In Old Japanese, me stood for edible seaweeds in general as opposed to mo standing for algae. In kanji, such as 海藻, 軍布 and 和布 were applied to transcribe the word. Among seaweeds, wakame was likely most often eaten, therefore me especially meant wakame. It expanded later to other seaweeds like kajime, hirome (kombu), arame, etc. Wakame is derived from waka + me (若布, lit. young seaweed). If this waka is an eulogistic prefix, same as the tama of tamagushi, wakame likely stood for seaweeds widely in ancient ages. In Man'yōshū, in addition to 和可米 and 稚海藻 (both are read as wakame), nigime (和海藻, soft wakame) can be seen. Besides, tamamo (玉藻, lit. beautiful algae), which often appeared in Man'yo-shu, may be wakame depending on poems.
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