|Kanji in this term|
|はこ > ばこ
|すわ > ずわ
Compound of 香箱 (kōbako, “incense box”) + 座り (suwari, “sitting”, the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, “continuative or stem form”) of verb 座る suwaru, “to sit”). The suwari changes to zuwari as an instance of rendaku (連濁).
Refers to the similarity in shape between an incense box, and a cat when sitting with its front and back paws tucked underneath and its tail wrapped closely along the side of its body.
- 香箱を作る (こうばこをつくる, kōbako o tsukuru): “to make an incense box” → to sit down in a catloaf pose
- 香箱を組む (こうばこをくむ, kōbako o kumu): “to come together / fold one's limbs into an incense box shape” → to sit down in a catloaf pose