Is There a Difference Between Sushi and Zushi?

Every so often, you may see the word “zushi” appear where you might expect to see “sushi”. This occasionally causes confusion for people not familiar with Japanese grammar rules, who are led to wonder whether or not zushi may be an entirely different dish. In truth, this is simply the result of one of the idiosyncratic rules of Japanese.

In the Japanese language, some consonants need to be “hardened” when they serve as the first letter of a word with a prefix. “S”, for example, will be hardened to “Z”. Therefore, “sushi” is turned into “zushi” when it is used in words like “makizushi”, “chirashizushi”, or “edomaezushi”. For this reason, you can expect to never see “zushi” used on its own. Meanwhile, many restaurants in the United States will use terms like “maki sushi” to avoid confusion with their English-speaking clientele.

No matter what form it may take, the rolls and nigiri at our Bellevue Japanese restaurant are sure to make for a satisfying dining experience. Come and try some of your Japanese favorites today!