Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nintendo

Do you know why Nintendo is named Nintendo?

Nintendo is 任天堂 in kanji.
(nin) means “leave” “entrust” “let”
(ten) means “sky” “heaven”
(do) means “store” “shop” “company”

A company leaving their business to sky.

This name is from Chinese poem
人事を尽くして天命を待つ
(jinji o tsukushite tenmei o matsu)

This poem expresses…
If you’ve done everything you can, what you can do is just leave the matter to sky (destiny).

Hmm…interesting!
I’ll research other Japanese company names’ history!!


Nintendo's official website (Japanese)

17 comments:

  1. Hey, wow, that's fascinating. Japanese companies' names are really interesting. Sometimes some people have told me about them. Many of us non-Japanese are so used to hearing the names and reading them in the roman alphabet, we never consider that they have kanji versions. I'm looking forward to learning more!

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  2. I think most of famous companies' names are quite simple.
    Like TOYOTA, HONDA, TOSHIBA...
    (TOSHIBA was located SHIBAura in TOkyo before.)

    But some of them have very interesting history for their name.

    Maybe researching foreign companies' names would be interesting, too! :)

    If you know any interesting company names, let me know please!!

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  3. Anonymous6:21 PM

    when i worked at Toshiba I was told that the name came from the amalgamation of two electric companies, which I think were called Tokyo Electric and Shibata Electric or something

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  4. Sorry!
    What an unreliable blog!!
    (>_<)

    Yes, you are right.
    I believed that TOSHIBA was in Shibaura in Tokyo, for long time.
    But it was wrong...

    I remembered that my parents used to work for TOSHIBA!!
    I called my parents and asked about the name.

    TOSHIABA was amalgamation of Tokyo Electric and Shibaura factory.
    When they merged, they changed the name to "Tokyoshibaura denki" in 1939 and then changed to "TOSHIBA" in 1984 .

    ...It's not "quite simple" at all... actually it's quite complicated!

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  5. Peter9:12 PM

    great - does that mean I get a free lesson on Friday for knowing that interesting fact about Toshiba?

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  6. Peter!!
    It doesn't make sense at all! :(
    I'll give you more homework instead.
    (^_^)/

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  7. Well, that's just taught me that I shouldn't ask for free lessons.

    Peter, is she as scary to you as she is with me? ;)

    As for Japanese companies names, I was happy when someone first taught me about 'Mitsubishi'... when you speak Japanese it's a really obvious name (if you know the logo) but for non-Japanese speakers it's a mystery. So I felt sort of 'proud' to know something that my friends didn't :)

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  8. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Interesting factoid number 2:

    the name of the company Bridgestone comes from the English translation of the kanji of the founder's name reversed - Ishihashi

    I also have another piece of interesting info about the name of the dairy company KOIWAI

    PS Yeah Tom - she's just as pushy and demanding with me - she was trying to bully me into make my own blog in Japanese too

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  9. Unbelievable...

    Hey, Tom, Peter,
    Okay, I'll tell you the truth.

    You know, in my Japanese lesson, some people sometimes cannot remember the word "shinsetsu".
    Do you know what I do to remind them the word?

    What I do is that I just point myself.

    Then, they can remember the word's meaning very easily.
    I'm such a person.
    (Just in case, "shinsetsu" is "kind".)

    By the way, about Mitsubishi, I was glad when I knew about it for first time, too. :)
    Mitsu is three, and bishi is the shape of diamond.
    They have so many rules to use their logo.
    This page is official information only about the logo.
    http://www.mitsubishi.com/j/group/mark.html

    More about Mitsubishi...
    For each cell phone, each company gives a code(?) like N902(docomo), 903SH(vodafone), A5511T(au) or kind of like that.
    Each alphabet usualluy describe a company name.

    N902 is made by NEC.
    903SH is made by SHARP.
    A5511T is made by TOSHIBA.
    (Scary TOSHIBA!!)

    Can you guess which company made D902, D701i and V301D ?
    It's Mitsubishi.
    They use "D" from Diamond, instead of "M" from Mitsubishi!
    That's cool!
    Don't you think so?

    About Bridgestone, it's interesting, too!
    bridge is "hashi" and stone is "ishi" in Japanese.
    The founder's name is Ishibashi(石橋). :)

    Suntory is from the founder's name, too.
    The founder is Torii(鳥井).
    Sun is important to make wine(grape).
    Sun plus Torii is Suntory. :)

    Peter, please let me know about KOIWAI, too!!

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  10. Anonymous5:23 AM

    "Mitsu is three, and bishi is the shape of diamond.
    They have so many rules to use their logo.
    This page is official information only about the logo."

    This is what interests me so much about studying Kanji and symbol semantics!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics

    I design logos for small companies and it's always a challenge to create a symbol with meaning... that reflects the companies core qualities. Kanji is communication with ideograms just like pictographs for signs....

    this is great site for learning symbols and there meanings....
    http://www.symbols.com/

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  11. Anonymous6:16 PM

    what a big difference between Nintendo's Japanese website and the English version!!

    Nintendo is a Japanese company you would think that the design of the Japanese site would be as nice as the English site... but it's not!

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  12. >I design logos for small companies and it's always a challenge to create a symbol with meaning...

    I'm thinking that I want to have my own logo for my website and business card.
    Your job seems interesting!

    http://www.symbols.com/
    is interesting site.
    How do you use these marks (signs) ?

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  13. > what a big difference between Nintendo's Japanese website and the English version!!

    I didn't know Nintendo English site.
    http://www.nintendo.com/

    Yes, the design is quite different...
    Actually I expected that the main color of Nintendo's website was dark red, because the original game "Nintendo" (we call "famikon" in Japanese) was dark red!

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  14. Anonymous4:43 PM

    >Nintendo's website was dark red, because the original game "Nintendo" (we call "famikon" in Japanese) was dark red!

    really... it's very interesting how symbols, words, and color.. can work together to make powerful concept...

    You're planing on creating a logo for your business card and website?

    if you would like any help with ideas or to ask advice, I would be more than happy to help...

    I'm going to start a blog with Blogger for my stay in Japan.

    I have an idea for a logo using the Kanji symbols... "本日" and the english letters... "PAN"

    本日 I was told means Today...
    My blogs name will be "Japan today"

    so.... 本日PAN .... "本" looks close to the "J" and "日" looks close to "A"... "本日PAN TODAY"...

    I'll show you soon...

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  15. >if you would like any help with ideas or to ask advice, I would be more than happy to help...

    Thank you very much. (^ ^)
    Developing my own logo could be one of my goals for 2006!

    I'm looking forward to checking out your blog, too!!
    Blogger is easy to use even for me.
    It's difficult to have a good idea for the title, isn't it?
    I was given the name "NIHONgo for it!" from my friend.
    I like the name a lot! (^ ^)
    Also I like the name for your blog "本日PAN TODAY" !

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  16. hi akiko,

    http://jt-life-ss.blogspot.com/

    this is a link to the blog I'm starting... and it shows the logo for "本日PAN TODAY"

    let me know what you think...

    good luck with your logo also... show me when you have time.

    ja mata ne,
    russ

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  17. Wow, I had no idea about this.

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