Komono

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I have just had a look at (read a bit in) "Spark Joy!" by Marie Kondo. Even in the Dutch version the word "komono" is used for: all kinds of things, without too much value. (For a second I had thought "kimono" was meant as that is one of the few words I know in Japanese, but that was quite a mistake...)

Could you tell me more about this word and concept? Is "all kinds of things" the only meaning? How else can you use it? Is there some link with "kimono"? (I suppose not, but one never knows)
 
  • wind-sky-wind

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    "Komono" is "小物" in kanji, which literally means "small things/items/articles."
    This "小" suggests "こまごました," which means "various kinds of ..." (but not so big).
    "小物入れ" is translated in a dictionary as:
    a box (or bag) for holding miscellaneous implements, accessories or other small articles.

    Talking of accessories, "小物" often means "accessories."
    "紳士小物" means "men's accessories," which is mainly used about the department in department stores.

    "小物" is also used about "fish."
    When the fish you caught were all small, you can say:
    "小物ばかりだったよ."

    And it's often used about people in some fields, especially in politics or gangsters.
    I mean, in this case "小物" means "a minor person," or "an unimportant person."
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hello, ThomasK. Welcome to Japanese forum.

    Komono is something like knick-knacks in English, a small accessory or decoration.
    As you can see, Kimono(Japanese traditional dress) doesn't have anything to do with what Komono means.
    Secondly, it also holds other definitions like a small fish and a low-profile person(explained by wind-sky-wind).

    Anyway it's a concrete thing referring to every little knick-knack or other things(a fish or a person).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    (Thanks for welcoming me. I 'd say I am interested in other worldviews, and those are often reflected by words and the concepts behind it... That is why I am at All Languages forum too.) So komono has a plural then, or doesn'it?

    Would you agree that "ki" just refers to a thing, as I read at etymonline?
     
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    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Well I think it refers to both plural and singular if anything.(Japanese does not have plural forms of the nouns, unlike many European languages. so the answer should be no in practice if I answer it)
    You can refer to one item as a Komono, or you can also refer to a collection of items as Komono collectively, though both are represented as 小物 the same form.

    Would you agree that "ki" just refers to a thing, as I read at etymonline?
    It's mono that refers to a thing, ki is an adverbial form of ki-ru(to wear, put on).

    p.s.
    Sorry for a quite confusing typo... what I mean is mono means a thing, not ki does.
     
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