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Kanji in this term

Grade: 5

Grade: S


Etymology 1Edit

Buddhist term, imported into Japanese when Buddhism was introduced to Japan, some time during the Kofun, Asuka, and Nara periods.[1][2]

Appears to be from Middle Chinese compound 破魔 (MC pʰuɑH muɑ, literally “break + demon”).

Alternately, could be a Japanese coinage using Middle Chinese elements, as a compound of Middle Chinese-derived (ha, break, destroy) +‎ (ma, demon, devil).


破魔 (hiragana はま, rōmaji hama)

  1. (Buddhism) defeating a devil or demon, particularly the demons of worldly desires or passions
Derived termsEdit
  • 破魔士 (はまし, ​hamashi): an exorcist (Buddhism)
  • 破魔術 (はまふつま, ​hamajutsu): exorcism (Buddhism; the technique of exorcising, rather than the act of doing so)
Related termsEdit
  • (exorcise; specific to Christianity): 祓魔 (ふつま, ​futsuma)
  • (driving away evil spirits in general): 悪魔払い, 悪魔祓い (あくまばらい, ​akumabarai); 魔除け (まよけ, ​mayoke)


破魔する (suru conjugation, hiragana はまする, rōmaji hama suru)

  1. (Buddhism) to defeat a devil or demon, particularly the demons of worldly desires or passions

Etymology 2Edit

Unknown. The kanji are ateji (当て字).[2][3]

Possibly cognate with 嵌める, 填める (hameru, to fit or set one thing into another), by way of the Old Japanese form 填む, 嵌む (​hamu).


破魔 (hiragana はま, rōmaji hama)

  1. a target for 破魔矢 (hamaya) archery, round and generally made of bound straw or tree branches
  2. short for 破魔弓 (hamayumi): a decorative bow, formerly used for special New Years archery competitions and now used as a ward against evil
Derived termsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  3. ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN