Taraba-Gani is a Crab (Kani) or Not

Several days ago, on June 22, the day known as Crab’s Day in Japan, I saw a news headline titled “Taraba-Gani is a Kani (Crab) or not” on Yahoo Japan News.

Since after that I thought I wanted to know if the fact is true, I looked it up on the internet a while ago.

Incidentally, “Gani (蟹, ガニ)” or “Kani (蟹, カニ)” is the Japanese word for “crab”, and I learned recently that Tarabagani is often referred to as Taraba Crab or Red King Crab in English.

Tarabagani is not a Kani (Crab)


To get to the point, reading the article “タラバガニ (Tarabagani)” on Japanese Wikipedia, although I assumed it a crab until now, I found that strictly Taraba-Gani is not a Kani.

But as with hermit crabs, Taraba-Gani belongs to the superfamily Paguroidea in biological taxonomy.

Specifically, while crabs usually have 10 legs, Taraba-Gani only has 8 legs. Besides, unlike other crabs, Taraba Crab can also walk lengthwise. 

Grilled Taraba Crab Leg Meat

Nonetheless, because of its size, price, and fillingness, in Japan, Taraba-Gani is known as the King of crabs and enjoyed as a luxurious food.

Either way, when you have a chance to eat Tarabagani during your next stay in Japan, please remember the fact that Taraba Crab is not a Kani.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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