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Namiko Abe

Yukidaruma - Japanese Snowman

By March 1, 2009

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When it snowed I was excited to make a snowman. I tried to put two large snowballs together, just like how I used to do it in Japan, but I was told that it has to be three snowballs in North America. The Japanese word for snowman is "yukidaruma". "Daruma" is a round wish doll with no arms or legs. It represents the Zen monk, Bodhidharma, and snowmen in Japan are modeled after it. It is always very interesting to find out culture differences, even when it is only snowmen. How do you say a snowman in your language and what do they look like?


March 1, 2009 at 5:02 am
(1) Kulak says:

Snowman is called Schnemann in Germany and Sneschok in Russia

March 1, 2009 at 5:07 am
(2) ahodges says:

Kulak: »Schneemann« is written with two e in German.

March 1, 2009 at 5:23 am
(3) WC says:

-Has- to be 3 balls? No. I’ve see snowmen of all shapes and sizes. The stereotypical snowman is 3 balls here in the US, but whoever told you it ‘has’ to be hasn’t seen many snowmen.

March 1, 2009 at 7:02 am
(4) Pekka (^_^) says:

In Poland we say bałwan. It is traditionally made up of three balls too. It has eyes made of lumps of coal (today it is usually stones) and a nose made of a carrot. Sometmies it has sticks for arms that hold a broom.

March 1, 2009 at 11:49 am
(5) Sel says:

In spanish, snowman is “Hombre de Nieve”. Although we don’t get to use that term much where I live; it never snows!

March 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm
(6) Shimamura says:

In northern Spain, it is called “muńeco de nieve”, “snow puppet”, 雪国こけし, and I thought, as I child was, how beautiful and terrible was to be awaken between warm hands and melt after 一人で under the sun.

March 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(7) Alex says:

it is also possible to call it “snegowik” in the Russian language

March 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm
(8) Judu says:

it’s ‘hóember’ in Hungarian. (it means snowman:D).. it’s usually 3 balls in Hungary too I guess (there can be differences of course).. it has a carrot-nose and eyes from whatever.. and it usually gets a scarf.. or even a hat sometimes. ^^ and it has arms from branches. ^^

March 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm
(9) L. says:

Well, it’s called snehuliak here in Slovakia. It’s quite similar to our neighbor’s snowmen – usually three balls, something for a nose and eyes, and jacket buttons. :)
Twigs for hands.

March 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm
(10) L. says:

Oh, I should probably add that by “our neighbors” I mean Poland and Hungaria. :)

March 2, 2009 at 2:44 am
(11) Mani says:

Sneeuwpop (Snow doll) in Dutch and usually it’s made of 2 balls, I guess because we don’t get enough snow to make the 3 ball variety we see in stores and on tv (witch is the American type).

Stones (or for eyes) and buttons and a carrot nose a scarf and stick arms (or a broom, if you have a nice enough mom)

March 2, 2009 at 3:23 am
(12) Ton says:

I think Daruma can be made as dolls with only one pupil. When you complete soemthing you want to complete you add the other pupil.

March 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm
(13) Livia says:

cool language… Hontouni zannen I cannot understand it… :(
Who is willing to help me with some lyrics?
From: The Roots – The Seed2.0

To be more specific, how do I say/write:

1. “I push it naked cause I’ve takin’ my test”

2. “It don’t matter the sex I’m gon’ name it rock and roll”

3. “Fertilize another behind my lover’s back
And I’m keepin’ my secrets mine”

Thank you :)

March 2, 2009 at 10:59 pm
(14) Pau~ says:

In Spanish, I was always taught “mono de nieve” (I’m from Mexico, though don’t live there) and really even where I lived in northern Mexico (Monterrey) there never was any snow =D
I definitely miss that, where I live.

March 4, 2009 at 2:00 am
(15) Jon says:

snowman in vietnamese is called người tuyết. We have the name for it, but I don’t think we have enough snow in Vietnam to make snowman. :D

March 4, 2009 at 2:02 am
(16) jon says:

snowman is called người tuyết in Vietnamese. We have the name for it but I don’t ever recall anyone making snowman in Vietnam.

March 4, 2009 at 5:45 am
(17) EugeneBlow says:

i think its “Taong niyebe” here in the philippines…

i hope snow will fall in the philippines someday :-D

March 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm
(18) Jacovie says:

I’m originally from Puerto Rico and then moved to Chicago, Illinois. I don’t think I ever heard a word for snowman, since it never snows in Puerto Rico, but when I moved to chicago, our family would call them “hombrenevado”, which I guess means “snow-covered man”. I don’t know if this is an actual word, but it’s what we used.

March 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm
(19) paprika says:

Hello Namiko-san! In Portugal Snowman is a “boneco de neve”, though it never snows in the city i live. I wonder how would we make them… Probably just like the north-americans, cause if we think of it, the three balls represent the legs, belly and head.

March 5, 2009 at 3:26 am
(20) Thierry says:

Hello everybody
it’s called “bonhomme de neige” in France. It seems that usually we use two balls : one for the body and a small one for the head.


March 5, 2009 at 9:55 am
(21) mirro says:

in Romania, the snowman is made of 3 balls.. bottom and middle ones are shaped to form the body. it’s called “om de zapada”.. has eyes of coal/stone/pinecone, carrot nose and a smile made of pebbles/coal or just small holes in his face..usually he smiles. in addition [but optional] he may wear a hat, scarf and large buttons on his belly and may wave a branch or a broom [one arm only!]
i haven’t seen him for years.. too little snow, or the kids to busy playing virtual games..(

March 7, 2009 at 2:30 am
(22) loliks says:

In Latvia we call it “sniegavīrs” and it is traditional snowman.

March 7, 2009 at 4:42 am
(23) Jonas says:

In Lithuania it’s called “senis besmegenis.” Senis=old man, smegenys=brains, be=without. So literally it means “old man whitout brains”. :) It’s true I swear to god.

March 11, 2009 at 8:42 am
(24) George says:

It is called Χιονάνθρωπος (Hyonanthropos) in Greece, which means snow-human, and it is usually made of three spheres.

March 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm
(25) Anibal Hurtado says:

I woukd like to thank you for your “website” here, you helped me a lot on my efford to learn japanese, I like to learn by myself it’s hard but not impossible, I learn my english here,too. I really really really apreciate your help here by about.com , thank you thank you thank you…

March 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(26) marie says:

I live in the US, but it doesn’t usually snow in my state, so whenever it snows my friends and I usually make snowmen with 2 balls of snow, a scarf, hat, sticks for arms, stones for eyes and i’ve even seen sunglasses in the place of stones (lol), carrots for noses.
also a lot of people put mittens on the sticks. ^___^
and i absolutely love when people make snow sculptures, they’re so pretty~

March 12, 2009 at 4:39 am
(27) chiara says:

in Italia we call it “pupazzo di neve”, we can make it of two or three balls of snow,depends on how much snow you can find.Usually pupazzi di neve are made of two balls of snow for head and body and two wood sticks for arms.We had a lot of snow in Italia this year!Enjoy your pupazzo di neve!Chiara

March 13, 2009 at 4:57 am
(28) grazia says:

Hi, Namiko-san!
As Chiara said, a snowman in Italy is called “pupazzo di neve”, and we usually take a carrot or a cork stopper to make the nose and two buttons to make the eyes!
If we have one, we put a hat on the head of the pupazzo di neve =)
Thank you a lot for your japanese’s lessons, they are very useful! grazia

March 16, 2009 at 6:12 am
(29) Milind says:

In Marathi (a Hindi like language spoken in province of Maharashtra – west India near Mumbai) it is known as Shiral shet. It’s interesting to know that it never snows in this part of world – yet people make things that look like it using clay or anything that’s suitable. Basically, shiral shet would resemble a snowman – except that its not made up of snow.

March 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm
(30) alberto says:

Here in Brazil, we call it “boneco de neve” like in Portugal. Only in one or two cities in the south we have some kind of snow, if we can call it snow, because it is not white and fluffy.
Last year, we celebrated 100 years of japanese immigration in Brazil and one big yukidaruma (2 meters high and 1 ton weigth) was sent from Hokkaido to Brazil. As it was too hot in the day it was exposed that it last only one day.

March 18, 2009 at 11:59 am
(31) Can Orhan says:

Snowman in Turkish is “Kardan Adam” literally meaning ‘Man (made)of snow’. There’s nothing special about it. Just the typical western snowman.

March 20, 2009 at 4:07 am
(32) Tara says:

Snowman is called “lumiukko” here in Finland, “lumi” meaning snow and “ukko” old man. It is a typical Western snowman with a carrot for a nose, buttons for eyes and (sometimes)wood sticks for the arms. Since there is a lot of snow here(latest by February), you see snowmen in many places, and also an occational snow castle. And, thanks for your Japanese!

March 23, 2009 at 9:05 am
(33) Deasy says:

In Indonesia we call it manusia salju, although we don’t have winter season, last christmas my Church made 4 snowman, each was made of 2 big white styrofoam balls and they looked like they were really made from snow.

March 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm
(34) Seán says:

In Gaelige (Irish), they are called ‘fear sneachta’, simply, ‘men of snow’. Man i hate irish! anyone wanna do my leavin cert for me?

March 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm
(35) Kati says:

In Slovenia it’s called “sneženi mož” or “snežak”…it means snowman or a man covered with snow (something like that). I usually make one from 2 or 3 snow balls, for eyes and nose I use stones and for arms I use wood sticks.

(By the way: thank you for your wonderful explanation :D )

April 2, 2009 at 9:25 am
(36) kay says:

its fun 2 know such a thing..
hope some 1 can help with this language

April 7, 2009 at 3:39 am
(37) masterpiece says:

i’m very sad…
indonesia is tropis land…
don’t have snow…
so can’t see snowman…
_ _!!!

April 13, 2009 at 2:31 am
(38) ami says:

Me too…I live in a tropical country…My only chance to play in the snow is when I travel abroad. T_T

April 24, 2009 at 2:57 am
(39) ヤーッコ says:

In my home country, Finland, making snowmen is very popular hobby. I like the shape of Japanese daruma more though, as it’s more simple and beautiful.

April 26, 2009 at 9:51 am
(40) Kamil says:

The funny thing about Polish snowman is that its name comes from Sanskrit’s “bala” (strong, mighty) and “-van” (have). In the past bałwan meant “God” now it means “fool”. Traditional bławan is made of three balls of snow, carrot for nose, charcoal for buttons, eyes and mouth, sweepers for arms and bucket for hat.

May 7, 2009 at 10:33 am
(41) William says:

A snowman is called Snögubbe in Swedish. Three balls on top of each other and rocks for decoration sometimes it gets a carrot nose and/or some clothes.

May 15, 2009 at 11:17 am
(42) celestial elf says:

Following a number of encounters with the monks of Tibet, The London Snowman has just embarked on a mission to The Himalayas to try and find The Abominable Snowman and it seems that He may himself be what he is looking for…….
Look here

December 29, 2010 at 1:55 am
(43) Selcuk Erez says:

Turkish word for snowman is “kardan adam”

Kardan: made of snow
aDAM : Man

March 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm
(44) Ricardo says:

In Brazil we call a snowman “Boneco de neve” :D D

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