【Japanese Vocabulary】 Words Related to Fashion 【外来語 Vol.2】

Tokyo Culture Fashion 2019.07.18
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Our second article on loan words. Japanese, in general, is hard to learn. All the grammar, vocabulary, sayings, and whatnot. However, if you get to know the background to these it might help you to learn the language. In this series, we will explore the Japanese language along with its background. In this case, that is the origin of the words. Get to know the words in Japanese that aren't actually Japanese.
Fashion related loan words
Buttons
#1. Button 【ボタン】Botan
Buttons are on a lot of things.
Up until recently, we thought the word "Botan" was a word that came from the English word "Button".
However, the word from Portuguese "botão" turned out to be introduced earlier in history.
Which also means the same as "button".
It is said that buttons were brought into Japan by the Portuguese somewhere around the times in Meiji restoration during the 1860s.
Back then was the time when the Japanese people just started to wear western-style clothing and the use of buttons spread as the western fashion spread. 
Trousers
#2. Trousers 【ズボン】Zubon
The word Zubon comes from the French word [jupon] which means a petticoat or an underskirt.
 
There is also another theory that says the word Zubon, comes from the sound when wearing the trousers, however, both theories do not seem to be clear enough to do further research.
Bags, suitcases, briefcases, satchels...
#3. Bag 【鞄: かばん】Kaban
This word Kaban sounds like a Japanese word but, the original word is not actually Japanese.
Actually nowadays, in Japan, the word "Baggu", which comes from the English word "Bag", is used more commonly, however, the word Kaban was the earlier word used in Japan and is still in use.
History of the word Kaban is also very interesting.
There are many theories related to this word.
Some say it comes from a Chinese word [gé bāo] meaning leather bag, or some say it is the Dutch word "kabas" = a bag.

Either way, the Japanese people couldn't pronounce it in the original form, and it ended up as Kaban.
There are many more words that don't sound the same in the original language, but is a loan word in Japanese.
How was that?
Did you know any of the words in Japanese?
If you have any other topics or categories that you would want me to cover about Japan, let us know in the comment below or leave a message on our Facebook page or Instagram account.
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