One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Japanese traditional dress: a bead, often decorated, used as a sliding fastening device on the strings of a purse or pouch, or of an inro. Now more usually as an ornament or collector's item.
Late 19th century. From Japanese ojime from o string, cord, thong + -jime, combining form of shime fastener, fastening, nominalized stem of shimeru (transitive) to close, fasten, causative of shimaru (intransitive) to close, fasten.
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