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.

Although I didn’t read the post, I wanted to know the fact and 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 recently, I learned Tarabagani is often referred to as Taraba Crab or Red King Crab in English.

Tarabagani is not a Kani or Crab


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

The creature is close to the hermit crab and belongs to the infraorder Anomura in biological taxonomy.

Specifically, while crabs usually have ten legs, Taraba-Gani looks like it’s only eight. Besides, unlike other crabs, Taraba Crab can walk lengthwise. 

Grilled Taraba Crab Leg Meat

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

Either way, when you eat Tarabagani next time, please recall it is strictly 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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