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Old 10-10-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
"Randomer"
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Mis-spelling on hakama

I'm posting anonymously because I don't know if any users from my dojo post/visit here regularly anymore...

A lot of the instructors in our dojo have their names sewn onto their hakama. I'm no Japanese expert, but I do know enough to know when and where ten-ten should be used on kana. What I've noticed is that many of our sensei have jibberish written on their hakama as a result of poor translations.

It hasn't been plaguing me, per se, but I have given a great deal of thought as to whether this is something that one could/should bring to their attention. After all, the top instructors have ridiculously expensive hakama that have probably had this spelling error for countless years, if not decades.

Is ignorance of this oversight better, or would it be a better course of action to have a quiet word to let them know?

Any thoughts welcome, as well as experience of any similar situations.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:39 PM   #2
ilia rudnitskiy
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

It all depends on the instructor... if they are generally open-minded, then it's definitely something to bring to their attention.. if they are very over-protective of themselves... might not be a good idea...

I think you could say something like: "I've been studying Japanese lately and I've noticed that the writing on your hakama doesn't seem right, i might be wrong though, but i think it says ___"

You could also say: "Oh what does that say in Japanese? (and after they reply) Oh but i thought this character meant ___ and this meant ___, but I might be wrong"
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
odudog
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Let it go. Why would you want to ruin someelse's moment. They are most likely extremely proud of their item. Either they did it or they didn't make sure that the people doing it for them was completely correct which makes it their problem. My instructor gives all his yudansha their first blackbelt as a gift no matter where in the world you are currently practicing. If you studied with him, then he gives you a belt when you become a yudansha. He spelt my name wrong in katakana. I too know enough Japanese on how it should be but why spoil his moment. I let it go and wear it with pride.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Personally, if I have something hanging out of my nose I'd rather someone let me know rather then walk around all day with a cliff hanger.

Before putting yourself out there though I'd make sure you know what you're talking about. Western names can be difficult to translate into kana. Most people spell my name "ko-bi-n-gu-to-n." On my menjo and belt for Daito-ryu it is spelled "ka-vi-n-gu-to-n." Kondo sensei uses those fancy "v" kana. It is pronounced more closely to the way Kondo sensei spells it, but he is the only one I've ever met who spells it that way. Which way is more correct? Which ever way sensei writes it on my menjo.

Your teacher might be in a situation like mine. His name may have sounded a certain way to his teacher and that's why it's that way on his belt. Just a thought.

Best regards,

Chris Covington
Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu kenjutsu
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
Hanna B
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Do you know when the next round of hakamas will be ordered? Somone who is about to get his or first dan promotion, perhaps (if the hakama is worn from shodan in your org)?

That would be a good time, perhaps, so suggest a little extra check of the katakana. Maybe you can find someone who can check it for him or her. Pointing out that something existing is wrong is a message is should be changed; that might bring conflict about. Suggesting more careful check for the future doesn't tell anyone they should change what they have. They might draw that conclusion themselves, if they like to.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Oops. That's embarrassing.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
Keith Larman
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

ya see, that's why you have someone you really trust do it for you.

Let's see, reading my belt...

"Ba-ka-gai-jin".

That means "great white warrior", right?



Seriously, just to reiterate something someone else already said -- make bloody sure you really do know what you're talking about. It is really easy to get things wrong when you don't know what you're doing. And ironically enough it is even easier to make bigger mistakes when you know just enough to screw it up royally...

Triple check. Then maybe mention it quietly.

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Old 10-27-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
Keith Larman
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Oh, and on a tangential note...

Years ago people kept telling me I should have a Japanese "art name" for my sword polishing/mounting business. You know, some really cool, samurai-esque, sharp object related nifty lookin' kanji to toss around. I got tired of hearing it and named my business

Summerchild Polishing

Why? When I was a kid my mom used to joke that I vanished all day during the summer. I was her summer-child. Years later I married a lovely woman who is of Japanese descent. It turned out her name, Natsuko, literally meant summerchild.

I always thought that was a kind of cool coincidence. So I named the business summerchild polishing.

And I used the kanji for her name as my graphic as a sort of inside joke wondering how many of those people who thought it was so important I have some cool kanji on my site would notice.

And I waited for someone to say something (because it is a girl's name after all).

Nobody said a word for many, many years...

It just seemed vaguely related...

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Old 10-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Oh, and on a tangential note...

Years ago people kept telling me I should have a Japanese "art name" for my sword polishing/mounting business. You know, some really cool, samurai-esque, sharp object related nifty lookin' kanji to toss around. I got tired of hearing it and named my business

Summerchild Polishing

Why? When I was a kid my mom used to joke that I vanished all day during the summer. I was her summer-child. Years later I married a lovely woman who is of Japanese descent. It turned out her name, Natsuko, literally meant summerchild.

I always thought that was a kind of cool coincidence. So I named the business summerchild polishing.

And I used the kanji for her name as my graphic as a sort of inside joke wondering how many of those people who thought it was so important I have some cool kanji on my site would notice.

And I waited for someone to say something (because it is a girl's name after all).

Nobody said a word for many, many years...

It just seemed vaguely related...
I thought about naming my business "Ki Aikido." Kind of a play on words being how my last name is Wood (Wood Aikido). In the end though I settled on Tanoshii Aikido.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:45 AM   #10
Hanna B
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

A guy named Bill, ordered a hakama from Japan, with his name in embrodery as so many others in his dojo. When it arrived, he was astonished at seeing BILL in capital letters on his hakama. He thought about complaining but his instructor laughed and say "Why, Bill is your name isn't it?"

I can quite imagine the agony of the people in the Japanese embrodery firm, hesitating to put bi-ru - which means beer - on a poor foreigners hakama.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:50 AM   #11
Hanna B
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

I have had my name spelled in two ways in katakana - and I don't think it is possible to say one is right and the other one is wrong. My then boyfriend bought a keikogi for me in Japan, told the staff in the store my name, and they wrote it down - ha-n-na. In the other case, a visiting Japanese teacher brought the order with him home; he chose to spell my name ha-na rather than ha-n-na. Personally I think ha-na might be a slightly better spelling, but both should be OK I guess.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:58 AM   #12
chuunen baka
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote: View Post
I have had my name spelled in two ways in katakana - and I don't think it is possible to say one is right and the other one is wrong. My then boyfriend bought a keikogi for me in Japan, told the staff in the store my name, and they wrote it down - ha-n-na. In the other case, a visiting Japanese teacher brought the order with him home; he chose to spell my name ha-na rather than ha-n-na. Personally I think ha-na might be a slightly better spelling, but both should be OK I guess.
Maybe he thought that hana like flower (花) might be nicer. It is also pronounced in Japanese as two equal length syllables. Is that close to the Swedish pronunciation of your name? Or would han-na have been better?
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:38 PM   #13
sarahhair
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Oh, and on a tangential note...

Summerchild Polishing

Nobody said a word for many, many years...

It just seemed vaguely related...
I am laughing out loud at myself right now... I had seen your signature in your previous post and skimmed through those words thinking, "Wow, I guess people are still sending their children off in the summer for finishing school. What a clever way to say it though."

I should have just clicked on the link...

Still laughing. Sometimes I make assumptions. Character flaw. I am working on that.

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:58 AM   #14
Keith Larman
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Sarah Hair wrote: View Post
I am laughing out loud at myself right now... I had seen your signature in your previous post and skimmed through those words thinking, "Wow, I guess people are still sending their children off in the summer for finishing school. What a clever way to say it though."

I should have just clicked on the link...

Still laughing. Sometimes I make assumptions. Character flaw. I am working on that.
Hmm, not a bad idea... "Watch you posture -- polish that sword! You, stand up straight and wrap that handle *TIGHT*!"

I could be walking around with a shinai whacking them if they break form... Yeah, works for me...

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Old 05-03-2009, 06:32 PM   #15
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

I would say be very careful. You don't want to seem rude. If you are closer to them, then it might be easier to tell them. Good luck!

Can someone PM me a link or email to have someone convert my name to Japanese? I want mine on my hakama. Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:08 AM   #16
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
I would say be very careful. You don't want to seem rude. If you are closer to them, then it might be easier to tell them. Good luck!

Can someone PM me a link or email to have someone convert my name to Japanese? I want mine on my hakama. Thanks!
Ashley, go to this website: http://japan-cc.com/catalog.htm

Towards the bottom of the page is a link to a quiz called:

Take the Quiz and translate your name into Kanji (FREE) which will link you to this page: http://japan-cc.com/quiz1.htm

You can try to answer the questions until you pass then they will send you the Kanji or there is another link which will enable you to still translate your name without having to pass the quiz just help them promote the website.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:21 AM   #17
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Mis-spelling on hakama

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Can someone PM me a link or email to have someone convert my name to Japanese? I want mine on my hakama. Thanks!
アシュレー・カーター

And alternative would be アシュリー・カーター. The first is how "Ashley" is generally transliterated, but sounds more like "Ash-lay", while the second sounds more like "Ash-lee".

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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