Iwo Jima name change

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Yudan Taiteki
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Iwo Jima name change

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Wed 06.20.2007 10:52 pm

Apparently Japan has changed 硫黄島's name to 硫黄島.

Er...いおうじま -> いおうとう. Supposedly the original name was いおうとう but some WW2 maps had じま instead, and when the US started using that name, it gained currency.

This is actually a pretty frequent problem with place names in Japan; it's not always easy to establish what the "real" name of a place is, wrt to small changes like rendaku and on vs. kun readings.
-Chris Kern

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Infidel
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by Infidel » Wed 06.20.2007 11:35 pm

I know coco posted a comment about this on one of the other threads, or maybe started a new thread about it already..... :D
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CajunCoder
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by CajunCoder » Thu 06.21.2007 1:07 am

A while back, I posted a thread on this subject here.

Not much information in it, but according to AJBryant, 硫黄島 was originally written いわうとう.
Last edited by CajunCoder on Thu 06.21.2007 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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paulrowe
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by paulrowe » Thu 06.21.2007 5:17 pm

CajunCoder wrote:
Not much information in it, but according to AJBryant, 硫黄島 was originally written いわうとう.
I remember reading that it was いをうとう. Was it いわうとう -> (あう->おう) いをうとう -> (を->お) いおうとう?
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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Thu 06.21.2007 6:22 pm

いをう is wrong; it should be いわう. The pronunciation is less certain; even in old Japanese when it was written いわう it's hard to say exactly how that was pronounced, or how far back you have to go in Japanese history to get to some point where people actually pronounced it as いわう.

(The word sulfur itself is derived from 湯の泡(ゆのあわ), from which the の got removed and then the pronunciation eventually morphed into いおう.)
-Chris Kern

witega
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by witega » Thu 06.21.2007 7:33 pm

According to the article on this on the BBC news website, the name change occurred at the start of WWII. The resident population was evacuated and some of the officers sent in to secure the island, without any local guidance to rely on, misread the 島. No idea how reliable the BBC's source on this is.

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flammable hippo
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by flammable hippo » Thu 06.21.2007 8:27 pm

I have a feeling that even with the name change, everyone is still going to say Iwojima. It's the same with the whole Pluto not being considered a planet anymore thing. I haven't met anyone yet who actually takes that seriously.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)

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a_iwai
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by a_iwai » Thu 06.21.2007 8:54 pm

"いわう" is "歴史的仮名遣い(rekishiteki kana zukai)" of "iou". I think its pronunciation was same as now.

歴史的仮名遣ひの手引き

And I hope that the official name of "iou jima" was changed to its originally name "iou tou" is a good news.
Last edited by a_iwai on Thu 06.21.2007 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mike Cash
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RE: Iwo Jima name change

Post by Mike Cash » Fri 06.22.2007 7:02 am

Regarding how easy it is to get the readings wrong....

I have from time to time seen road signs which have been put up, on which the name was rendered correctly in kanji, but on which the romaji rendition made it apparent the people who made the sign weren't familiar with how the locals read it.

For example: There used to be one very large sign which read 守谷, with "Moritani" beneath it. The correct reading is "Moriya".

Solution? Basically a giant-sized Wite-Out, with the correct reading added.
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