren sect)

Nichirenshū (Nichiren sect) 日蓮宗
The Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism also referred to as the Hokke sect and Lotus sect. This sect was founded by Nichiren a Tendaishū (Tendai sect) monk in 1253. The major sacred book of this sect is a Mahayana Buddhist text the Lotus Sūtra, known in Japanese as Hokekyō or the Myōhō renge kyō and in Sanskrit as the Saddharmapundarīka-sūtra. The practice of chanting namu myōhō renge kyō is common to all branches of Nichirenshū. During the Sengoku jidai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.113) some branches of Nichirenshū clashed with Oda Nobunaga (The Anime Companion 2 p.65) and were suppressed in areas under his control.
Ikozan Homyoji Temple, Nichiren Sect Zoshigaya-cho Koishikawa is on a list of temples having hojicho in Lady Snowblood (v.2 p.32)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1083
Nichiro Sensō (Russo-Japanese War) 日露戦争 OLD FORM 日露戰爭 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.93)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1279


NIGHT PROCESSION OF 100 DEMONS see: hyakki yagyō (night procession of 100 demons)

NIGHT VISIT see: yobai (night creeping)

NIGHTLIFE TRADE see: mizushōbai (water trade)

nigirimeshi (rice ball) 握り飯 OLD FORM 握飯 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.93)
Discover Japan v.1 p.58
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1084
nigirizushi にぎりずし or 握り鮨
A popular style of sushi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.128) in which the chef takes some sushi rice and shapes it into an oblong form, then he adds a topping, sometimes with a small dab of wasabi (The Anime Companion 2 p.113) between the two. The topping can be any of many ingredients, a piece of omelet, some sashimi (The Anime Companion 2 p.79), whole ebi (prawn), etc. Both raw and cooked ingredients are used as toppings. This type of sushi is highly regarded and often expensive.
In the first episode of GTO we get an excellent view of different kinds of nigirizushi. How many can you identify?
Fukuda Minori & Kit Shan Li. Sushi: A pocket Guide p.21-51
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.222
Nagasawa Kimiko & Camy Condon. Eating Cheap in Japan p.39-41
Omae Kinjiro and Tachibana Yuzuru. The Book of Sushi p.37
Tsuda Nobuko. Sushi Made Easy p.,63-67

NIHON see also: Nippon

Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan) 日本書紀
Japan's second oldest chronicle completed in 720, eight years after the Kojiki. The Nihon Shoki was actually started in 681 during the reign of Emperor Temmu. Written entirely in classical Chinese it incorporates texts from Chinese and Korean sources and has a very historical focus with mythological materials limited to a few early chapters. The Nihon Shoki came to be seen as a Shintō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.121) sacred text beginning in the Kamakura Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.59). Copies of the work survive from the Nara Period and Heian Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.44). It is also known as the Nihongi, an English translation by W. G. Aston is in print.
Hiroaki Samura cites the Nihon Shoki in the appendix to Blade of the Immortal: The Gathering in his note on the sword Kabutsuchi.
Osamu Tezuka cites the Nihon Shoki three times in Phoenix (v.3 p.78, v.10 p.42, and v.11 p.238)
Bocking, Brian. Popular Dictionary of Shinto p.133-134
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1087
Miner, Earl; Odagiri Hiroko and Robert Morrell. The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature p.209-210
Nihonbashi 日本橋 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.94)
A Look Into Tokyo p.56
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1084


Nihonkai (Sea of Japan) 日本海 OLD FORM incorrect in the book as 日本海. I cannot reproduce the correct form here. (The Anime Companion 2 p.63)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1333
Nihon Kiin (Japan Go Association) 日本棋院
Headquartered in Chiyoda Ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.13) in Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104). The Japan Go Association was formed in 1924 by merging several important go (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.36) groups. Today it is the most significant association for Japanese professional go players. It supports the game by publishing, organizing tournaments, promoting go education, issuing ranks to players, and promoting the game around the world. There are over 1,000 branch organizations and hundreds of Japanese professional players in the association.
In Hikaru no Go (v.4 p.122) we see young players going through preliminary tests at the Japan Go Association to qualify for professional ranking.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.674
Web Site:
Nihon Kōgyō Kikaku (JIS, Japanese Industrial Standards) 日本工業規格 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.94)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.686
Web Site:
Japanese Industrial Standards Committee Web pages

Nihonkoku Kenpō (Constitution of Japan) 日本国憲法 OLD FORM 日本國憲法 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.94)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.228, 1342
Today's Japan p.164
Web Site:
There is an English version of the Constitution on the National Diet Library web site.

Nihon Kyōsantō (Japanese Communist Party) 日本共産党 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.95)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.660
Web Site:
Japanese Communist Party web pages, English section.

NIHONGI see Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan)

nihontō (Japanese sword) 日本刀 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.95)
Discover Japan v.2 p.136
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1490
Nijubashi 二重橋
A two span stone, or shakkyō, bridge leading to the Kōkyo (Imperial Palace in Tokyo). Originally the term Nijubashi, double bridge, applied to another bridge nearby. The original was a wooden two deck bridge hence the name. Today that bridge has been replaced by a modern bridge made of steel. While sometimes used to designate both bridges the name has largely migrated to the two arch stone bridge of the type often called megane-bashi or eyeglass bridge.
The Nijubashi bridge and the Kōkyo show up twice in the City Hunter TV series, the first in City Hunter 2 ( ep.10) and again in City Hunter '91 (ep.13)
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p. 239
A Look Into Tokyo p.86-91)
nikaisen (two time battle) 二回戦
Nikaisen translates literally "two time battle", a service offered at some sex industry (see: fūzoku) businesses. The term indicates that an serious attempt will be made to make the customer climax twice in their allotted time.
In Peepo Choo (v.3 p.93) we see nikaisen “2回戦” on a signboard in Kabukichō (The Anime Companion 2 p.35).
Jensen, Nate. Japanese-English Guide to Sex, Kink and Naughtiness p.92 Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box p.188
nikujaga にくじゃが or 肉じゃが
A nimono (simmered food) of meat and vegetables made with Western ingredients. Common ingredients are beef, potatoes, carrots (ninjin; The Anime Companion 2 p.63), and onions.
Nikujaga made by Saya for her brother Ranmaru in Tokko (ep.2)
In Sarai (v.3 p.50) we see the title character make nikujaga for a motherless boy.
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.109
Illustrated Eating in Japan p.170, includes recipe.
nikuman (pork filled bun) 肉まん
A Chinese style steamed bun made of wheat flour filled with ground pork and vegetables.
In Yawara! (ep 1) Yamada's Nikuman and Anman Dumplings is printed on a bag that Jigoro eats from.
Nagasawa Kimiko & Camy Condon. Eating Cheap in Japan p.62, 156 (item)
nimono (simmered food) 煮物
Simmered food. This is one of the major types of Japanese cooking and is commonly used for almost every type of meal except breakfast (see: chōshoku The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.20). A major technique for cooking for vegetables it is also used for fish. What differentiates the varieties of nimono is the flavoring used to create the stock (see: dashi, The Anime Companion 2 p.15) for simmering the food. Common flavorings include soy sauce (see: shōyu, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.124), sake (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.109), egg yoke, miso (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.84) and ginger. For sweetening mirin is used instead of sugar. The cooking involves a straight sided pan and a drop lid (see: otoshibuta, The Anime Companion 2 p.70).
In Oishinbo A la Carte: Japanese Cuisine (p.16) Kaibara Yūzan complains of the poor quality of the nimono in a ryōtei (traditional restaurant).
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.109.
Yamaguchi Momoo, Kojima Setsuko. Cultural Dictionary of Japan p.106.

NINE MAGIC SYLLABLES see: kuji (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.75)

ningyo (mermaid) 人魚 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.95)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.240

NINGYŌ see: hitogata (human shaped dolls)

ningyōyaki 人形焼 OLD FORM 人形燒
Small pastries with a sweet bean paste center made in various shapes by pouring batter into a mold. The ningyō part of the name means doll so the name is often translated as "doll cakes" or "doll shaped pastries". The shapes can be quite varied ranging from faces, animals, everyday items etc.
"Sweet bean paste doll cakes" are bought by Ryoko in Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love at one of the Asakusa Jinja (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.7) shops.
"Doll shaped pastries" are requested by Okina in his letter to Misao in the Rurouni Kenshin TV series (ep.89)
Japan Walker Spring 2001 p.75
Look Into Tokyo p.58
Wolf, Reinhart. Japan The Beauty of Food p.160

NINIROKU JIKEN see: February 26, 1936 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.29)

NINJA see: ninjutsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.95)

ninjin (carrot) にんじん or 人参 OLD FORM 人參 (The Anime Companion 2 p.63)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.109
Benjamin, Gail R. Japanese Lessons p.109

NINJŌ see: giri to ninjō (obligations and feelings)

ninjutsu 忍術 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.95)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1092
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.718
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.78

NINOMIYA KINJIRO see: Ninomiya Sontoku

Ninomiya Sontoku 二宮尊徳
1787-1856 Real name Ninomiya Kinjiro. Born the son of an impoverished farmer he was orphaned when he was 16. After living with an uncle he returned home to help raise his younger brothers. By perseverance and thrift he helped the family recover and gained recognition that resulted in his being hired as an agricultural expert by Odawara han. As he was successful in his duties during the economic depression of the Tempō Era he was assigned to other duties by bakufu (The Anime Companion 2 p.8) official Mizuno Tadakuni. He later significantly increased agricultural production in Sōma han which resulted in his being put in charge of developing 89 villages in Nikkō. He taught scientific methods for improving crop yields as well as a social ethical system based on hōtoku, the repayment of benefits through diligence and cooperation, to hundreds of villages in his life. A common image of him as a child is reading a book while carrying a load of firewood on his back. His teachings were abused by the ultra nationalists before W.W.II, however he was not discredited by this connection and statues of him as a boy reading a book are found in schools all over Japan.
In the first episode of Haunted Junction we find that Asahina has a shōta complex (shōtacon) much to the discomfort of the local statue of Ninomiya Sontoku which has come to life.
A Ninomiya Kinjiro statue is seen inside the school gate in R.O.D The TV (disk 2 ep.6)
Illustrated Who’s Who of Japan p.135
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1093
ninsō (physiognomy) 人相
Physiognomy used to determine a person's fate, this is a form practiced in East Asia. Originating in China it became one of the practices found within Ommyōdō. While practiced in Japan for some time the earliest written record is the Senten sōhō composed by a Tendaishū (Tendai sect) priest in the Muromachi Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90). During the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) it spread and is still practiced by some today. The most common form involves dividing the face into 100 observation points organized in 13 sections within 3 tiers. The tiers are jin for human relationships, chi for the life force (see ki, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.67)), and ten for intelligence and judgment. Ekisha (fortune tellers) who practice this may have a chart of the points on a face mounted on a nearby wall for reference.
Masahiro told he has a face of someone who is about to lose something in Shonen Onmyouji (ep 19).
Illustrated A Look Into Japan p.107
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1204

NIPPON see also: Nihon

Nippon bankoku hakuran-kai (Japan World Exposition aka Expo '70) 日本万国博覧会
The Japan World Exposition, commonly referred to as Expo '70, held in Ōsaka prefecture from March 15 - September 13, 1970 with the theme of "Progress and Harmony of Mankind". This was the first World's Fair to be held in Asia. Attendance was 64 million with a total of 77 nations participating. The US exhibit included an Apollo spacecraft and a stone from the moon. Attractions included a monorail, electric cars, the world's largest jet roller coaster, moving sidewalks in transparent tubes and computer generated information for visitors. Some Japanese credit the fair for popularizing visions of the future and influencing science fiction fan culture. Sometimes you see "Nippon bankoku hakuran-kai" written as "Nihon bankoku hakuran-kai".
In 20th Century Boys (v.7 p.62-) the gang makes plans to attend Expo '70 determining which sights they can visit in the two days they have.
Galbraith, Patrick. The Otaku Encyclopedia p.68
Japan an Illustrated Encyclopedia p.353
Seeing Expo '70 p.30-31, 36-37
Web Site:
Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70

NIPPON BUDŌKAN see: Budōkan (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.14)

Nippon Denshin Denwa (NTT, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) 日本電信電話 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1097
Web Site:
The NTT Home page. (English site)
Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) 日本放送協会 OLD FORM 日本放送協會 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1082
Web Site:
NHW World English

NIPPON SHOKI see: Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan)

NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION see: Nippon Denshin Denwa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)

niwaban 庭番 (The Anime Companion 2 p.63)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1103
Waley, Paul. Tokyo Now & Then p. 113

能 (The Anime Companion 2 p.63)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1103-1108
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p.378
nobori (banner) 幟 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.22
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.379

NOBORI-GOI SEE: koinobori (carp streamer) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.72)

NOBUNAGA see: Oda Nobunaga (The Anime Companion 2 p.65)

NOBUYASU see: Tokugawa Nobuyasu

nomi-ya 飲み屋 OLD FORM 飮み屋 (The Anime Companion 2 p.64)
Nagasawa Kimiko & Camy Condon. Eating Cheap in Japan p.12
noodle slurping (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.78

NOODLES see: men rui (The Anime Companion 2 p.56)

NOODLES, COLD IN ICE WATER see: hiyamugi and sōmen (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.46)


NOODLES IN CLEAR BOWL see: hiyamugi and sōmen (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.46)

NOODLES IN MISO SOUP see: miso-rāmen (The Anime Companion 2 p.57)

NOODLES, THICK see: udon (The Anime Companion 2 p.110)

NO PANTY see: no-pan

no-pan (no panty) ノーパン
No-pan, no panty, refers to a business with waitresses that wear no panties, or see through panties, under their short skirts or aprons. With the skirt covering up certain items the thrill is in obtaining a glimpse when a waitress bends over or just in knowing that a bare bottom is under a small amount of fabric. In fact some places even have large windows since the waitresses are properly covered when viewed from outside. Touching is not allowed, however it is not unusual for a customer to "drop" something and have to get down on the floor to pick it up. The first no-pan business was named Jani (Johnny) and opened in July of 1978 in Kyōto (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.77), Jani was a no-pan kissa, that is a no panty coffee shop. Many of these places are relatively cheap compared to other sex oriented entertainment. Some are like the very exclusive and pricey Roran in Kabukichō (The Anime Companion 2 p.35), where you have to tip a girl and she will remove her panties. In 1998 two Ministry of Finance bureaucrats were arrested after authorities discovered they had traded favors for, at least in part, evenings at Roran enjoying no-pan shabu shabu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.116). Eventually some places also went topless, without windows of course.
Anime and Manga:
The the first City Hunter story Ryo meets a client, a woman, in a topless no-pan club. In the anime the other clients are almost all men however in the manga the other booths have couples and the club seems to be more of a no-pan kappuru kissa.
In GTO (v.10 ch.86) teachers plotting the demise of Onizuka hold their meeting in a no-pan shabu shabu restaurant. One is violating the no touch rule, but then he is not touching the girl, only pulling up her skirt.
Bestor, Theodore C. Neighborhood Tokyo p.42
Constantine, Peter. Japan's Sex Trade p.58
Louis, Lisa. Butterflies of the Night p.86-87
Schreiber, Mark editor, Tokyo Confidential p.43-45
Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box p.36, 188
Nopperabō (faceless yōkai) のっぺら坊 or のっぺらぼう
A yōkai that seems like a normal person until you look at the face, instead of features there is a smooth area without any normal features. Descriptions in stories vary, some say there are no features at all, others say there is a mouth. Many tales describe the Nopperabō playfully terrifying people. The most famous of such tales is "Mujina" in the book Kawaidan by Lafcadio Hearn (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.44). In this story where a man sees a woman with an attractive figure crying, when he asks if he can help she turns a featureless face towards him, in a panic he runs to a street stall some distance away and out of breath tries to explain what he had seen. The stall operator tries to understand and finally says "Was it anything like this that she showed you?" and wipes away his own features revealing a face as smooth as a egg. Many of the tales say this yōkai is actually a fox (see: kitsune; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.71), tanuki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.133), badger or otter using shape shifting powers to play a practical joke. This yōkai has also appeared at the old Waialae Drive in Kaimuki Hawai'i in the ladies room starting in the May 1959 with sightings lasting at least until the 1980s. This yōkai is also known as Nupperabō, Zunberabō and Nuperiho.
In Pom Poko a policeman on night patrol is tricked by tanuki into reenacting Lafcadio Hearn's tale.
A Nopperabō dressed in traditional clothes is seen in a group of yōkai in Dr Slump (v.10 p.172).
Grant, Glen. Obake: Ghost Stories in Hawai'i p.4-7
Yoda Hiroko and Matt Alt. Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide p.154-157.
noren (split curtains) 暖簾 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1113-4
A Look Into Japan p.93
nori (seaweed, laver) 海苔 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.97)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1114
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.95
Outlook on Japan p.150

NORITO see: Inori (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.49)

NORTH, HEAD TO THE see: kitamakura (pillow to the North)

NORTH MAGISTRATE see: Edo machi bugyō (Edo city commissioner or magistrate)

NORTHERN ALPS see: Hida Sanmyaku (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.45)


NOTICE OF MARRIAGE see: kōnin todoke (Notice of Marriage)

NOTIFICATION OF A DIVORCE see: rikon todoke (Notification of a Divorce)

nozawana (turnip greens) のざわな or 野沢菜
The leaves of Brassica campestris var hakabura, usually translated as "turnip greens". This is a variety of komatsuna, the leaves of which are usually made into tsukemono (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.140). In the winter the leaves become sweeter due to frosts and snow. Often wild leaves are used as this plant is common in some parts of Japan such as in Nagano ken where nozawana tsukemono is popular.
Nozawana tsukemono are one of several foods shown in Doing Time (p.47)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.111
Illustrated Japanese Inn & Travel p.132
nozoki (peeping tom) 覗き (The Anime Companion 2 p.64)
Twigger, Robert Angry White Pajamas p.209
nozokibeya (peeping room) 覗き部屋
Peeping clubs, a type of sex trade where the customer views a girl through a hole from the privacy of his own cubical. These are a type of show where the customer pays to watch a girl strip, pose and play with herself. A variant of this is through the Internet with a video feed accessed by paying with a credit card. Kabukichō (The Anime Companion 2 p.35) in the early 1980s had 13 nozoki-beya.
Chi gets tricked into working at a nozokibeya called "Live Cute Kitten Peeping Nyan Nyan" in Chobits (ep.7), this one not only has peep holes, it also has an Internet video feed.
In City Hunter (v.1 p.80) Ryo hands the villain a note while pretending to hand out promotional flyers for the "Little Pink Box" peep show.
In IWGP volume 3 Makoto gets a job protecting Asumi, a girl who works for "The Fairy's Garden" an Internet peepshow site and is being harassed by a stalker.
Richie, Donald. The Image Factory p.70
Richie, Donald. Tokyo p. 96
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.251

NRM see: Shinkō shūkyō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.120)

NTT see: Nippon Denshin Denwa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.96)

NUDE THEATER see: nūdo gekijo (strip club)

nūdo gekijo (strip club) ヌード劇場
A strip club, literally the term means nude theater. The term is only one of several used, an older term was sutorippu gekijo. The first such club was Teitoza in Shinjuku (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.120) which on January 15, 1947 began running the first such act. Each performance lasted for fifteen seconds and was titled "The Birth of Venus", was modest as veils, panties and a bra covered much of what would be shown today, The woman on stage simply stood in a pose, it was so popular that the show ran until August 1948. It was not long before theaters in Asakusa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.5) had fully nude displays, again as tableaus with no motion or stripping. eventually such theaters spread, even to the Ginza (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.35), and the removal of clothing on stage was now part of the process. In time a large variety of acts have come into existence, one of the most famous variants has audience members given magnifying glasses for close up views.
A strip club scene in the filming of the "Double Bind" TV series is one of the more disturbing moments in Perfect Blue.
Bornoff, Nicholas. Pink Samurai: Love, Marriage, and Sex in Contemporary Japan p.310-315
Seidensticker, Edward. Tokyo Rising p.181-2
Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs p.46
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.250
A legendary beast with the head of a monkey (see: saru The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.111), the body of a tanuki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.133), a serpent for a tail, tiger legs and a thrush like cry. This, earliest, description of the nue is in book 4 chapter 14 of the Tale of the Heike (see: Heike Monogatari, (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.44) where Emperor Konoe was haunted by one until Minamoto no Yorimasa killed it with one shot from his bow. Other descriptions of the nue that exist are different; some give it the tail of a fox (see: kitsune, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.71), some describe it as a bird with a human face, or a nocturnal bird with yellow and red feathers and a bill that is black on top and yellow below with yellow and red legs.
Tezuka's depiction of the Nue in Dororo (v.3 p.259) is with a monkey face, tiger stripped body and serpent for a tail.
In The Return of Lum: Feudal Furor (p.96) Lum leaves "Mt Ooe" (Ōeyama) with Nu-chan who has the form of a large black cloud from which come bizarre shrieks. Later the true for on the nue is shown.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1118
Tale of the Heike p.280-281
Yoda Hiroko and Matt Alt. Yokai Attack! p.42

NUPERIHO see: Nopperabō (faceless yōkai)

NUPPERABŌ see: Nopperabō (faceless yōkai)

Nurarihyon 滑瓢 or ぬらりひょん
The name of this yōkai is composed of kanji meaning slippery, nurari, and mysterious, hyon. Some early accounts of Nurarihyon have aquatic aspects. In the Seto Inland Sea (See: Seto Naikai, The Anime Companion 2 p.82) area he was known as a floating head like blob that could not be grasped or caught. The Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) novel Koshoku Haidokusan (1703) by Yashoku Jibun describes Nurarihyon as being like a catfish (See: namazu) with no eyes or mouth. In later legends this slipperiness manifested in an ability to enter and leave houses unnoticed in the early evening when the occupants are busy and helping himself to what is at hand, even smoking the owner's pipe. Usually Nurarihyon is dressed like a merchant, occasionally like a monk. A legend of Wakayama has him entering a house, dressed in a haori (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.41), as if it were his own. He is considered "the Supreme Commander of All Monsters" and is one of the leaders of the hyakki yagyō (night procession of 100 demons). Sekien's depiction, following an earlier picture scroll example, shows a wrinkled old man with a very large elongated head.
Rikuo is the grandson of Nurarihon in Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan v.1 [p.6, 12, 18.
The reader survey mentioned on page 118 of volume 2 of Bakuman includes "Nurarihyon's Grandson", this is a direct translation of Nurarihyon no Mago the Japanese title for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan.
Web Site:
nureonna (snake woman) 濡女
A bakemono (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.8) with a long snakelike body, front legs like a reptile, a woman's face with long hair and a long tongue.
In Sword for Truth a snake woman is one of the attractions at a side show, listen and you will hear that the word used in this case is hebionna which translates as "snake woman". We also see a large picture of a nureonna.
Foster, Michael Dylan. Morphologies of Mystery: Yōkai and Discources of the Supernatural in Japan 1666-1999 p.94

NÛRIHYON See: Nurarihyon 滑瓢 or ぬらりひょん

nurikabe (wall bakemono) 塗り壁
Simply a wall which will mysteriously appear where there should not be one and block the path of a traveler. One variant of the tales concerning this unusual bakemono (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.8) recorded by Yanagita Kunio says that if you hit it with a stick at the base it will vanish, elsewhere will not have an effect.
In Dr. Slump we see nurikabe more than once, for example in volume 3 (p.10) a fox (kitsune; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.71) attempts to fool Arale by disguising himself as a nurikabe, Arale rams through at the base with amusing results, actually quite painful to the kitsune. In volume 10 the opening page of a chapter (p.173) is a tableau of bakemono including a nurikabe.
Foster, Michael Dylan. Morphologies of Mystery: Yōkai and Discources of the Supernatural in Japan 1666-1999 p.225

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT DRINK see: eiyō drinks (nutritional supplement drinks) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.26)

NYMPHS see: tennyo (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.135)

nyū hafu (she-male) ニュー・ハーフ (The Anime Companion 2 p.64)
Robertson, Jennifer. Takarazuka p.201-204
McLelland, Mark J. Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan p. 9
Schreiber, Mark editor. Tokyo Confidential p. 199
Schilling, Mark. The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture p. 322-23
nyūjōken (platform ticket) 入場券
A special ticket sold for a small amount at many train stations that allows the bearer access to the train platform but not the trains. These are for people wishing to see someone off at the train and are also used by rail fans to obtain a close look at the trains and to take pictures.
In Maison Ikkoku (ep.70) everyone gathers on the platform of Ueno Station (see: Ueno Eki, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.143) to see Godai's grandmother catch her train home.
Demery, Leroy W. Jr et al. Japan by Rail p.20
Outlook On Japan p.173

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Created: October 31, 1998

Updated: May 29, 2012