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 I wanted to know if the fact is true, I looked it up on the internet.

Incidentally, “Gani (蟹, ガニ)” or “Kani (蟹, カニ)” is the Japanese word for crab, and it seems 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 Wikipedia Japan, although I assumed it a crab until now, I found out that strictly Taraba-Gani is not a Kani, but as with hermit crabs, belongs to the superfamily Paguroidea in biologic 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

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