A getabako in the bath house of Kobe, Japan
Getabako at an elementary school

A getabako (下駄箱) is a shoe cupboard in Japan, usually situated in the genkan, an entryway or porch of the house. This is often called a cubby in the United States. In Japan, it is considered uncouth to not remove one's shoes before entering the house.[1][2] Near the getabako is a slipper rack,[3] and most people in Japan wear slippers around the house, except for rooms which have tatami flooring, as they are bad for the floor. The getabako is usually made of wood and bamboo, and there are many sold all over the world.

The word "getabako" is from geta (下駄, Japanese wooden clog) and hako (, "box").[4]

Usually there are big getabako in schools, and each student has their own section. Sometimes students store personal things there as well, or use them to leave love letters.[1][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Removing Shoes, Japanese Culture and Daily Life, The Japan Forum. Originally, The Japan Forum Newsletter no. 8 "A Day in the Life", June 1997.
  2. ^ Getabako: Let's get some shoes Archived 2015-09-19 at the Wayback Machine // Corey Klassen, Feb 28, 2011
  3. ^ Japanese social organization, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, ISBN 0-8248-1386-3, page 117
  4. ^ Japanese Morphophonemics: Markedness and Word Structure, page 231: "Undergoer: hako, Compound: geta-bako, Gloss: clog-box, shoe rack, chest for footwear"
  5. ^ "A Glimpse of Japanese School's Life – Part 2". 10 November 2012.
  6. ^ Shoji, Kaori (16 August 2002). "You've got mail: the romance of the shoe box". Bilingual (column). The Japan Times. Retrieved 25 September 2019.