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Japanese History

What does Uchisaiwaichō mean?

内幸町Uchisaiwai-chō (Inner Happy Town; as in the inner part of Happy Town, not inner happiness) Quick Etymology Uchisaiwachō derives from Edo Castle’s 幸橋 Saiwai-bashi Saiwai Bridge, which was protected by a fortified gate. 内 uchi means inside. Therefore, Uchisaiwai-chō means “town inside Saiwai Gate.” The meaning was lost when the gate and bridge were torn […]

Categories
Japanese History

What does Shiba mean?

Taking a break from the Toshima Clan’s lands, we’ll move back into solidly Tokugawa territory. This will set up a 16 part series that will begin next week. So let’s find out what “Shiba” means in Japanese.

Categories
Japanese History

What does Aoyama mean?

Today’s place name sounds like it comes from a beautiful green mountain, but actually it’s the name of a prominent samurai family from the Sengoku Period. Why is is Aoyama called Aoyama?

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Japanese History

Why is Takeshita Street called Takeshita Street?

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is one of the most famous fashion centers in the world. But what does Takeshita Street mean? I bet you’ll be shocked to learn that Takeshita Street means “Giant Octopus Boner” in Japanese.

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Japanese History

Why is Omotesando called Omotesando?

Omotesandō is one of Tokyo’s most fashionable and expensive neighborhoods. It’s famous for designer brand shops and high end hair salons. It’s located next to Harajuku, fashion epicenter for this kiddies, yet it has a decidedly mature flair. But what the hell does the name Omotesandō mean?