I came across some words for spices, hitoaji and shichimi. It occurred to me that I have never seen the terms for 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 spices and so on. Do these terms exist?


Words of the form [number] + 味 do exist:

  • 一味【ひとあじ】 hitoaji ≠ 一味【いちみ】 ichimi

  • 三味 = 三味線【しゃみせん】 shamisen

  • 五味【ごみ】 gomi "five flavours" (sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, salty)

  • 六味【ろくみ】 rokumi "six flavours" (sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, salty, bland)

  • 七味【しちみ】 shichimi

  • 百味【ひゃくみ】 hyakumi "hundred flavours"

Shichimi is a particular blend of seven spices (chili pepper, sesame, tangerine peel, poppy seed, rapeseed, hemp seed, sanshō — of course recipes may add other / leave out some ingredients).

As @Chocolate pointed out 一味唐辛子【いちみとうがらし】 ichimi tōgarashi (or ichimi for short) is sometimes used to refer to straight chili pepper (tōgarashi) without the other ingredients.

The others (3, 5, 6, 100) don't refer to a particular blend of spices.

  • Except shichimi, they don't refer to a particular mixed spice -- [七味]{しちみ}(= [七味唐辛子]{しちみとうがらし})のほかに、[一味]{いちみ}(= [一味唐辛子]{いちみとうがらし})ってあるやん? – Chocolate Jul 11 '18 at 15:18
  • @Chocolate Edited. – Earthliŋ Jul 11 '18 at 15:47

Kōshinryō means spice too. Though I only know this from Spice and Wolf. :P

in addition there are several synonyms of spice which use the 味 kanji, and are translated as "condiment", "flavor", "flavoring" and so on, like kōmi 香味

@Blavius (who deleted his comment) is right, the only "number" attached to 味 that means "spice" or rather "seasoning" is 七味... all other number variants would simply translate to "number of" flavors...

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