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怪獣 Kaijyu

Definition: A monster. Monstrous animal.

While it has come to mean "giant monster" like Godzilla or something out of Ultraman, the word by itself just means "monster" or literally "strange beast". Thus, kaiju do not necessarily need to be gigantic in size.

The kanji for kai is the same as the one in kaijin.

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Page of Japanese terms that appear in the shows