This glossary is intended to be a comprehensive listing of all the Japanese words and expressions used throughout "Rurouni Kenshin." However, I am not an expert on the Japanese language. If there is something wrong, just let me know!
Pronounciation tip: the "ou" in romanized Japanese is actually a long "o" (pronounced "oh").
aa - yes; normally used by men
ahou - Saitou's favorite nickname for Sano; means "idiot" or "moron"
aishiteru - "I love you"
Akihito - this name loosely translates to "one born in autumn (aki)"
Aku - this means "bad" or "evil" it is the kanji imprinted on the back Sano's shirt.
anata - normally means "you" or "your;" however, it means "dear" when a wife uses it to address her husband
ano - Japanese version of "um...;" sometimes is used as "excuse me" or to get someone's attention
arigatou - "thank you;"more familiar than the formal, polite "arigatou gozaimasu"
atashi - I; feminine article; used mainly by girls and young women atashi mou - "me, too!"
baka - stupid, idiot, moron
busu - Yahiko's favorite insulting nickname for Kaoru; means something like "ugly old hag"
-chan - an honorific used at the end of someone's name; usually used with small children or younger women; can be considered a term of endearment when used by someone's friends, relatives or significant others
che - sort of an all-purpose Japanese curse word; can mean "shit" or "dammit," among other things
chikusho - another all-purpose Japanese curse word; usually means "dammit"
chotto - "just a minute!"
chotto matte yo - "wait a minute!"
daijoubu - "it's all right"
daijoubu de gozaru ka - Kenshin's way of asking "are you all right?"
dame - absolutely not; no way; forget it; can also mean "stop it"'
de gozaru - old-fashioned, deferential phrase used at the end of sentences; indicative of extremely polite speech; no longer used in modern Japanese
demo - but
Do-aho - idiot, moron, ass-hole.
-dono - an honorific used at the end of someone's name; extremely polite; roughly translates to "mister" or "miss"
dou itashimashite - "you're welcome"
doujo (or dojo) - martial arts school; kenjutsu (sword training) is practiced at Kamiya Doujou
doushita - "what is it?" or "what's wrong?"
douzo yoroshiku - "pleased to make your acquaintance"
Fujita Goro - Saitou assumed this name after the Bakumatsu ended; Fujita is the family name of his wife, Tokio. Saitou's real name is known only to Kenshin and his friends, as well as other select survivors of the Bakumatsu.
gambatte yo - "good luck" or "go for it;" literally means "do your best"
gi - jacket-style top worn with hakama; usually worn by men, especially swordsmen; Kaoru wears both when she trains or teaches
gomen - less-formal version of gomen nasai
gomen nasai - please forgive me
hai - yes or okay; usually used when responding to superiors (i.e., bosses, teachers, parents, upperclassmen)
hai, hai - the normally polite "hai" becomes less polite when it's doubled; translates roughly to "yeah, whatever"
haiyaku - "hurry"
hajimemashite - "how do you do?"
hakama - loose pleated pants that tie in front; worn with gi
haori - jacket worn over a kimono
heiki - means something like "it's cool; don't worry"
hentai - pervert
Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu - Kenshin uses this particular style of kenjutsu (swordsmanship); it loosely translates to "Flying Heaven's Honorable Sword Flow" and is characterized by the speed of its attacks
honto ni - really; I agree
iie - no
irasshai - welcome
itachi - weasel; Misao is often referred to by the nickname itachi musume, with musume meaning "girl;" it doesn't make her happy when people call her that! ^_~
ja - roughly translates to "so long" or "later;" extremely informal
Jiya - what Misao calls Okina; roughly translates to "Gramps"
Jou-chan - Sanosuke's nickname for Kaoru; roughly translates to "little missy" or "babe," depending on the translator
kami-sama - God
Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu - style of kenjutsu practiced at Kamiya Doujou; its tenets emphasize protection without killing. For this reason, it is only practiced with wooden swords. Kaoru is an adjutant master of Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu, which is one step below master; however, her mastery of its techniques is complete enough for her to serve as head of the doujou.
Kecho Geri - one of Misao's special kempo moves; translates to something like "Flying Demon Bird Kick" ^_^
Kintou - written together, the two kanji making up the name of Kenshin's and Kaoru's son mean "equality"
kirei - beautiful, lovely
kisama - impolite way of referring to someone; depending on context and inflection, can mean anything from "why you...!" to "you bastard!"
kodachi - a short sword; usually about 18 inches long, compared with the standard Japanese sword, or katana, which is 24 inches long
koishii - beloved; darling
kono - normally means "this," but can be used to mean "you," as in "why, you...!" Misao uses this expression often ^_^
-kun - an honorific used at the end of someone's name; usually used with young men; sometimes indicates superiority to the one being addressed (i.e., upperclassman to underclassman, older man to younger man)
kunai - small throwing knives; Misao's weapon of choice
Kuro - one of the Oniwabanshuu who helps run the Aoiya; the others are Shiro, Okon, Omasu and Okina (who Misao calls Jiya)
kuso - curse meaning something like "shit" or "damn"
maa, maa - "now, now..." or "hey, hey..."
masaka - no way; it can't be
mata ato de - can mean "see you tomorrow" or "see you later"
mata ne - "see you later"
matte - "wait"
Meiji Era - the Japanese historic period in which "Rurouni Kenshin" takes place; the mid-1870s
Mibu's Wolf - Saitou's nickname, which originated during the Bakumatsu; it's a reference to the general nickname for members of the Shinsen Gumi, who were originally based in Mibu and often were referred to as "Mibu's wild wolves"
minna - everyone
mochi - rice cakes made from rice that's been sweetened and pounded into a sticky dough
mou - an expression of frustration or exasperation
mou aishiteru - "I love you, too"
mou ichi-do - "one more time" or "do it again"
mou ii - means something like "that's it" or "I've had enough"
nan dai - "what is it?"
naruhodo - "I see"
ne - means something like "right?" or "isn't that so?"
-nii - honorific used at the end of someone's name; means "big brother;" used with blood relatives or close male friends
obaa-san - grandmother
obi - a decorative sash worn with a kimono
ohairi kudasai - "please come in"
ohayou - "good morning;" casual form of ohayou gozaimasu
oi - roughly translates to "hey;" used mainly by men; indicates a rude way of speaking
ojou-san - Miss
okashira - boss or leader
omedetou - "congratulations"
onegai - literally means "please," but implies pleading, almost like "I beg of you;" short form of onegaishimasu, which is considered extremely deferential/polite
onmitsu - loosely translated, it means "ninja;" some translators prefer "secret agent"
ore - I; masculine article; considered rougher or more macho than boku, which tends to be used by younger men
oyasumi - "good night;" casual form of oyasumi nasai
oro - a made-up expression; Kenshin uses it whenever he's surprised, confused or flustered
sake - Japanese rice wine; very potent stuff!
-sama - honorific used at the end of someone's name; used when addressing someone of a higher social class or stature in one's field; can roughly translate to "Lord" or "Lady"
-san - same as -dono, but more commonly used
Sanjou - Tsubame's last name
sayonara - farewell
Sekihoutai - the rebel group Sanosuke belonged to as a child during the Bakumatsu. The Sekihoutai were made up of peasants who supported the Ishin Shishi in overthrowing the existing shogunate government in Japan during that time. Sanosuke took his last name, Sagara, to honor the leader of this group, Sagara Souzo. (For more information, consult your Rurouni Kenshin manga/anime...)
sensei - teacher or doctor
-sensei - honorific used at the end of someone's name; usually indicates a doctor or teacher
shinai - a sword made of bamboo
shitsurei shimasu - "may I?"; also means something like "forgive me for disturbing you"
Sorata - this name contains the kanji for "sky" (sora)
sou, sou - affirmation meaning something like "true, true"
sou da na - same as sou desu ne
sou desu ne - "that's true" sumanu - "sorry;" more casual form of sumimasen
sumimasen - "please excuse me;" can also mean "I'm sorry"
tanuki-onna - Kaoru is often referred to by the nickname tanuki, which is a Japanese animal resembling a raccoon; onna means "woman"
tasukete - "help!"
Tenchuu - This is term used by hitokiris when they assasinate someone; this means "Delivering punishment from tthe heavens!"
teme - means "dammit" or "damn you;" can also mean "bastard"
tensai - means "genuis"
tori - rooster; Sanosuke is often referred to by the nickname tori-atama, with atama meaning head ^_~
Toushi - written together, the kanji for this name mean "fighting spirit"
Unmei - written together, the kanji for this name can mean "fate," "destiny" or "luck"
urusai - it literally means "noisy," but more commonly means "shut up"
wakatta - "understood" or "got it"
wakatte de gozaru - Kenshin's way of saying "I understand"
watashi - gender-neutral way of referring to oneself; used in polite speech
yakuza - Japanese gang or mob
yamete - "stop it" or "cut it out"
yappari - " I knew it" or "I see"
yare, yare - expression of exasperation similar to "oh brother;" almost like a verbal rolling of the eyes
yarou - can mean anything from "idiot" to "asshole," depending on the inflection and the modifiers (i.e., baka-yarou)
yatta - pleased exclamation similar to "all right!" or "great!"
yokatta - exclamation similar to "thank God" (or "thank goodness," if you're not religious ^.~)
yoshi - means something along the lines of "that's settled"