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Daikons on display in a Japanese supermarket.


From the romanization of Japanese 大根 (daikon, lit. "big root").


daikon (plural daikons or daikon)

  1. (botany) An East Asian cultivar or subspecies of radish (Raphanus sativus) bearing a large, white, carrot-shaped taproot consumed throughout East and South Asia but grown in North America primarily as a fallow crop for its fast-growing leaves (used as animal fodder) and as a soil ripper.
  2. (Japanese cuisine) Particularly, the usual Japanese cultivar, Japanese radish.
  3. (biology) Closely-related cultivars such as the enormous turnip-shaped Sakurajima or green-and-red watermelon radish.

Usage notes[edit]

Daikon is the most common name in all forms of English, but historical ties to South Asia permit mooli as a general synonym in British English. Other synonyms usually vary by region, so that daikon is sometimes taken to refer specifically to the usual Japanese form; similarly, the term radish may be used, with the regional variety implied by context. In addition, the plant is most often grown in North America for animal fodder or other uses rather than human consumption, producing a third set of synonyms that are almost never encountered in culinary contexts.





  • Natural Resources Conservation Service. PLANTS Database. "Plant Fact Sheet: Oilseed Radish, Raphanus sativus L.". United States Dep't of Agriculture, 2012. Accessed 22 June 2014.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "mooli, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2002.




  1. rōmaji reading of だいこん