Most people seem to think the name Yotsuya is old. Old as in it pre-dates the Edo Period. But one thing that is consistent in most of the etymologies is the first kanji, 四 yottsu four. Much of the mystery of this place name seems to come from the final character. That said, the “number 4” character is also suspect. So let’s be skeptical, shall we? Continue reading What does Yotsuya mean?
I’m not even joking when I say I think this name was chosen just because it sounded cool. Continue reading What does Toranomon mean?
Formerly part of the outer enclosure of Edo Castle and now a shopping district next to Ginza, Yurakucho is strange name with an elusive past. Continue reading What does Yurakucho mean?
牛込 Ushigome (Crowd of Cows) 。 。 牛 ushi cow 込 komi[i] swarming, huddling, amassed, crowded, “in bulk” 。 According to Japanese Wikipedia[ii], in 701, in accordance to the Taihō Code, a livestock ranch was established in this area. In fact, two were established which were sometimes referred to as 牛牧 gyūmaki a cow ranch and 馬牧 umamaki a horse ranch. These two locations came to be referred to as 牛込 Ushigome and 駒込 Komagome. The fact that there was a cattle/dairy ranch here in the Asuka Period is a known fact (it’s documented). The horse ranch is a different … Continue reading What does Ushigome mean?
A rich guy, a castle and a nature preserve walk into a bar… Continue reading What does Shirokane mean?
Went a little long on this on… sorry about that. But I love Tokyo. I wanted to explore the forgotten side… Continue reading What does Edo mean?
10 Quick Questions From Readers!
(Still took 2 days to write… lol) Continue reading 10 Random Quickies – Japan This Lite
Yesterday we learned about Iidabashi (and its precursor, Iidamachi). Today we’ll look at Kudanshita, a location whose recent controversial history has somewhat obscured its samurai origins. Continue reading What does Kudanshita mean?
Today we’ll learn about a shitamachi place name that has disappeared. We’ll also learn how it’s important to pay attention to what reading of kanji is being used. Continue reading What does Iidabashi mean?
Kichijōji, one of the coolest towns in Tokyo looks like a temple name. But if you go to Kichijōji, you won’t find any temples by that name. Today, we’ll find out why there is not temple in Kichijōji called Kichijō-ji. Are you ready to rock? Continue reading What does Kichijoji mean?