The derivations of “Goma-o-suru”and”Goma-kasu”.

Ground sesame seeds easily adhere to anywhere, including a mortar or pestle. A Japanese idiom, “Goma-o-suru (Grinding sesame.),” which means acting obsequiously to another party, might be based on this characteristic of ground sesame seeds.

On the other hand, in the Bunka/Bunsei periods of the Edo era, there was a sweet called “Gomadoran.” This was made due to adding sesame seeds to wheat flour, and then kneading and baking the mixture until well-risen. This sweet had sesame’s delicious aroma, but its body was hollow with no filling inside, so Japanese people started to call something with a good appearance but nothing inside “Goma-kashi (sesame-sweet).” Accordingly, Goma-kashi now means to fudge the details of something.

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