Volume 1: Japanese Companies

This is the first in a series of 'kotoba zamurai' articles which are written to be 'a non-systematic approach to learning unusual, but useful words.' While these not-so-serious articles are written with the upper-beginner to intermediate in mind, even beginners should be able to get something out of them. If not, I may have wasted 15 minutes of your life... I will leave it up to you to take the chance.

Volume 1: Kanji for a few familiar brands

ご機嫌いかがでござるか? (go kigen ikaga de gozaru ka - How are you? (in Samurai-ish))

The following is a list of Japanese companies with a look at their kanji and some history. Most companies don't use their kanji much even in Japan, so the real-world usefulness of this article is negotiable. That being said, you will be a big hit at your next kanji party.

The order of the list is purely random. I assure you I don't own any stock or have any affiliation with any listed company [however, if you, the reader, work for any of these companies as an advertising consultant, send me 5 bucks and I will move your company to the top.]


1) Toyota
Kanji: 豊田

2) Nissan
Kanji: 日産

3) Mitsubishi
Kanji: 三菱

4) Mazda
Kanji: 松田 Matsuda

5) Sony
Katakana: ・#92;ニー

6) Honda 
Kanji: 本田

7) Yamaha 
Katakana: ヤマハ [山葉 - but almost always written in katakana]

8) Fujitsu
Kanji: 富士通 fujitsuu

9) Suzuki
Kanji: 鈴木