The Japanese word for turtle is kame (traditional Japanese) and tātoru (English loanword). Find a list of various turtle species with their Japanese translations below.
|Turtle (English loanword)|
Interesting facts about turtles in Japan
What do turtles symbolize in Japan?
Turtles in Japanese culture have long symbolized good luck and longevity. Also, in ancient times turtles were the symbol of Kompira – a god of seafaring people.
Are there snapping turtles in Japan?
Japan is home to a number of different turtle species – including 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles. However, snapping turtles are not native to Japan but many were imported into the country during the 1960s as pets. Since then, many have escaped or set free and now there are over 10,000 of them in the wild in the Chiba Prefecture alone.
Since then, these invasive species have been ruining fragile eco-systems, as well as people’s fingers. Read more about this here.