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Oitoma (おいとま – Leaving)

  • Oitoma


    Over the past two days, I introduced you to the Japanese terms that related to service to visitors.

    Today I’d like to talk about おいとま (oitoma), which is used by the visitor when he/she leaves the home.

    “Oitoma” and its verb form “oitoma suru” are used as a euphemism for the verb 帰る (kaeru), which means to “go home.”

    お (o) is a polite prefix, and いとま (itoma) means “free time” or “recess time.”

    Also, originally this term was used like “itoma wo chodai suru” (いとまを頂戴する – I will receive “itoma”).

    Receiving “itoma” means receiving “free time,” and it implies that you will go home.

    Later, just “itoma” and “itoma suru” have come to mean “I’m gone.”

    Usually, we say just something like そろそろ、おいとまさせて頂きます (sorosoro, oitoma sasete itadakimasu – It’s time for me to leave).

    Original sentence