(Science: botany) japan allspice, a cloverlike plant (Lespedeza striata) from Eastern asia, useful for fodder, first noticed in the southern united states about 1860, but now become very common. During the Civil war it was called variously yankee clover and rebel clover. Japan earth. See Catechu. Japan ink, a kind of writing ink, of a deep, glossy black when dry. Japan varnish, a varnish prepared from the milky juice of the rhus vernix, a small Japanese tree related to the poison sumac.