CultureEssayEtymologyHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Daikokubashira (大黒柱 – Breadwinner)

  • Daikokubashira


    In a traditional Japanese residence, we often set a very thick pillar in the center of the house.

    This pillar is called “daikokubashira” (大黒柱).

    “Daikokubashira” is composed of three kanji, “大” (big), “黒” (black), and “柱” (pillar), but it’s not usually black.

    There are several theories about the etymology.
    One is that it comes from “Daigokuden bashira” (大極殿柱), which is pillars in Daigokuden (大極殿).
    (The Daigokuden is a main hall of Chodoin (朝堂院 – a state chamber of the Greater Imperial Palace).)
    The other theory is that it comes from Daikokuten (大黒天), who is the god of wealth.

    Because of the importance, “daikokubashira” also represents a person who supports a group such as family or country.

    Original sentence