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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Japanese Word™.

Use the following examples below to find the rule.

enter image description here
* Disputable

Here is the CSV version:

Japanese Words™,Not Japanese Words™
ABIDE,HASHED
RANDOMIZE,KAESAR
DAMAGE,WIN
YUKON,TAKEAWAY
ISOTOPE,FUNDAMENT
MEMENTO,NOMAD
WON,GORDON
KIERIE,CENOBIA
TABOO,ASIA
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  • $\begingroup$ Is any knowledge of Japanese language or culture needed to solve this? $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2016 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor Uhm that's hard to say, because I am afraid I might reveal too much. :D However, I can say that the actual pattern can be verified even if you do not speak Japanese. $\endgroup$
    – Alenanno
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ That was... a bit easy. I was able to guess the pattern without even reading the question. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi Eheh yeah, I liked the pattern but I guess it wasn't as a nice question as I had thought it to be initially. $\endgroup$
    – Alenanno
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:45

1 Answer 1

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A Japanese word is one that

can be perfectly transcribed using the romanization of hiragana symbols.

For example

There is a symbol for A, one for BI, and one for DE, which can be concatenated as あびで to form ABIDE.
The symbols for RA, N, DO, MI, ZE, form RANDOMIZE. For the full list:

あびで      A-BI-DE
らんどみぜ  RA-N-DO-MI-ZE
だまげ      DA-MA-GE
ゆこん      YU-KO-N
いそとぺ    I-SO-TO-PE
めめんと    ME-ME-N-TO
をん        WO-N
きえりえ    KI-E-RI-E
たぼお      TA-BO-O

WIN is disputable because

A character for WI does exist (ゐ), but it is now nearly completely obsolete.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am just curious if there is any reason for preferring hiragana over katakana. $\endgroup$
    – Matsmath
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Matsmath As far as this question is concerned, it's not a critical choice. $\endgroup$
    – Alenanno
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Alenanno ASIA could also be disputed. SI is another acceptable romanization for し (SHI). Making ASIA あしあ。 $\endgroup$
    – Siyual
    Oct 25, 2016 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Siyual Not in Hepburn (which is the most common one, and the one I used). $\endgroup$
    – Alenanno
    Oct 26, 2016 at 0:05

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