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Tokoton (とことん – Thoroughly)

  • Tokoton


    When you want to express the end of things or doing something thoroughly, you can use the Japanese term とことん (tokoton).

    This term comes from the rhythmic stepping sound トコトントコトン (tokoton tokoton), which represents a Japanese dance.

    There are two theories about the etymology of this sound — one says that “toko” means “floor” and “ton” is an onomatopoeia that represents the stepping sound, and the other says that “tokoton” itself is the onomatopoeia.

    Also, the reason why “tokoton” has come to have the current meaning is because the Japanese military song とことんやれ節 (tokoton yare bushi) had become popular in 1868.

    Where やれ (yare) means “do it,” and 節 (bushi) means “melody.”
    「やれ」は “do it,” 「節」は “melody” を意味します。

    It’s thought that since the discipline of the military was very strict, “tokoton yare” (tokoton do it) was considered as “do it thoroughly until the end.”

    Original sentence