Compound of 蒲 (kama, “cattail, bulrush”) + 鉾 (hoko, “spear”). The hoko changes to boko due to rendaku (連濁). From the way the seed spike resembles a spear. 
蒲鉾 (hiragana かまぼこ, romaji kamaboko)
- The seed spike or raceme of the cattail or bulrush plant.
- (From the resemblance to a cattail seed spike in shape and sometimes color): A traditional Japanese fishcake: any of various processed seafood products made from surimi, in which whitefish is pureed, formed into loaves, and steamed until firm.
Generally written in hiragana due to the high number of strokes and rarity of the characters used in the kanji spelling.
- 蒲鉾芋 (kamaboko imo): grated 山芋 (yamaimo), wheat flour, and arrowroot mixed, placed on a board, steamed, and made to look like kamaboko
- 蒲鉾形 (kamabokogata): a domed shape like a kamaboko loaf placed on a board
- 蒲鉾小屋 (kamabokogoya): a rough hut shaped like a kamaboko loaf, made of bent bamboo and covered in rushes
- 蒲鉾箍 (kamaboko taga): a brass or copper hoop such as for a barrel or 湯桶 (yutō) that is wide in the middle and narrow at the edges, similar in shape to a kamaboko loaf
- 蒲鉾豆腐 (kamabokodōfu): tofu mixed with walnuts, placed on a board, steamed, and made to look like kamaboko
- 蒲鉾味噌 (kamaboko miso): surimi mixed with white miso, cracked 山椒 (sanshō, “Japanese pepper”), minced ginger, soy sauce, and optionally other ingredients, and simmered in saké over low heat
- 蒲鉾道 (kamaboko michi): a road where the surface bulges up in the center and is lower on the edges, similar in shape to a kamaboko loaf
- 蒲鉾弓 (kamaboko yumi): a type of bow made of zelkova wood with a layer of bamboo on the outside and similar in shape to a kamaboko loaf, popular from the late Heian period
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
- ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3