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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Wed July 29th, 10:56 am 
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Location: Charlottetown Garrison
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Calista Elytis wrote:
Miss Iridia, can you tell me if there is any rule governing when 町 means "street", "road", "block", "neighbourhood", or "town"? Or at the very least, how one is supposed to know whether to pronounce it "machi" or "cho"?


There appears to be no consistent rule about this. It is mostly a regional preference, for example, all incorporated townships in Kanagawa is -machi, even though neighbourhoods in Yokohama could be either -cho or -machi.

On the other hand, all incorporated townships in Aichi and Gifu are all -cho, and almost all neighbourhoods are -cho, so there definitely exists a strong regional preference for -cho there.

The best advice I can offer is to look for a furigana if any, or at a train station there should be a map of the surrounding neighbourhoods with (most likely) romaji alongside kanji. In some cities bus stops also provide pronunciations of the bus stop names (usually corresponds to the name of the neighbourhood, or often the former or historic name of the area, since it has been changed dramatically over the past 25 years as part of Japan's land reorganisation scheme).


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Wed July 29th, 11:02 am 
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Calista Elytis wrote:
The word "wafuku" is written with the kanji 和服. When 和 is read "wa", it means "harmony"; when it is read "yawa" it refers to something weak and shoddily made. Take your pick, darling!


In department stores in particular, kimono is referred to as gofuku. The letter go here is same as wu in Mandarin Chinese, referring to the Wu Dynasty of China. I have always wondered why department stores and kimono industry as a whole prefer referring to kimono as something derived from ancient China.

Shops that sell kimono are always gofuku-ten, never wafuku-ten...

[In fact, almost all the major department stores in Japan that are not named after a railroad company were originally kimono shops, Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, Isetan, Sogo, Maruei, Yanagen, Matsuya Ginza, Marui and Matsuzakaya were all kimono shops from the 18th or 19th century. The others, almost invariably called by the name of its (former) railroad parent, came into existence during the 20th century as part of the railroad development. Tokyu, Odakyu, Hankyu/Hanshin, Nankai, Kintetsu, Seibu, Meitetsu, Soutetsu, they are all names of either train lines or department stores, and were until recently all held by respective rail operators.]


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Wed July 29th, 12:40 pm 
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Thank you for those wonderful answers to my questions.

The term "gofuku" was new to me, but I'm familiar with the two kinds of department stores just from personal experience. Even today Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi and so on have MUCH bigger and better kimono departments than Hankyu or Seibu et al.

Although the Hanshin department store in Umeda was a little better than I expected -- I went there out of desperation, but found a Hakata obi that was just the thing I wanted at the time and pleasantly inexpensive.

(You see I'm blonde. The matter I follow up is the one concerned with shopping.)


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