The Difference: Nanami Togarashi vs Shichimi Togarashi

A while ago, a tweet became a topic of conversation on Japanese Twitter, which said that on the overseas glass bottle of S&B’s Shichimi Togarashi, the name of the Japanese spice “七味唐辛子 (Shichimi Togarashi)” was written as “Nanami Togarashi”.

The Chinese characters or kanji for the seven-flavor chili pepper mix “七味唐辛子” is usually read as Shichimi Togarashi, and Japanese people don’t call the spice blend Nanami Togarashi. So the person who posted the tweet found the English spelling Nanami Togarashi weird. 

(By the way, the kanji “七味” can be read either as Shichimi or Nanami and literally means “seven tastes”, while “Togarashi (唐辛子)” is the Japanese word for “chili pepper”.)

Nanami Togarashi vs Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi Togarashi

Actually, in English speaking countries, the Japanese company S&B Foods sells Shichimi Togarashi by the name of Nanami Togarashi intendedly, because the pronunciation of Shichimi Togarashi is very similar to that of Ichimi Togarashi, which can confuse overseas people. 

In a word, Shichimi and Nanami are essentially the same things, but the 7 spices used in Nanami Togarashi may be different from the ones for Shichimi Togarashi, primarily because in some countries hemp seeds and poppy seeds, both of which are typical ingredients for Shichimi Togarashi, are subject to import regulations.

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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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