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Deku Meaning | True Meaning of Deku and Its Uses

The True Meaning of Deku and Its Uses


Epistemology of the word “Deku”


Nowadays a lot of people are searching for the true meaning of the Japanese word “Deku”. To know the actual meaning of the word Deku, we will have to dive deep into the traditional Japanese cultural myth and discern how this traditional Japanese word came to be so popular in the modern era making its way across the globe. The modern world came to know about Deku through the famous anime series Boku no Hero Academia, a.k.a. My Hero Academia. 

But, your independent research into the word’s historical background will apprise you of something very interesting. Initially, the word Deku referred to a wooden puppet or doll with no arms and legs. No legs, no arms symbolizes a person’s worthlessness.

Thus, apparently, if we use word Deku for someone, it will mean the person is good for nothing. Currently, it’s being exploited by an anime series where Deku is related to popular games that are, Legend of Zelda. The leading character of the popular anime is Boku no Hero Academia.   

What Dictionary Defined Deku


Interestingly, if we look into the Japanese dictionary for the word Deku, we’ll come across two versions of definitions for this word:

  1. A puppet being the first one and a useless
  2. A boring person the second one


The Deku word structure is composed of two kanji. Thousands of years ago, the Deku dolls with no legs and arms would be a common scene where clay dogs would portray the Jomon Era. During those days, the Deku or the wooden dolls were known as Kugutsu. 

Deku Dolls and Kugustu


Kugutsu is basically a doll without arms and legs and as such, is treated as an offensive word. If the word is used for a person, it will mean he is a useless person. In case you visit a Japanese museum, you will have an idea of how old fashioned the wooden and clay crafted Deku dolls look like.

The Modern Usage of Deku


If you have been playing the Zelda game or at least you are aware of the game, you are likely to know about the word Deku. Right at the beginning of the word, the player of the game is transformed into one of such magical creatures. All the Zelda creatures/characters are erected of wood just like arm and legless Deku puppets.

You are likely to meet Deku creaturs if you continue to play up to seven Zelda games. The creatures live in perfect harmony with the rest of the other creatures. To educate them, they have been provided with a school, too. The lead role in “My Hero Academia” is referred to as Izuku Midoriya while his nickname is Deku.

I have tried my best to provide you with all the available info about the Japanese word Deku starting from its traditional meaning to modern usage in anime series Boku no Hero Academia. If you are a true lover of Japanese anime, then this is the series for you. You will fall in love with the amazing, peaceful Deku creatures that you will meet in the series. 


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