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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tokonoma
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • In her tokonoma she had just hung up a Japanese painting representing a moonlight scene.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The third wall, a solid one of smoke-blue plaster, held the niche called "tokonoma," where pictures are hung and flower vases set.

    The Dragon Painter Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • 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

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