HempenCulture in Japan


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Cannabis in Japan
A vocabulary primer


This Kanji is read MA in Chinese and represents two hemp plants hanging upside down from the rafters of a drying shed.

Asa Kanji



Asa = The Japanese reading for the traditional kanji character for hemp In the post war era, also refers to jute, sisal & flax as well as true cannabis.

Taima = If you combine the character for “big” with the character for hemp, you get big hemp or cannabis sativa. The “official” word for the plant used on law act that prohibits it’s cultivation.

marifana = Common slang adaption of the Mexican/ American word for cannabis.

choko= A modern Japanese slang for weed, kinda like ganja (which is also used)

happa= “Leaf” A common used term used the same way as “weed.”

kusa = “Grass” as in “You got any grass?”

maku = The verb “to roll.” Try “happa o maku” Roll up some weed.

dozo = This is the closest to say “here, take this” as you pass the joint. A polite word used in everyday use.

happachu / happaboke = “Weed junkie,” used a bit lightheartedly sometimes as the suffix also refers for harder drugs.

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See also: Cannabis Culture in contemporary Japan

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