Tori vs Niwatori vs Toriniku: Meaning in Japanese

Tori is the Japanese word for “bird”, and “鳥” and “鶏” are the commonly used Kanji (Chinese characters) for “Tori”. 

Tori (鳥) vs Tori (鶏) vs Niwatori vs Toriniku

These Kanji characters, “鳥” and “鶏” both can be read as “Tori”, but they are actually somewhat different in meaning.

Tori (鳥)

Tori (鳥)

As you know, “鳥 (Tori)” is the word for any bird including Niwatori.

Tori (鶏)

Tori or Niwatori

On the other hand, this “鶏 (Tori)” has the same pronunciation as “鳥” but only refers to Niwatori, as the Kanji “鶏” can be read as “Tori” or “Niwatori”.

Niwatori (鶏)


“Niwatori (鶏)” is the Japanese word for “chicken”. Niwatori is a chicken, in other words, the Japanese collective term for rooster, hen, and chick.

Toriniku (鶏肉)

Toriniku (鶏肉)

“Toriniku (鶏肉)” is the meat of a chicken as in its word “Niku (肉)” means meat in Japanese. Incidentally, “鳥肉 (Toriniku)” can refer to any bird’s meat including chicken. 


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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