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Kotoba Asobi – Goroawase 2

Date Published: Traditional Culture ,

In our last kotoba asobi post, we learned about goroawase or substituting number pronunciations to make a new word or phrase. Goroawase is used as a mnemonic technique, especially in the memorization of numbers such as dates in history, scientific constants, and phone numbers.

Goroawase as mnemonics

Mnemonics are used to aid memorization of certain dates and phrases.

1492, the discovery of America

“iyo kuni” (It’s a good country) or “iyo! kuni ga mieta!” (Wow, I can see land!) – derived from i (1) yo (4)! ku (9) ni (2)

3.14159265, pi

“san ishi ikoku ni mukou” (産医師異国に向こう) (An obstetrician goes to foreign country.) – derived from san (3), I (1), shi (4), I (1), ko (5), ku (9), ni (2), mu (6), ko (5)

23564 (23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds – actual length of a day)

“nii-san koroshi” (兄さん殺し) (fratricide, or killing one’s brother) – derived from ni (2), san (3), ko (5), ro (6), shi (6)

Gorowase as abbreviation

Yoroshiku (よろしく)

– the Japanese Greeting that can mean from “Nice to Meet You” to “Please”, can be abbreviated as 4649 derived from yo (4), ro (6), shi (4), ku (9)

Iyana Yatsu (いやなやつ)

– unpleasant guy, can be abbreviated as 18782 derived from i (1), ya (8), na (7), ya (8), tsu (2)

Konami

– a Japanese developer and publisher of numerous merchandise, abbreviated as 573 which is derived from ko (5), na (7), mi (3). This number appears in many Konami telephone numbers, high score board, and background elements from time to time in Konami games.

Namco

– a former Japanese video game developer and publisher, now merged with Bandai, abbreviated as 765 – derived from na (7), mu (6), ko (5) Derivatives of this number can be found in dozens of Namco produced video games. It is also the central studio of its game, The Idolmaster and its sequels. When Namco merged with Bandai, the goroawase number now is 876 (ba-na-mu), which is also featured in the Namco Bandai Games’ Japanese Twitter account.

San Kyu

– the Japanese pronunciation of Thank You, can be abbreviated as 39 – derived from san (3), kyu (9)

Ohayou

– Good morning!, can be abbreviated as 0840 – from o (0 is read as the letter o), ha (8), yo (4), o

Nani shiteru

– What are you doing? can be abbreviated as 724106 – from na (7), ni (2), shi (4), te (10, ten without the n), ru (6)

Hayaku

Hurry!, can be abbreviated as 889 – from ha (8), ya (8), ku (9)

Related Posts:

1. Kotoba Asobi – Kaibun

2. Kotoba Asobi – Dajare

3. Kotoba Asobi – Shiritori

4. Kotoba Asobi – Nazonazo

References:

1. Japanese Wordplay. Wikipedia.

2. Goroawase: Japanese Numbers Wordplay (i.e. How To Remember Japanese Telephone Numbers). Tofugu.

3. Featured Image from David Moulder on Flickr

 

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