Similarities Between The Spellings Of Igbo Words And Anglicized Japanese Words

They may not all share the same meaning, but the spellings of these Igbo and anglicized Japanese words are too similar to be entirely coincidental.

Adachi- Japanese name
Adachi- Igbo name

Adachi-ku- Japanese city
Adachukwu- Igbo name

Obuchi- Japanese surname
Obuchi- Igbo surname

Madoka- Japanese name
Maduka- Igbo name

Chinda- Japanese surname
Chinda- Igbo surname

Obi- Japanese embroidered sash worn for martial arts
Obi- Igbo word for heart

Chuka soba- Chinese style noodles popular in Japan
Chuka- Igbo na

Chikahito- Japanese name

Chikaodili – Igbo name

Nanami- Japanese name
Nnamani- Igbo surname

Yutaka- Japanese surname
Utaka- Igbo surname

Chichi- Japanese island
Chichi- Igbo name

Atami- Japanese town
Atani- Igbo town

Naka- Japanese name
Odinaka- Igbo name

Osaka- Japanese town
Osaka- Igbo name

Mazuka- Japanese surname
Azuka- Igbo name

Iru- Japanese word meaning ‘to exist’
Iru- Igbo word meaning ‘face’
Ato- Japanese word meaning ‘after or later’
Ato- Igbo word meaning ‘three’

Ano- Japanese word meaning ‘say’
Ano- Igbo word meaning ‘four’
Ise- Japanese sacred place
Ise- Igbo word for ‘five’, and also an Igbo word of meaning ‘amen’, usually said during the sacred ceremony of kolanut breaking

Oka- Japanese word meaning ‘placed’
Oka- Igbo word meaning ‘corn’
Chikuwa – tubular roll of grilled fish paste. Also. ‘bamboo ring’ from the method traditionally used to mold it.
Chi ka uwa- this Igbo phrase roughly means, ‘ He that is in me (God) is greater than he that is in the world’

Ocha-Japanese word meaning ‘tea’
Ocha- Igbo word meaning ‘fair’

Naze- Japanese town
Nanze- Igbo town

Ishi- Japanese word meaning ‘intention’
Isi- Igbo word meaning ‘head’
Obara- Japanese name
Obara- Igbo word meaning blood

Ka- Japanese word used to express doubt
Ka- Igbo word used to make a polite request

Ube- Japanese town
Ube- Igbo word for the pear fruit

Aki- Japanese town
Aki- Igbo word meaning ‘palm kernel’

Amagi- Japanese town
Ama gi- Igbo word meaning, ‘your town’

Ga- Japanese word used to connect nouns
Ga- Igbo word meaning ‘will’

Anan- Japanese town
Anam- Igbo town

Chiba- Japanese town
Chiba- Igbo word meaning, ‘to take something inside’

Chichibu- Japanese town
Chichi- Igbo name

Obinata- Japanese surname
Obinna- Igbo name

De- Japanese word meaning ‘at’
De- Igbo word meaning ‘to write’

Obata- Japanese Surname
Obatala- ancient Igbo surname: surname of the Anioma kings during the Moremi Era

Ogyu- Japanese surname
Ogwi- Igbo surname

Komachi- Japanese name
Komasirichi- Igbo name

Cho- Japanese word that means, ‘a person who is’
Cho- Igbo word that means ‘to look for’

Uke- Japanese word meaning ‘attack’
Uke- Igbo word meaning ‘evil attack’

Kara- Japanese word that means ‘after’
Kara- Igbo word used to express greatness

Na- Japanese word used to express command
Na- Igbo word meaning ‘and’

Uku- Japanese word meaning ‘to float’
Ukwu- Igbo word meaning ‘leg’
Ohba- Japanese surname
Obah- Igbo surname (Oba is also an ancient Igbo royal title: one of the titles of the Anioma kings during the Moremi era was Oba Igbo)

Obishi- Japanese surname
Obichia- Igbo surname (Obishi literally means ‘head king’ in Igbo language)

Nanka- Japanese word used to express disappointment
Nanka- Igbo town

Offu- Japanese word for ‘off’
Ofu- Igbo word for ‘one’

Ike- Japanese prefix used to strenghten an adjective
Ike- Igbo word meaning strenght

Ano- Japanese word meaning ‘say’
Ano- Igbo word meaning ‘four’
Aka- Japanese word for ‘red’
Aka- Igbo word for ‘hand’

Ara- Japanese feminine term
Ara- Igbo word meaning breast
Onishi- Japanese name
Onyisi- Igbo word for leader

Asa- Japanese word meaning ‘morning’
Asa- Igbo word meaning ‘fine girl’

Asaato- Japanese word meaning ‘to asert’
Asato- Igbo word for ‘eight’

Ani- Japanese word meaning ‘brother-in-law’
Ani- Igbo word meaning ‘land’
Ouchi- Japanese surname
Oluchi- Igbo name

Ozu- Japanese surname
Ozu- Igbo town

Akechi- Japanese surname
Nkechi- Igbo name

Nara- Japanese word meaning ‘if’
Nara- Igbo past tense of the word ‘go’

Asano- Japanese surname
Akanno- Igbo surname

Ne- Japanese word used to interject
Ne- Igbo word meaning ‘look’

Iro- Japanese word meaning ‘colour’
Iro- Igbo word meaning ‘outside’

Ebina- Japanese surname
Egbuna- Igbo surname
Obinna- Igbo name

Ibuka- Japanese surname
Ebuka- Igbo name

Sa- Japanese word used to explain obvious facts
Sa- Igbo word meaning ‘to answer’Also the same word for ‘wash’

Ikina- Japanese surname
Ikenna- Igbo surname

Uboshita- Japanes surname
Uboshi ta- Igbo phrase meaning, ‘today’

Abutsu- Japanese name
Abutu- Igbo name

Umeki- Japanese surname
Umeh- Igbo surname

Ishioka- Japanese town
Isi oka- Igbo phrase meaning, ‘the cub of a corn plant’

Osumi- Japanese strait
Osumenyi- Igbo town

Neyagawa- Japanese town
Ne ya a’gawa- Igbo phrase that roughly translates to ‘look he’s going.’

Obama- Japanese town
Obama- Igbo connected town in the Kalabari area of Nigeria

Ofunato- Japanese town
Ofunato- Igbo phrase that roughly means, ‘One and three’.

Oji- Japanese town
Oji- Igbo river, i.e Oji River

Tsujii- Japanese name
Osuji- Igbo name

Otsu- Japanese town
Otu- Igbo town

Ugo- Japanese town
Ugo- Igbo word that means, ‘eagle’.

Abukuma- Japanese river
Akuma- Igbo town

Asuka- Japanese town
Nsukka- Igbo town

Chuai- Japanese name
Chuka- Igbo name

Anato- Japanese town
Ani ato- Igbo phrase meaning ‘third land’

Aruku- Japanese word which means, ‘to walk’
Ilo Ukwu- Igbo word which means to limp

Nemuru- Japanese word for sleep
Laru- Igbo word for ‘sleep’

Kata- Japanese word for ‘shoulder’
Aka- Igbo word for ‘hand’

Omu-Japanese town
Omu- Igbo word for palm frond
Onagawa- Japanese town

O na agawa- Igbo phrase that roughly means,’ he/she is going’

Inuzuka- Japanese name
Izuka- Igbo word for ‘week’

Iheya- Japanese town
Ihe ya- Igbo phrase that means ‘his/her property’

Onomichi- Japanese town
Ichi/Nnewiichi- Igbo town

Hanawa- Japanese town
Ha nawa- Igbo phrase that roughly means,’ they should go home’

Azuchi- Japanese town
Azuka- Igbo name

Eitoku- Japanese name
Etukoku- Igbo name

Chikanatsu- Japanese name
Chikamatsu- Japanese name Shika- Japanese word
Chika- Igbo name

To- Japanese word for ‘and’
To- Igbo word for ‘grow’

Kenji- Japanese name
Nkemjika- Igbo surname

Takumi- Japanese name
Akumi- Ancient name of the Igbos, currently used mainly in Afro America

Suru- Japanese word meaning to ‘die clothes using a wooden mold’
Suru- Igbo word for saying one has ‘washed clothes’

Chikafusa- Japanese name
Chikadibia- Igbo name

Be- Ancient Japanese word meaning community
Be- Igbo word meaning home

Ze- Japanese word that indicates assertion
Ze- Igbo word meaning ‘to avoid’

Zo- Japanese word that indicates assertion, but less forcefully than the word ‘ze’
Zo- Igbo word that means to ‘hide’

Amaya- Japanese nameAmala- Igbo name Ayaka- Japanese name
Amaka- Igbo short form of the names Ndidi amaka and Chiamaka

Haruka- Japanese name
Aluka- Igbo short form of the name Akaluka

Aki- Japanese word meaning ‘emptiness’
Aki- Igbo word for ‘palm kernel’

Arata- Japanese name
Araka- Igbo surname

Chimon- Japanese name
Chima- Igbo name

Kanaye- Japanese name
Kanayo-Igbo name

Akonah- Japanese name
Akanna- Igbo name

Amarante- Japanese name
Amarachi- Igbo name

Aneko- Japanese name
Anieto-Igbo surname

Asa-Japanese name
Asa- Igbo description of a beautiful lady

Chika- Japanese name
Chika- Igbo name

Hajime- Japanese name meaning, ‘beginning’
Ha ji me- Igbo phrase alluding to making or creating something

Note: the Japanese have two similar words for first son (Hachiro and Hachirou).

Interestingly, the Igbos have two similar words for first son ( Diokpa and Diokpala).

These Japanese and Igbo words do not have similarity in sounds, but their identical structure suggests deep-seated similarities in the DNAs of both cultures.

Chiyo- Japanese name
Chio- Igbo short form of the name Chigbogu

Misakuchi- ancient Japanese religious festivalIgo chi/ Ilo chi- ancient Igbo religious festivals

Note:According to Arimasa Kubo, a Japanese historian (in his article, “Israelites Came to Ancient Japan”), ‘People call this festival “the festival for Misakuchi-god”. “Misakuchi” might be “mi-isaku-chi.” “Mi” means “great,” “isaku” is most likely Isaac (the Hebrew word “Yitzhak”), and “chi” is something for the end of the word”. Looking at the two ancient Igbo religious festivals above, I think the ‘Chi’ at the end of the Japanese religious festival ‘Misakuchi’ refers to the same Igbo concept of Chi.

According to Elizabeth Isichei- in her book, ‘Igbo Worlds’- Igo Chi means, ‘to offer sacrifices to ones chi, while Ilo Chi means, ‘a period during which people reaffirm their association. with their ancestors, personal spirits, and the divinities associated with everyday activities’.

Oniye- Japanese word meaning religious sacrifice
Onyinye- Igbo word meaning religious offering.

Note:According to Kubo, we can still see the custom of the wooden pillar called “oniye-bashira,” which means, “sacrifice-pillar.”

Today in Igboland, religious offering is called onyinye.

I chigo ichie- In Igbo ‘I chigo ichie’ literarily means you are now an ichie title holder. For those who may not know the ichie are members of the Igwe’s (Igbo king’s) traditional cabinet. It is seen a prestigious achievement to be selected as an ichie in the Igwe’s cabinet. Another word for ichie is nze. The phrase can also be used as an idiom to denote that one has had a major advancement in life. For instance Dr A becomes Professor A. When we meet them we can say. ‘Congrats on your new professorship. I chigo ichie.’

Ichi go ichi e- in Japanese, ‘Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会 “one time, one meeting”)’ is a four-character idiom (yojijukugo) about a cultural concept of appreciating meetings with people. The term is often translated in English as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.” The term in Japanese reminds people to cherish any gathering that they may take part in, noting the fact that many meetings in life are not repeated.
Sources:

Encyclopedia Americana,

Igbo Worlds, by Elizabeth Isichei

http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~magi9/isracame.htm

http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/Orient/Japan/Surnames.htm

http://rut.org/cgi-bin/j-e/dict

http://www.japanvisitor.com/index.php?cID=359&pID=325F

Copyright © Prince Charles Offokaja, 2012