ぶっしょく [busshoku] – Thing (物) + color (色) equals…? Yep! that’s right: “to search around looking for just the right thing”. Or “to rummage through somewhere in search of something”.

This word, originating in the Confucian Book of Rites (礼記), referred to selecting a suitable animal for sacrifice based on its hair color/condition, but usage expanded to include finding the ideal person for some task, and then to include finding the ideal thing in general–be it living or not.

It’s often used in the context of shopping (物色買い / busshokugai), especially when shopping for stocks.

shopping around for a new camera

poking around in the refrigerator

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Posted under Vocabulary Bank by Nihonshock.

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