Know Your Picture Characters Entry #59

June 27th, 2011 by Wordsman

A. 映画館 B. 教会 C. 大使館 D. 図書館 E. 病院 F. 郵便局

And we’re back.  As usual, I will refrain from asking whether a week without kanji was a disappointment or a relief.

Theoman seems to have the most expertise here, so if you’re lost in Japan, I would recommend giving him the map.  On the other hand, his process-of-elimination style of navigation could be rather nerve-wracking.  I don’t know about you, but if my tour guide said, “Well, I don’t know what this sign means, and I don’t know the word for ’embassy,’ so this must be the embassy,” I would strongly consider parting ways.  Sure, it could be the embassy . . . but it could also be an abattoir, a pawn shop, or the local Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club.  In this case, however, he is correct.  C is the embassy.  Congratulations!  You are safe on U.S. soil.  Unless of course, he has managed to accidentally lead you to the Venezuelan Embassy.

Dragon, on the other hand, should have the map kept away from her at all costs.  To be fair, if you’re looking for a hospital, the embassy is probably a better place to go than, say, the library or the post office–and hopefully you’re not lost for so long that you need a church–but I, personally, would rather go to the hospital.  It’s right there at E, see?  With the characters meaning “sickness” and “institution”?

Also, if Dragon would like to make sure that she really has seen Chariots of Fire, she can go to A, the movie theater.

Shirley got a nice lead-off hit by identifying B as the church, though the second character actually refers to meeting or coming together rather than symbolizing a pagoda.  And she was close on D, which is not the movie theater but a much older version of the movie theater, which we used to call a library.  We will hope there is no meaning in the fact that she finds herself drawn to the hospital and instead praise the second correct process-of-elimination guess this week: F is the post office.

For this week’s puzzle we will do something a little different.  Listed below are the five most common surnames in Japan today.  It is often said that in the U.S., while there are a relatively small number of frequently used given names, there is near infinite variety in surnames.  In East Asia the situation tends to be the reverse, and while it is much more true in China and Korea, Japan also has a relatively limited number of very common surnames and a wider variety of given names.  Anyway, this puzzle will be a little different because there are several different things you can do.  You can choose to order the names from most popular to least popular, based on which ones you like better or whatever bizarre methods you usually employ for KYPC.  On the other hand, you can try to guess how they are pronounced, as chances are you may have heard of at least one famous person that has each of these names (those with actual knowledge of how kanji are pronounced are discouraged from choosing this option).  Finally, you can attempt to guess what the names mean.

A. 佐藤 B. 鈴木 C. 高橋 D. 田中 E. 渡辺

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. TheomanZero Says:

    I’m going to guess that D is the most common because I know how it’s pronounced and it sounds pretty common to me.

  2. A Fan Says:

    A. Suzuki

    B. Honda

    C. Nintendo

    D. Toyota

    E – Nishioka

    Oops, sorry. That last one is just a quote from numerous Twins box scores.

  3. Shirley Says:

    I googled Shusako Endo, the only famous Japanese person I know besides Tojo and painstakingly copied two Kanji, but nothing in W.W.’s list resembled either one. So, I’m back to my “bizarre” method of guessing. It doesn’t seem to me to be a bizarre method when one is dealing with something one knows virtually nothing about. It seems logical. Oh well!

    A. looks scary and Tojo was scary. Such a short name may fit better as D., which isn’t scary at all. Reassuring, actually. I’m thinking there is no doubt more to Tojo’s name so I’m sticking with A.

    Endo was a Catholic and the last kanji in B. has a person who, tragically, might be on a cross. He (Endo, not the person) wrote about the persecution of early Christians several hundreds of years ago. B. for Endo. While researching his name in kanji, I read that it is one of the most popular Japanese names, so I’m calling B. for the second most popular, as well.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.