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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Japanese continued 日本語続いている

Some more examples of Japanese used on signs, this time from the "Little Europe" area (still looks pretty Taiwanese to me, however) in Taichung:

"Osyare" or "Oshare" お洒落, meaning "dressing up smartly (stylishly)". A good name for a clothing boutique, with the romanization ローマ字 adding a nice touch.

A local language school offering Chinese lessons "Chugokugo ressun" 中国語レッスン for students from Japan (why else would it be written in Japanese?)

Akasaka Ramen 赤坂ラーメン. According to the words above the name, their ramen has the same taste you would find from noodles bought at street stalls - "Yatai no aji" 屋台の味. In Japan, ramen is thought of as being "Chinese noodles", but here in Taiwan "lamien" ("lamian") is considered to be Japanese.

These signs are from a "kaitenzushi" 回転寿司, a sushi restaurant where the dishes go round on conveyor belts. In this case, it's a "Super kaitenzushi" スーパー回転寿司 that features tuna, or "maguro" まぐろ. In front of the restaurant were banners advertising a "sushi festival" or "sushi matsuri" すし祭り, 50% off. After I took the second picture, an employee came running out to tell me (in good English) that I wasn't allowed to take photos there. I informed him that as the banners were out in a public space, I was well within my rights to take pictures. Then I realized that I was being Mr. American, loudly proclaiming my rights to one and all. So I switched tack, smiled, and explained that I was interested in how Japanese is used in advertising in Taiwan, and that I had friends in Japan who might be interested in seeing such signs. He seemed to understand, and though I was doing nothing wrong in the first place, a confrontation was averted, and harmony was maintained. And to think I almost passed the Foreign Service exam...

Next door is this Japanese restaurant...:

...called "Fukufuku Tanuki" 福々狸, or the "Lucky Raccoon Dog". If you don't know what a raccoon dog is, go here I saw one once in Nachi 那智 in Wakayama 和歌山県 while walking along a forest path. To see how tanuki are portrayed in Japanese folklore, check this out 

And then there was this sign for a cafe, offering "Mina's favorite sandwiches" ("Mina no daisukina sando" みなの大好きなサンド).:

Finally, there's the name of this apartment building:

OK, it's not in Japanese, but one could argue there is a Japanese connection with the old general. "I shall return...home after work every night".

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