EssayEtymologyHistoryJapanese traditionUncorrected

Omaru (おまる – Jerry/Potty)

  • Omaru


    In Japan, we call portable indoor toilets ‘omaru‘ (おまる).

    O‘ (お) is a polite prefix, and ‘maru‘ (まる) is an archaic term that means to discharge one’s urine or evacuate one’s bowels.

    Omaru is written as 御虎子 in kanji, and its literal meaning is “a tiger’s child.”

    In the past, omaru was made of wood, and it had a box shape, but ‘koban’ (小判 – an oval gold coin) shapes have become common since the Edo period.

    Since koban was sometimes called ‘tora no ko‘ (虎の子 – literally “a tiger’s child”), the kanji of omaru became 御虎子.

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