Synopses & Reviews
This book is intended to help you easily determine your Japanese name and learn the most suitable way to write it with Japanese Kanji.
Japan more than most countries, places an emphasis on harmoniously blending in with others. In fact, it has not one, but two proverbs similar to the Western, "When in Rome…:" Go ni itte wa, go ni shigagae, or "Obey the customs of the village you enter;" and Deru kugi wa utareru, or "The nail that sticks up will be hammered." This suggests, then that the Westerner who manages to leap across the cultural chasm and adapt his or her name to the vernacular is taking the first step toward a happy and productive stay among the Japanese. Even though an English name might not have an equivalent Japanese name, Write Your Name in Kanji will help you understand what goes into selecting a name, and will present a number of choices so that you can pick the most appropriate characters to represent your own name in the Japanese language. In doing so, this book may even help give you a better understanding of your original English (or other) name.
As you will see with this Kanji book, you may consider several different Japanese equivalents for your name and select the most appropriate to your tastes and character. If you are not satisfied with the meaning carried by your original English name, chances are that you can find a name approximating it phonetically but containing a fabulous meaning that your English name lacks. You may decide to use one of the "attention–getting transcriptions" to amuse your friends or deliver such an unforgettable first impression that new business associates will never forget you. If you stick to the original meaning of your English name, you may also find a corresponding one in fascinating kanji. If you prefer a simple phonetic transcription, you can simply elect to render your name in its katakana or hiragana equivalent.
Once you've selected a name that appeals to you, you might even have it engraved into a hanko (a seal or stamp always required in lieu of a handwritten signature for official or business–related documents) and officially register it in Japan. You will be issued a certificate legitimizing your seal, and the characters it bears, as legally valid and binding on any official document you affix it to in Japan. This would certainly make an impression with your Japanese friends or associates!
For a Westerner, adapting one's name to fit the language of a foreign Western country is usually easy. Michel from Paris becomes Michael in London. Frances from Pittsburgh becomes Francesca in Venice. Adapting an English-language name into Japanese, however, presents a formidable set of challenges. Write Your Name in Kanji offers a fun and simple way to write your first name using Japanese characters. Because it is possible for many different kanji to have the same sound, each name can have a variety of possible kanji combinations - all with different meanings, from the beautiful to the bizarre. In addition, an extensive appendix makes it possible to select kanji for last names, and for first names which are not covered by the book. Having selected appropriate kanji, the reader might even decide to create his or her own hanko - a name seal that Japanese use on documents in lieu of signatures - like the samples included for each name in the book. The first book that makes it possible to add a bit of the mystery of "the Orient" to English names, Write Your Name in Kanji brings East and West together in a fun, fascinating, and often hilarious way. This unique volume is perfectly suited to the bookshelf not only of the fluent reader of Japanese, but the novice Japan hand, as well.
Bringing East and West together, this is the first book that makes it possible to add the mystery of the Orient to English names.
About the Author
Books written and edited by Ivan Morris include Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan, and As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in Eleventh-Century Japan.