I understand what おまかせ means in the context of a sushi restaurant, where you let the chef decide what's to be served, but I've also seen it pop up a few times in Japanese games.

For example, the most recent Mario Kart uses it to say you want to let the computer pick which course is gonna be played on next, and is thusly referring to random selection. Is this a common practice? As I can't find enough instances of it to tell given my limited selection of Japanese translated games.

And if it is, what are the nuances of it? And is it meant as a pun by referring back to it's original meaning and extrapolating from that to fit it's new context, or is that not the case?

1 Answer 1


Yes, おまかせ implies you let the chef choose the sushi according to the chef’s preferences, normally just for fun. On the other hand, if you let the computer choose, you're allowing the computer to use their algorithm to choose a course. But this time, because video games are the entertainment, the term おまかせ is chosen to emphasize the game rather than to emphasize the randomness or mathematical model.

  • Smash bros. also uses おまかせ for random stage/character. I'm pretty sure it's the standard for "random."
    – Kurausukun
    Oct 15, 2017 at 5:57
  • 2
    @Kurausukun Yes. English Wikipedia also uses a random article which is translated into おまかせ記事 in Wikipedia Japan, which probably implies arbitrary choice from the system. However, this time I wanted to exclude haphazardness or erratic choice which is associated with the word "random" from "おまかせ" which implies letting go of your choice and see how it goes in Japanese.
    – user25382
    Oct 15, 2017 at 6:49

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