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[toh-kuh-noh-muh] /ˌtoʊ kəˈnoʊ mə/
(in Japanese architecture) a shallow alcove for the display of kakemonos or flower arrangements.
Origin of tokonoma
1895-1900; < Japanese, equivalent to toko (raised) floor + -no grammatical particle + ma room Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tokonoma
Historical Examples
  • The worst thing I did was to sit in front of the tokonoma when I went in.

    The Four Corners in Japan Amy Ella Blanchard
  • The Emperor, of course, never comes, and so the tokonoma is no more than a name.

  • In this second tokonoma was a pearl-grey vase, and that was all.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • At right angles to this wall I can see the tokonoma recess—a yard deep and two yards long and nearly as high as the room.

    A Journal from Japan

    Marie Carmichael Stopes
  • Save for the sill of the tokonoma, which was black lacquer, every inch of wood in the place was natural grain without flaw.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • With this the severed fragments of the hussy and her foetus were mingled, and thus concealed in the wall of the tokonoma.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
  • He had grasped in both hands the flower vase standing in the alcove (tokonoma).

    The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari James S. De Benneville
  • On the tokonoma, in a rare bronze of Sung workmanship, lay a single morning-glory—the queen of the whole garden!

    The Book of Tea Kakuzo Okakura
  • In the tokonoma hangs a kakemon,—a wonderful writing by an ancient monk dealing with the evanescence of all earthly things.

    The Book of Tea Kakuzo Okakura
  • In her tokonoma she had just hung up a Japanese painting representing a moonlight scene.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard

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