Hoshi (星) & Hoshi (干し): Meaning in Japanese

When we Japanese hear Hoshi (ほし) (pronunciation), the first thing that comes to many people’s minds will probably be a star.

And in that case, the word is written as 星 using kanji (Chinese character). 

But, you can also see the word in Japanese food names, in which case, the spelling would be 干し.   

Meaning of Hoshi (星)

Hoshi (Stars) in the Sky

The former Hoshi, 星, is the Japanese word for “star” in English, only used as a noun, meaning or primarily referring to

  1. a star in the sky 
  2. a star-like thing
  3. an outstandingly talented performer
  4. a suspect the police must catch

Also, you can see 星 (Hoshi) as a surname in Japanese, and Hoshi Hyuma (星 飛雄馬) is a well-known example of it.

He is the main character of the baseball manga serialized from 1966 to 1971, Kyojin no Hoshi (巨人の星: Star of the Giants).

Meaning of Hoshi (干し)

Hoshi Natto

Meanwhile, the latter Hoshi, 干し, is often used as a prefix in Japanese food names and means “dried” or drying.

Examples of that include Hoshi Natto (干し納豆), Hoshi Imo (干し芋), and Hoshi Budo (干し葡萄: meaning dried grape or raisin).

(Reference Pages: Goo’s Japanese Dictionary , 干し/乾し )


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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