Productive palatalisation is a striking property of Japanese mimetic items. The docking site of the [−anterior] feature is contingent on consonantal place, and rhotics resist palatalisation. Cross-linguistically, consonantal places differ in palatalisability, and palatalised apical rhotics are not preferred. Bringing together the cross-linguistic insights offered by Rose (1997b) and Hall (2000), I offer a new account of Japanese mimetic palatalisation, which crucially appeals to the notion of feature compatibility. The proposed analysis is attractive for two reasons. First, feature compatibility is firmly grounded in robust cross-linguistic tendencies. Second, the analysis covers a much wider range of data than that proposed by Zoll (1996, 1997), which is based on constituent-initial licensing of complex segments. The analysis defended in the present work is thus desirable both cross-linguistically and empirically.