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foot; to be sufficient
a pouch; bag; sack; pocket
simp. and trad.


From Japanese 足袋 (tabi, tabi, traditional Japanese socks with separation between the big toe and other toes).




  1. (Taiwanese Min Nan) tabi (traditional Japanese socks)



Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja
Wikipedia has an article on:
足袋 (tabi): tabi, traditional Japanese split-toed socks.
Kanji in this term
Grade: 1 Grade: S



Shift in pronunciation from tanbi, the expected regular kan'on compound reading for the 単皮 spelling,[1][2][3] which appears in the Wamyō Ruijushō of 938 CE.

Originally referred to a leather shoe, which could be made from a single () animal hide ().[3][4][5] As footwear in Japan developed, so too did the sense of tabi. The modern sense of a split-toed sock arose from at least the late Kamakura period, around the late 1200s, early 1300s. However, the leather shoe sense was still in use in 1603, as evidenced by the relevant entry in the Nippo Jisho.[6]

The shift in reading was possibly influenced by the regular kun'yomi tabi of the term (tabi, travel, voyage, trip), as the tabi footwear was often worn for travel.


Alternative formsEdit


足袋 (hiragana たび, rōmaji tabi)

  1. tabi: traditional Japanese socks with a separation between the big toe and the other toes, to allow for the thong of 下駄 (geta, traditional Japanese wooden clogs), 草履 (zōri, traditional Japanese straw sandals), and other traditional Japanese footwear

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. ^ 1984, 日本大百科全書:ニッポニカ (Nippon Dai Hyakka Zensho: Nipponica, “Encyclopedia Nipponica”) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan.
  5. ^ 1998, 世界大百科事典 第2版 (Sekai Dai-hyakka Jiten Dainiban, “Heibonsha World Encyclopedia Second Edition”) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Heibonsha.
  6. ^ 1603, 日葡辞書: パリ本 / Vocabulario da Lingoa Iapam (Nippo Jisho: Paris edition / Vocabulary of the Language of Japan) (in Japanese and Portuguese), 1976 reprint, Tōkyō: Bensei Publishing, text here, second highlighted entry in the right-hand columm
  7. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN