Know Your Picture Characters Entry #29

November 1st, 2010 by Wordsman

A. 江戸 B. 鎌倉 C. 縄文 D. 奈良 E. 平安 F. 室町

It seems I need to make a couple things clear here.  1. This is not an exhaustive list of Japanese historical periods.  These are just most of the interesting ones.  Well, Jomon’s probably not that exciting unless you’re really into pottery shards, but the rest all have their fun stuff.  I would not be surprised if, sometime down the road, a second challenge involving some of the other eras surfaces in this vicinity.  2. Periods of Japanese history are named for the center of government in most instances.  This statement is true of 5 of the 6 on this list.  Jomon refers to the signature rope-like pattern found on pottery from that era, because there probably wasn’t much of a government 40,000 years ago.

Finally, finally I have managed to stump Theoman.  He was correct on two counts: one, that “kama” means “scythe,” and two, that the “kama” in Kamakura is in fact the same “kama” that means scythe.  And then he tripped at the finish line, misread the first character in E, and ended up in the Heian period.  There are worse places to end up, I suppose.  What’s that, you say?  You’ve never heard of a place in Japan called Heian?  No surprise, I guess.  It was only the capital for, oh, over a thousand years.  Nowadays most of us call it Kyoto.

We also got to encounter a typical example of A-Fan-style logic, which bears the Wordsman Seal of Approval.  There may have been some trains in Japan by the very end of the Edo period, though they wouldn’t have really gotten going until the era that followed it . . . but we’ll talk about that later.  If that really is the Boston T, then presumably the left part of the right character is a window, through which the person represented by the character on the left is attempting to hand a sandwich.  Or maybe it’s just the Muromachi period, named for a district in Kyoto where the shoguns liked to hang out.

Shirley decided to engage in a bit of prognostication, predicting a dramatic shift in the function of the Japanese government following World War Eleven.  We’ll give her bonus points for that, if it comes true, but she too ended up drawn to Heian, the heart of classical Japanese literature, as so many scholars have been before her.  And we’re sure that the good people of Nara appreciate being described as, “Um, I don’t know.”  But the real answer was her other choice, picked up on successfully by her one-time co-conspirator Dragon.  Edo is A.  Nowadays most people call it Tokyo.  Not me, though.  And the Hagia Sophia is located in Constantinople.

Now it’s time to get back to work, so here is a list of places where you could work, if you were in Japan.  Feel free to identify as many as you wish (“This is the twenty-first century.  Many people hold down several jobs.”), but if you’re looking for guidance, try to pick out Honda.  Most of you should be familiar with that.  Except you, Theoman.  That’s right, I’m talking to you.  You get to look for Toshiba.

A. 川崎 B. 東芝 C. 日産 D. 任天堂 E. 日立 F. 本田 G. 三菱

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 5 Comments »

5 Responses

  1. Dragon Says:

    Clearly Honda is E, since it has a window for the first character and cars have windows. Admittedly, C (and possibly F) also have windows, but I’m just going to assume that they’re different car companies. Or window companies.

  2. Shirley Says:

    Very funny! If we even get to WWIII, we’ll be very lucky to get to WWIIIIIIIIIII!

  3. TheomanZero Says:

    Well, the first character in B is the same as the first character in “Tokyo”, so I’m saying B is Toshiba.
    By the way, why didn’t you read off what all of the correct answers to last week’s choices were, like you usually do?

  4. A Fan Says:

    I actually own a Honda, and it looks like D. The character on the right is me driving (this is a rear view, or a front view in some country where they drive on the left). The righthand character is my wife, and our dog is in the middle.

  5. Shirley Says:

    G. because it looks like the last character is going somewhere on a two lane highway. Actually, since Toshiba is also a car and there may be others, that’s not a lot to go on, but this is Tuesday night and I am depressed and expect to be even more depressed before it is over, so I don’t want to think about anything, not even the puzzle. So that’s that.

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