Kirimi vs Sashimi: Sashimi was once called Kirimi

As you know, “Sashimi (刺身)” is a plate of fresh raw fish cut into thin slices. It is a traditional Japanese dish that first appears in the document Suzuka-Kaki (鈴鹿家記)’s article dated June 10, 1399.

Kirimi vs Sashimi


Sashimi has such a long history and was once called “Kirimi (切り身: literally Cut Flesh)”, which refers to a cut. 

But many people couldn’t recognize what the cut is. So in the old days, fishtail fins were stabbed and served with Kirimi to make it clear what the original is.

In the name of Sashimi, the Chinese character or Kanji “刺” means “stab”, and because of the stabbed fish tail fins, it is said Kirimi later came to be called Sashimi.

Meaning and Definition


Kirimi is a cut of food such as meat, fish, and fruit. In modern times, unlike Sashimi, for Kirimi, fish is cut into appropriately sized pieces. 

While Sashimi is a dish consisting of thinly sliced fish fillets, Kirimi’s fish can have skins and bones and thus may need to be skinned and boned. Kirimi is an ingredient.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 刺身, Kotobank 切身 )


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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