Japanese words I find interesting

Japanese words I find interesting
Photo by Su San Lee / Unsplash

I began practicing languages in Duolingo a little more than a year ago. It began as a "refresher" to force myself to keep studying Japanese words that I learned during my studies some years ago. I spent some time for the introductory lessons at first. I was taking "jump ahead" tests to unlock further lessons/quizzes along the way just to see the complexity of advanced topics. Having taken some serious Japanese coursework back in the university, I already have a basis for common daily vocabulary (still very limited compared to a native Japanese speaker or someone at JLPT N1 level.) To my surprise, I have learned quite a bit new words from Duolingo actually. Some Japanese words are really interesting, but I usually forget about writing them down somewhere, therefore:

I'm committing this post to keep track of Japanese words I find interesting.
I'm going to list the words in the following format:

Word itself (furigana, if needed)
Romanization - English meaning
Date Added (mm/dd/yyyy)
Why I found this word interesting
I wanted to use Hepburn romanization initially. However, I do not intend to check precise Hepburn romanizations of every word I add here, so I call it just "Romanization" to be fair. I am not a fan of romanization for beginners because whenever it is printed along with the native writing, it promotes laziness against reading hiragana or katakana, or even kanji. I chose to add romanization to the list for my own convenience, but I recommend any beginner to avoid studying vocabulary with romanization until they can read hiragana and katakana comfortably at the very least.


Kyarakutaa - Character/Mascot
Yet another Duoling word that I have not heard before used in place of マスコット, which is mascot. The lesson was based on theme parks and such, so maybe it is a specific use case for mascots like Mickey Mouse in theme parks? I will stick with マスコット.

陽だまり (ひだまり)

Hidamari - Sunny place/spot
I found out about this word from the movie called Girl in the Sunny Place (JP: 陽だまりの彼女) It's one of those Japanese words that names a very specific situation or occurrence, in this case referring to a sunny place with a single word.


doresu - Dress
I would say ふく(fuku), but Katakana pronunciation of English word dress being available to use during casual speech is interesting to note. It is also said to be used for referring to one-piece dresses instead of any dress in general.


Jetto koosutaa - Roller Coaster
How did it go from roller to jet?