Nanami Togarashi vs. Shichimi: What’s the Difference?

A while ago, a tweet got attention on Japanese Twitter.

It said that S&B’s Shichimi Togarashi has the name of Nanami Togarashi on the glass bottle sold abroad.

The Chinese characters or Kanji for the seven-spice blend 七味唐辛子 usually has the reading of Shichimi Togarashi, and Japanese people don’t call it Nanami Togarashi. 

So the person who posted the tweet seemed to find the English spelling weird. 

By the way, the Kanji 七味 can be read as both Shichimi and Nanami.

The word means seven tastes, and it can refer to Shichimi Togarashi on its own. But in that case, the reading is Shichimi.

Nanami Togarashi vs. Shichimi Togarashi

Nanami Togarashi vs Shichimi Togarashi

I also wondered why it is called Nanami Togarashi overseas and searched for the reason online. And I got this article.

According to that, the Japanese company S&B selles Shichimi Togarashi by the name of Nanami Togarashi intentionally,

because the pronunciation of Shichimi Togarashi is very similar to that of Ichimi Togarashi, which can confuse non-Japanese people.


In conclusion, the contents of Shichimi and Nanami are the same things.

But in some countries, hemp seeds and poppy seeds commonly used in Shichimi Togarashi are subject to import regulations.

Because of that, the seven ingredients/spices for Nanami Togarashi differ by country.


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.

2 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I was wondering what the difference was and this definitely helped!

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