Wadokei Terminology

Types of Wadokei

  • dai dokei lantern clock on a four legged stand
  • fune dokei ship or marine bulkhead clock (passengers’)
  • inro dokei pocket watch (European) mounted in Inro
  • jimie-ban early reference to wadokei
  • jimie-sho early reference to wadokei
  • jin-shin-gi early reference to wadokei
  • kake dokei lantern clock hung on the wall
  • kara dokei Chinese clock
  • keisan dokei paperweight clock
  • koban incense clock (wood box filled with white ash)
  • makura dokei small cased clock made of high quality wood – resembles the pillow (Makura) used by geisha
  • oki dokei table clock
  • orugoru dokei musical clock
  • sage dokei watch
  • senko dokei literally incense watch – referred to pocket watch as the case resembled an incense container.
  • shaku dokei small weight driven clock mounted on the pillar of a Japanese room
  • tsuri dokei bracket clock
  • tokei daiko drum clock.
  • yagura dokei lantern clock on truncated pyramid stand
  • zasshu

Dial Types

  • namagata dial – graph time scale on pillar clock
  • shokoku half “hour” markers
  • warikoma rotating adjustable hour marker dial


  • Hi-no-ura wheel train
  • kawa case (external four sided (1+3))
  • kazekiri fan pinion, or fly
  • kuchinashi-te bell nut for its resemblance to bud of gardenia
  • nicho-temp two foliot arrangement for day and night
  • setuita dials changeable dials on a pillar clock
  • warabi-te bell nut for its resemblance to the bracken fern.
  • Yukiwa count wheel


  • haku mekki leaf gold and lacquer finish on top /bottom plates
  • hama ko gane iron ore dug from the beach.
  • kaji-tan forging charcoal
  • sarashi-momen bleached cotton cloth
  • shitan cedar wood or sandalwood
  • shakudo an alloy of copper, antimony and gold
  • yama ko gane iron ore from the mountain
  • yamanaka-hetetsu steel


Related Terminology

  • Andokei/Kei-shaku Sun dial of 2.424m base
  • Dokei (see Tokei) Clock when in liaison with fore word (e.g. Wadokei)
  • Hashira Pillar – main support in Japanese room
  • Hi Sundial up to mid-1800’s by travellers.
  • Jikoro/Jokoban Early incense burning clock. Ji – Time / Koro – Incense burner.
  • Jimei-ban Early reference to wadokei
  • Jimie-sho -ditto-
  • Jin-shin-gi -ditto-
  • kake mono Scroll
  • karakuri Literally “mechanism” or “system”
  • karakuri ningyou Mechanism used in automata, clocks and watches
  • rokoku water clock.
  • senban lathe
  • tatami straw matting floor covering that clocks sat on
  • temp foliot Balance (also see nicho-temp)
  • tokei (see Dokei) Clock (when not in liaison with a fore word)
  • tokei-no-ma Clock Room (castles)
  • tokonoma Alcove in a Japanese for decorative object
  • wa-fuku Japanese cloth
  • wa-shi Japanese paper.

Note: “bu” could relate to measurements of linear distance, time, weight and currency (weight of silver) – similar to the word “degree” in the West that can be used for an angle, temperature, level of qualification and effort.