Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - My Japan Identity

My Japan Identity

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

My Japan Identity

Postby keatonatron » Mon 12.14.2009 9:47 am

I can't find it now, but I distinctly recall creating a thread telling everyone about registering for my ID card and having them require me to put my entire name on all the forms, exactly as it is in my passport (so instead of writing the usual "James MacWhyte" on official forms, I now have to write "MAC WHYE JAMES KENNETH" which makes my name insanely long compared to all the 田中太郎s and 鈴木優美s out there. My bank account only supports enough characters to show the first half of my name...).

Anyway, I recently applied for a Family Mart/Tsutaya credit card. They didn't require me to write my name exactly like my identification, so I did it the optimal way. "James MacWhyte" in the main 氏名 box, and in the ふりがな box above "ジェームズ マックワイト".

They were so kind as to transliterate the katakana of my name into romaji to find my real English name, and so now I also have a credit card presenting me as one "JIEMUZU MAKKUWAITO". :x
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 12.14.2009 12:15 pm

LOL, you are now an OFFICIAL Enigma..
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby tōkai devotee » Mon 12.14.2009 7:10 pm

Lol! How confusing for you Mr. JIEMUZU MAKKUWAITO!! I'm so glad that the katakana of my name transliterates exactly into my real name. I guess not too may people can say that, but mine does. カレン→ Karen!
User avatar
tōkai devotee
 
Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu 08.02.2007 6:15 am
Native language: Australian!

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 12.14.2009 8:04 pm

This reminds me of what the government wanted to put on my wife's passport after we got married.
Y***** Paahakku
:lol:
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby keatonatron » Tue 12.15.2009 2:28 am

Harisenbon wrote:This reminds me of what the government wanted to put on my wife's passport after we got married.
Y***** Paahakku
:lol:


I don't remember what your last name is :?
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 12.15.2009 4:50 am

keatonatron wrote:I don't remember what your last name is :?


Perhac =)
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 12.15.2009 5:00 pm

The first card Visa sent me had me down as Kiyattshiyu Maikeru. I called them up and pointed out nobody outside Japan would recognize that as matching any of my other identification, minus a Japanese 101 course, and probably not then.

So they kindly reissued it under "Michael Cash".

I suggest you immediately call them and do the same.

And remind me to tell you my experience with Family Mart and their credit card......
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Infidel » Tue 12.15.2009 9:58 pm

Wow. I would have expected a kana mash of Kyasu, kashu, or something of the same. So I'm in the "probably not even then" category myself.
Last edited by Infidel on Wed 12.16.2009 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby chikara » Tue 12.15.2009 11:40 pm

I'm with Infidel-san on this one. I would have expected "Kyasshu" (キャッシュ) or even "Kasshu" (カッシュ) and would not have got "Cash" from "Kiyattshiyu".

I wonder if the person responsible for the romanised name on Mike-san's first Japanese Visa card went on to see the biographical movie ウォーク・ザ・ライン. They probably demanded their money back as they were expecting a movie about ジョニー・キヤッッシユ (sic)  :P
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3576
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby jimbreen » Wed 12.16.2009 1:32 am

chikara wrote:I'm with Infidel-san on this one. I would have expected "Kyasshu" (キャッシュ) or even "Kasshu" (カッシュ) and would not have got "Cash" from "Kiyattshiyu".


I'm not so surprised. I don't know when Mike got the card but it was probably a long time ago. Converting kana to romaji like that was not uncommon - I recall getting similar wierd transcriptions on credit card accounts back in the 1980s. I can imagine some dweeb in the office being told to make sure the gaijinsan's card was in romaji and he/she didn't have a clue and did it character-by-character.

The Japanese often have a thing about Western names. When I opened my Fuji (now Mizuho bank account) I clearly put "Breen" as the family name and "James William" as the given names. The passbook has me as "BREEN JAMES WILLIAM 様" and about 60% of the time the bank staff call me "Mr William". You can see their minds working: "Ah, gajin, family-name-at the right". The cashcard has "BREEN JAMES"; at least I didn't get BURI-N JIE-MUZU.

神武
User avatar
jimbreen
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue 06.27.2006 2:09 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 12.17.2009 7:53 am

It is a result of having all kana entered as full-sized kana. キャッシュ has two small kana, so it gets rendered as キヤツシユ and then ends us as Kiyatsushiyu when re-converted back to romaji. That's the how....don't ask me about the why. They have a system set up for a homogeneous society with everybody having Japanese names and furriners throw a major monkey wrench into it.

My name is on the side of my truck, on a magnetic label, and currently is rendered "CASH MICHAEL". I quite often get asked which is my family name and which is my given name. People point out that it should be "MICHAEL CASH" and I reply that no matter which order they appeared in about half the people would make an incorrect assumption and I would still get the same questions and therefore I just don't worry about it.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby keatonatron » Fri 12.18.2009 2:45 am

Mike Cash wrote:People point out that it should be "MICHAEL CASH" and I reply that no matter which order they appeared in about half the people would make an incorrect assumption and I would still get the same questions and therefore I just don't worry about it.


Yep :roll:

I hate that ATM's don't allow small tsu's. It doesn't make any sense...
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby CajunCoder » Thu 01.14.2010 3:54 am

Since when did everyone decide that all English/American family names should be written last, and that any other way is wrong? I am speaking here not even of Japan, but here in the U.S. This had never been the case, until recently. Even though it's been the norm throughout my life-time, I can't help but find it kind of un-classy, especially on very formal documents.

But then, I guess that idea is as old fashioned as any kind of hat other than a base-ball cap, eh?
CajunCoder
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue 09.27.2005 4:08 am

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.15.2010 12:01 pm

CajunCoder wrote:Since when did everyone decide that all English/American family names should be written last, and that any other way is wrong?


There's no right and wrong, there are just cultural standards (that come from language).

In English, when you have people's names being created from things like "John of Dover" or "Mike the Smith", you can see how it evolved into given name first.

In Japanese, the construction is (family/group/location/explanation)の(person) which gave way to modern thinking.

Each culture has to decide on one way to do it and enforce that standard. If they didn't it would cause confusion. (Imagine if the phone book was not ordered by last name, but by whichever name each person chose to write first?)
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: My Japan Identity

Postby Infidel » Fri 01.15.2010 5:25 pm

CajunCoder wrote:Since when did everyone decide that all English/American family names should be written last, and that any other way is wrong?


It's only wrong without the comma.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語


Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests