Yamawake (山分け – Dividing Equally)

  • Yamawake


    A few days ago, I introduced the term osusowake (おすそわけ), which means to distribute goods or benefits that you received to your friends or others.

    Another Japanese term, yamawake (山分け), is a little similar to osusowake.

    Since yama (山) means “mountain” and wake (分け) means “to distribute/divide,” the literal meaning of yamawake is “to divide a mountain.”
    「山」は “mountain”、「分け」は “to divide/distribute” を意味するので、「山分け」の文字どおりの意味は “to divide a mountain” となります。

    Actually, yamawake means to divide something you obtained into two (equally) with someone.

    It is said that this term comes from a small symmetrical mountain called Komezuka (米塚) in Kumamoto.

    The Komezuka has a vertical crack in the center — it looks like the mountain is divided into two.

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