A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Quick Choose!

There is a sushi shop in Tsukuba called Kaneki Zushi. I am not a connoisseur of sushi, but I have some friends who are, and they tell me that Kaneki makes good sushi. It is “kaitenzushi” (the plates circulate around the room), but it is not 100 yen per plate like some such restaurants.

Anyway, the reason I brought up Kaneki is because something caught my eye when I was there the other day: the signs for the bathrooms.

Which one would you choose for yourself? Remember, you really have to “go” and you don’t have time to mess around!

They are very cool kanji indeed, but not very foreigner friendly.

I was going to write the answer in the comments section, but I think it would be more fun to ask the blog readers to guess. If you know what the answer is, or you want to guess, please use the comments section.

Perhaps it would be fun to make a “Guess the Tsukuba Kanji” game?


  • Shaney says:

    Oh, how sad! No one wants to play my kanji game!

    How about if I give you a hint? I’ll put the kanji here in text format so you can copy them and paste them into a dictionary.

    1. 姫
    2. 殿

    Now try to look them up in
    Goo Jisho.

    Paste one of the characters into the blank space under 「goo 辞書」and then click on the button that has the blue-ish book and the characters 「和英」 on it. (和 stands for Japanese and 英 stands for English, so this means that it is a button to go from Japanese-to-English.)

    Does that make it more fun to play?

    (Even if you don’t want to answer the “quiz”, please feel free to let me know if you want to see more things like this on TsukuBlog.)

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the red one (the first one) is the sign for women, based on the left radical which by itself means woman/female/etc.

    So, the second (black one) is probably the one for the men’s room

    Am I right, or shall I wear a pig on my head

  • Shaney says:

    Good job, “Anonymous”, who I suspect has a name that starts with “R”.

    The first one is indeed for women. Well done spotting the radical (part of the kanji, for those of you who don’t know what a radical is) for “woman” on the left!

    Here are the readings and meanings.

    姫 = ひめ = woman of high class, princess

    殿 = との = man of high class, sir, my lord

    The second one is also used at the end of names to mean a generic “Mr.” or “Ms.” that shows respect. In this case, it is pronounced どの.

    Thank you very much for playing the TsukuBlog kanji game and being our very first “contestant”. I’m sorry I don’t have any fabulous prizes for you!

  • Shaney says:

    I forgot to mention two things.

    1. 殿 also has lots of other readings, but I left them out for brevity’s sake.

    2. There will be no wearing of pigs on heads… at least not this time.

  • Coal says:

    The 殿 one also appears quite frequently as a name suffix, on the envelope of very polite correspondence (or postcards from the immigration office).