Sunday, March 22, 2009

That’s “Fu-Ro-Re-Tzu” to You

One of the things that one is required to do in Kendo is to get an identifying panel that is attached to the middle of the waist protector or “tare” on the armor section of the Bogu.
The Zekken is like a nametag of sorts in that it identifies the practitionier seeing as they are not easily identifiable once the headpiece or “men” is worn.
The Zekken usually lists the school or dojo that the person is from, their last name in English and in Japanese. Seeing as many westerners are practicing kendo they must have their names translated into a pronouncable form of Japanese. In Katakana each character represents a consonant and a vowel. Using this type of format just about any word or name can be utilized by Japanese speakers so that it could be more easily used.
Some examples of this are:
Hot Dog = ho tu do gu
California = ca ri fo ni an nu
Ice Cream = Aei su ku re mu
Maruice White (the lead singer of Earth Wind and Fire) = Morisu Howaito
In our case, since we have the infamous “L” in our name and with no “L” in the Japanese language we had to have our names spelled out the long way ‘round.
Four characters, Fu, Ro, Re & Tzu

No comments: