CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionOnomatopoeiaUncorrected

Chu Chu Tako Kaina

  • Today I would like to talk about the Japanese term “chu chu tako kaina.”


    This term is a kind of counting rhymes, which is used when counting the number of something in two units (it’s something like “two, four, six, eight…”).

    There are several theories about this term, but the most widely accepted one is something like the following.

    The word “chu” comes from the sugoroku (Japanese backgammon) term “juji,” which means double two, that is four.

    When you say “chu chu,” it means eight, and this number represents the number of octopus’ legs.

    Therefore, we came to say “tako kaina,” which means “is it an octopus?,” after “chu chu.”

    Original sentence