“Three Noguchi Hideyos?”

Sometimes, I really wonder if God is just trying to tell me that I should drop everything and bury myself in learning Japanese, that it’s not too late to do so. This will be a little long-winded, so please bear with me.

As some of my posts here and on LJ demonstrate, I really like listening to episode commentaries of anime that I’ve watched and enjoyed. (It’s not just anime, admittedly, but I really haven’t found the time to sit down and go through all the commentaries of the few movies I pick up either…) But sometimes, I take forever to get through one series, whether because I have too many other things to watch, or because it’s usually not that interesting. But this time, this delay worked very well, as it had me putting off finishing Kimi to Boku until the following scene totally made sense to me.

But I wonder how much this is...you said it's expensive, so...

But I wonder how much this is…you said it’s expensive, so…

Three Noguchi Hideos?

Three Noguchi Hideyos?

It's Three Fukuzawa Yukichis.

It’s Three Fukuzawa Yukichis.

...

So…

Hands up who knows what that means?

Unless one is very curious – or has studied Japanese for quite a while – I think most people won’t even have heard of either name. Noguchi Hideyo was a Japanese bacteriologist who is now best remembered as the person who discovered the cause of syphilis. Fukuzawa Yukichi may be more familiar: he was the founder of Keio University and the author of “An Encouragement of Learning” – which some people might remember Hanekawa and Araragi discussing in the Bakemonogatari drama CD. Given the context though, I’m sure some people will have guessed correctly what this exchange actually meant. But if not, I hereby present…

Noguchi Hideyo...

Noguchi Hideyo…

and

…”Za Yukichi”…

p.s. I regret to say that I was not curious enough to discover this on my own…but the person at my uni’s Japan studies club who has been trawling the net for little tidbits like this has once again flipped the switch in my brain. And I’m going to try my best to make sure I don’t let it be turned off again.

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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