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I can't find anything in the dictionary.

My book gives the word in hiragana but the dictionary also shows katakana.

A quick google revealed that it is a loanword from Russian so katakana seems more appropriate.

But is there a Kanji for this word?

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    FWIW, since the イクラ maki pieces resemble a (naval) warship, you can say 軍艦巻き (literally, "warship maki") to refer to イクラ. – jarmanso7 Apr 13 at 15:10
  • I propose that we assign the kanji 不味魚卵 to ikura. – kandyman Apr 13 at 15:47
  • Gunkanmaki refers to any sushi of that form not just ikura. – Ben Apr 16 at 10:06
  • @Ben fair enough. Taking a look to this Google image search for 軍艦巻き, the イクラ seems predominant, but certainly it is not the only case. – jarmanso7 Jun 9 at 22:01
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People on the internet (1, 2) suggest that 鮭卵 may be used as jukujikun for イクラ, but as you already found out, イクラ itself derives from Russian икра (ikra) and is usually written in kana.

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    I think 鮭卵 is jukujikun (assignment of kanji only based on meanings) rather than ateji (assignment of kanji only based on reading). – naruto Apr 13 at 23:55
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    @naruto Yes, of course you're right. Thank you! – Earthliŋ Apr 14 at 2:10
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My book gives the word in hiragana but the dictionary also shows katakana.

Google has three times more results for いくら軍艦 than イクラ軍艦, and Bing has just over twice as many for the hiragana version, so it seems hiragana is more common.

A quick google revealed that it is a loanword from Russian so katakana seems more appropriate.

As it happens らーめん is from Chinese 拉麺, but it is only written in hiragana or katakana.

But is there a Kanji for this word?

Japanese used to just copy the Chinese for kanji so 鲑魚子 would be the correct one if you have to have kanji.

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    Compulsory link for "Google counts": japanese.meta.stackexchange.com/q/522/1628 See also japanese.meta.stackexchange.com/a/1074/1628 – Earthliŋ Apr 16 at 11:15
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    That didn't really convince me that Google counts are meaningless, just because someone happens upon some bug or another with a nonsense word. You can try いくら軍艦 and イクラ軍艦 on Bing as well and get similar results. – Ben Apr 16 at 12:11
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    The point is that the estimate given by search engines for "number of results" is very rough and can be off by several orders of magnitude. So "three times as common" could easily be "only half as common" when looking at the actual numbers. – Earthliŋ Apr 16 at 12:37
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    られてられて is not a meaningful phrase and the numbers returned are not likely to be meaningful either. That is probably just a bug in Google's numbers. One small bug doesn't prove that the whole thing is kaputt any more than one error in a paper dictionary proves the whole dictionary is wrong. – Ben Apr 16 at 12:47
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    As far as I understand the method for estimating the number of results also isn't very realistic for "meaningful phrases", but of course it's possible that meaningless strings exhibit this pathological behaviour better. Still, the number is not a number, but an estimate... – Earthliŋ Apr 16 at 13:12

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