2008-02-12

What's In a Name?

I've spoken about my name before: Michael Jones. Now it's time to ramble about my nomenclature again.

Did you know that people don't sign their names over here? Everyone uses a はんこ (hanko or personal seal.) Personally, I don't think it's all that personal when the personnel of a stationery store can impersonate it easily. Sure, signatures can be forged, but one can buy a hanko in a 100¥ store.

What I just discovered is that there are two kinds of seals: 認印 (mitome-in = "personal seal") and 実印 (jitsu-in = "registered seal"). A personal seal is used for everyday activities, such as signing for packages. A registered seal is needed to open a bank account or to purchase a car. I use my seal for opening accounts and signing in at work daily. Since there's a chance of losing my seal, I should probably get another.

This is the hanko and its case that I use daily.

The kanji in my name,
舞蹴 (ma-i keru), means "high kick jump" (like the can-can I guess.) The vice-principal at my old school chose it for me. It always spurs a giggle out of people when they read it.

Then there's my nickname, Mike. It's pronounced like マイク (as in
カラオケマイク or Karaoke-mike), short for microphone of course.

Finally MIKE is the brand name of a popcorn that FritoLay puts out. This particular flavour is こんぶ (konbu) which is kelp! (Tastes okay.)









Finally, if you break down my name into MI-KE, it's pronounced ミケ (mee-kay) which is the name for a calico or tortoise-shell cat. ミケネコ are very popular around here and cost a mittload to purchase. If you're into cosplay, check out this hideous cat costume.
ps. one of the blogs I read, Mixed Nuts has a picture of her adorable ミケネコ and will soon have her own personal graphic novel coming out called The Black Tower. It looks promising.

1 comment:

Kelly J. Compeau said...

That poor cat. It makes me so sad to see animals dressed up in human costumes. That just CANNOT be comfortable.

Interesting info about the use of signatures and seals in Japan. I didn't know that. Your name looks very pretty, Michael. I had a friend from Hong Kong in high school, and while I was trying to teach her English so she wouldn't fail her classes, she taught me a few things in Mandarin, including my name, which is pronounced Kah-EE-lay.

Thanks for mentioning 'The Black Tower'. That was very sweet of you. :-)

KJC

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