# What Does Sudoku Mean In Japanese? And Other Sudoku Facts

If you like puzzles, it would be pretty odd if you’ve never run across a sudoku puzzle; it’s one of the most popular puzzles out there. But even if you are a sudoku fan, you might not know what the word sudoku actually means—or, for that matter, where these puzzles came from. (It’s not what you think!) Well, we have the answers to these puzzling questions and an explanation of the rules of the game of sudoku if you’ve never encountered this type of challenge before.

Whether you are a sudoku rookie or the master of a sudoku dojo, our Sudoku game is perfect for practicing your puzzling power.

## What does sudoku mean?

The name sudoku comes from a shortening of the Japanese phrase suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru. This phrase roughly translates to “the numbers/digits must remain single” and refers to the main rule of sudoku.

Sudoku is one of 83 games offered in the Dictionary.com games hub, which includes more than 70 new games added this year.

## The origins of sudoku

Despite what you might think, sudoku didn’t originate from the Land of the Rising Sun. The puzzle game now known as sudoku is often credited to American Howard Garns. In 1979, Garns submitted a puzzle named “Number Place” to Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games magazine. It was the first known example of a sudoku puzzle.

This type of number puzzle then appeared in Japanese magazines in the 1980s with the name sudoku. Sudoku puzzles became popular in Japan but wouldn’t catch on in other places for a few decades. By the early 2000s, sudoku had made its way back to the Western world as newspapers began including sudoku puzzles alongside other games. Sudoku became very popular with puzzlers, and the rest is history.

## How do you play sudoku?

The rules of a classic sudoku are simple:

• The puzzle consists of a 9×9 grid.
• The goal of sudoku is to fill the grid with the numbers 1 through 9.
• A number cannot repeat in any row, column, or 3×3 box.
• Once the entire grid has been filled in without breaking the rules, the puzzle is solved.

Now that you’ve learned more about everyone’s favorite number puzzle, it’s your turn to achieve the rank of Sudoku Sensei. Prove your sudoku-solving skills by checking out our Sudoku game and putting those numbers in their place!

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