How to say meat in Japanese

The Japanese word for meat.
The Japanese word for meat.

The Japanese word meat is oniku – the o is a polite prefix so you could also just say niku. There are obviously different types of meat, so if you want to be more specific:

Gyuuniku (Beef) = gyuu (cow) + niku (meat).
Toriniku (Chicken) = tori (chicken) + niku (meat).
Butaniku (Pork) = buta (pig) + niku (meat). – The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed

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Interesting facts about meat in Japan

The three most commonly consumed types of meat in Japan is pork, beef and chicken. Interestingly, pork is the most often consumed while beef is still considered somewhat of a delicacy.

This wasn’t always the case as meat was once banned in Japan for 1,200 years! The ban was implemented shortly after Buddhism became mainstream in Japan and the belief was that the consumption of meat was ‘destroying the soul of the Japanese people’ because in Buddhism it is believed that humans, once dead, can reincarnate as animals.

Read more about the meat ban in Japan.

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