What are Maki, Hosomaki, and Futomaki?

Makimono, Uzumaki, Makizushi, Nori Maki, Hosomaki, Futomaki, and more, many words in the Japanese language include the word Maki (巻/巻き).

Makimono (巻物), literally meaning rolled thing, usually refers to a scroll, while Uzumaki (渦巻き) is the word for “swirl” in English.

These are not foods, but the others are, and they are all like a roll.

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As you can guess by now, Maki (巻 or 巻き) stands for “roll” in those names.

So Makizushi (巻き寿司) refers to any sushi variety shaped into a roll, while Nori Maki (のり巻) can refer to anything rolled up with Nori seaweed.

What are Hosomaki and Futomaki?

California roll a type of Makizushi

If you like ramen, you may have heard of Hosomen (細麺) and Futomen (太麺).

In their names, the Kanji character 麺 (Men) stands for noodles, while 細 (Hoso) and 太 (Futo) are short for the Japanese adjectives 細い (Hosoi) and 太い (Futoi), meaning respectively thin and thick.

Makizushi (Sushi Maki)

Likewise, Hosomaki (細巻) is a thin roll, and Futomaki (太巻) is a thick roll. And they belong to the sushi category Makizushi. 

As Makizushi typically uses a dry sheet of Nori seaweed as a wrapper, those rolled up with Nori are also a Nori Maki. 

Hosomaki (細巻)

Natto Maki

Hosomaki is also a Nori Maki and has another name Teppo Maki (鉄砲巻: meaning Gun Roll).

It is generally about 3 cm wide and has an ingredient (such as Kanpyo gourd, tuna, natto, cucumber, or pickles) in the center of the rice.

Futomaki (太巻)

Futomaki Sushi Roll

The composition of Futomaki is the same as Hosomaki.

But the thick roll usually has a diameter of over 5 centimeters and uses various ingredients in the rice.

By the way, since Makizushi, including Hosomaki and Futomaki, is a type of sushi, the rice used in it is Sumeshi (酢飯: vinegared rice).

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 巻き寿司 )


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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