"Otomatone", is it made by combining "sound" and "hand"?

Wiktionary confirms that "oto" is "sound", but not that "mato" means "hand".

Sources: Google Search 1, 2, 3

What does Otamatone mean in Japanese?

Its body is shaped like an eighth note (quaver) where the sound emerges from its mouth on the notehead. This two-handed synthesizer instrument’s name Otamatone is a combination of two words – “oto” which means sound and “mato” which means “hand sound”.

While Wikipedia implies that the name's based on "otamajakushi":

The Otamatone is a synthesizer whose body is shaped like an eighth note (quaver) (it also somewhat resembles a tadpole, or a ladle, otamajakushi (お玉杓子 / おたまじゃくし) being Japanese for tadpole and ladle)

The translation of which is backed up by Wiktionary, of course, and Jisho.

  • 1
    的 means 'target' and is the only word with 'mato' on its own I can think of. The closest body part is 股, the crotch.
    – Angelos
    Dec 31, 2022 at 17:17
  • And, for what it's worth, 股 with the meaning of "crotch" is pronounced mata. So that's not a match here either. Jan 3 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


I think your sources are probably wrong. Firstly, it is not otomatone but otamatone. As Wikipedia says, オタマトーン{otamatōn} is made by combining オタマジャクシ{otamajakushi} (tadpole) and トーン{tōn} (tone). I've never heard of "mato" meaning "hand", and I'm Japanese.

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