August 18, 2008 at 1:54 am (Japan and the Olympics, Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese celebrities, Japanese comics (manga), Japanese martial arts, Japanese names, Judo)
Tags: Ryoko Tani, Urayasu tekkin kazoku (super radical gag family)
Being the nickname for the judoka Ryoko Tani (谷亮子 Tani Ryouko). According to Wikipedia (where else?), it comes from the name of a popular series of manga about judo.
The next question then is, why is she soooooooooooooo popular? That includes the ultimate compliment for any celebrity, starring more than once in the manga Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku (“English” title Super Radical Gag Family)
August 15, 2008 at 3:58 pm (Japan and the Olympics, Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese martial arts, Japanese sports, Judo, Sumo)
Explanations that have come to mind after much time pondering and watching the Olympics:
-Traditionally there were few spectator sports. Sumo is the major exception, but that is because it started as part of festival rituals at shrines
– The philosophical mumbo jumbo of “the way” of judo doesn’t really lend itself to sport for fame and fortune
– If my recent viewing of the Olympics is anything to go on, it’s dull to watch-especially when compared to sumo
August 14, 2008 at 12:24 am (Japan and the Olympics, Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese language, Japanese nationalism, Japanese pronunciation, Japanese sports, Kanji (Chinese symbols), Uyoku rightwingers)
It’s Nippon (an alternative pronunciation of the same kanji as Nihon, 日本- the source of the sun) for uyoku rightwingers as well, but there might be no connection… It could just he that the /p/ sound is more impactful and so easier to chant than the /h/ sound, kind of like the“Ingerland ingerland ingerlaaaaand” of my fellow British football hooligans, with its mysterious extra syllable. I’ve read that the Nippon version is more masculine sounding, but I would have to understand what that means before I could agree or disagree.