Meaning: Donburi (Don) vs Donburi-Bachi vs Donburi-Mono

When you think of food containers unique to Japan, what comes to your mind first?

As you know, Japanese people sometimes pack foods in a plastic or stainless box called “Bento-Bako (弁当箱)” to make them easy to carry around.

But above all, we are most familiar with ceramic bowls in which, the staple of the Japanese diet, rice is served.

There are several types of Japanese ceramic bowls, but among those, I think “Donburi (丼)” is especially well-recognized overseas.

Donburi vs. Don vs. Donburi-Mono vs. Donburi-Bachi

Speaking of Donburi, have you ever heard that there are 3 Japanese words associated with it? 

They are “Don (丼)”, “Donburi-Mono (丼物)”, and “Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)”, which partially have the same meaning.

For those who know little about these terms, today I will explain how they are different from one another.

Donburi (丼) or Don (丼)

First, “Don (丼)” is the abbreviation of “Donburi (丼)” and typically used as a suffix in the name of Japanese rice bowl dishes, like “Katsu-Don (カツ丼)” and “Maguro-Don (マグロ丼)“. 

Donburi (丼) or Donburi-Mono (丼物)

Donburi-Mono Gyu-Don

The word Donburi has two different meanings, and one refers to a Japanese rice bowl dish served in a thick, deep ceramic bowl called Donburi or Donburi-Bachi.

“Donburi-Mono (丼物)” is the term for this meaning.

Donburi (丼) or Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)

Donburi or Donburi-Bachi

Meanwhile, the other meaning of Donburi only refers to a Donburi bowl itself, and the term for this meaning is “Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)”. 

Donburi or Donburi-Bachi traditionally comes in ceramic bowls. But in modern times, it is often made from plastic.

Donburi-Mono refers to a Japanese rice bowl dish served in a Donburi-Bachi, but the bowl isn’t only meant for Donburi-Mono.

It is also used for Japanese (noodle) soup dishes, such as miso soup, ramen, udon, and soba.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia , 丼物, 丼鉢 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. English man says:

    What is donmono or don? Its called this in s01e06 of shokugeki no souma but i cant find any info on google about just “donmono”? Ive found donbashimono and oyakodon. So now im just confused 🤔

    • Tomo says:

      Thank you for the comment!

      The Japanese word “丼” has 2 readings, Donburi and Don, and the term Don-mono is written as “丼物” in Kanji Chinese characters.
      Hence, Donburi-mono and Don-mono have the same meaning.

      In the same way, Don-Bachi-Mono is written as “丼鉢物” in Kanji. Japanese rarely use the term “Don-Bachi-Mono (丼鉢物)” in daily life, but I guess the term refers to rice dishes served in Donburi-Bachi, in other words Donburi-mono.

      “Oyakodon (親子丼)” is a common Japanese rice bowl dish known as chicken and egg bowl in English. Donburi-Mono includes Oyakodon, Katsudon, Tendon, Gyudon, Kaisendon and so on, because these Japanese rice bowl dishes are served in Donburi-Bachi.

      I hope this will help.

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