Definition of tokonoma in US English:



  • (in a Japanese house) a recess or alcove, typically a few inches above floor level, for displaying flowers, pictures, and ornaments.

    • ‘Shinoda never gave up the elements of Japanese writing - ink, brush and paper - but she no longer scrawls tightly controlled kanji on skinny scrolls destined to hang in tokonoma displays.’
    • ‘The New Year is not complete unless the tokonoma - the special niche in every Japanese home used for the display of ornaments and prized possessions - is filled with a blossoming apricot or plum tree.’
    • ‘Normally, these works are carefully stored away but when there is an occasion for viewing, individual pieces are brought out one at a time and displayed in a tokonoma, or alcove, alone or often with a flower arrangement.’
    • ‘The tokonoma is the place of honor in a Japanese style house used for displaying family heirlooms and seasonal flower arrangements.’
    • ‘At one point, dances were even held in the dojo with the tokonoma serving as the bandstand.’
    alcove, bay, niche, nook, corner, inglenook
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