a fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, used to initiate fermentation of a mixture of soybeans and wheat in the production of soy sauce.

Origin of koji

< Japanese kōji malt, yeast < kaudi < kaũdi < kamudati, probably equivalent to *kamu (< *kanpu mold; compare kabu, a variant outcome of the same etymon) + -dati, combining form of tati to rise
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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