CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Monuke no Kara (もぬけの殻 – Completely Empty)

  • Monuke no Kara


    If there are completely no people in a building, the situation is called もぬけの殻 (monuke no kara) in Japanese.

    もぬけ “monuke” comes from the Japanese verb: もぬける (monukeru), which means that cicadas or snakes cast their shells/skins.

    殻 (kara) means “shell” or “slough,” so “monuke no kara” originally meant “cicada shell” or “snake’s slough.”
    「殻」は、”shell” を意味するので、「もぬけの殻」はもともと蛇や蝉の抜け殻を意味する言葉でした。

    Later, this has come to be used for buildings where no one is present or containers with nothing.

    Also, it is thought that も (mo) of “monukeru” comes from 身 (mi – body) or 裳 (mo – kimono/clothes), so “monukeru” implies that “one’s body leave” or “one leave by clothes.”
    (Note that 抜ける(nukeru) of “monukeru” means to leave by somewhere.)

    Original sentence