Donburi: What are Itoko Don and Tanin Don?

As you may already know, “Donburi (丼)”, literally meaning “bowl”, is the Japanese word for “rice bowl dish”,

and the representative variety includes “Una-Don (鰻丼: Unagi Eel Donburi)”, “Katsu-Don (カツ丼: Pork Cutlet Donburi)”, and “Oyako-Don (親子丼: Parent and Child Donburi)”.

When it comes to Oyakodon, in its name, “Oyako (親子)” literally means “parent and child” in Japanese, but the parent and child here respectively refer to chicken and egg.

If you are well acquainted with Japanese food, you should know this, but how about “Itoko Don (いとこ丼)” and “Tanin Don (他人丼)”?

What are Itoko Don (いとこ丼) and Tanin Don (他人丼)?

Oyako Don or Itoko Don or Tanin Don

In the names of Itoko Don and Tanin Don, “Itoko (いとこ)” means “cousin”, while the meaning of “Tanin (他人)” is “stranger”.

In these cases, the Itoko and Tanin are actually based on the Oyako of Oyakodon. Then, what do they refer to?

Itoko Don (いとこ丼)

The Itoko in Itoko Don relating to Oyako Don refers to duck meat, and Itokodon is a variant of Oyakodon using duck as a replacement for chicken, found in the Kansai region around Osaka.

By the way, Itoko Don can be seen in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido too, where Itokodon refers to “Kaisen Don (海鮮丼: Seafood Donburi)” using salmon sashimi and Ikura roe. 

Itoko Don using Salmon and Ikura

Tanin Don (他人丼)

Tanin Don is also a variant of Oyako Don whose main ingredient is not chicken but meat other than chicken (in many cases, beef or pork). Tanin Don using beef is also called “Gyu-Toji Don (牛とじ丼)”.

Tanindon is a word mainly used in West Japan, where the dish basically uses beef. In the Kanto region around Tokyo, Tanin Don is generally known as “Kaika-Don (開化丼)”.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 他人丼, Pixiv Encyclopedia いとこ丼 )


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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