Some names are hard to read or pronounce properly: A case of Ryushi

My father’s art name is Ryushi (柳之). It is not an easy name (even for Japanese people) to read it properly.

It is sometimes problematic when a parcel addressed to him is delivered by a door-to-door delivery service. These days delivery persons read the receiver’s name aloud to make sure, but they rarely read my father’s art name correctly.

They look at the label and say “Mr. Komada,” then they would either go silent, or ponder for a moment and say “Yanayuki…?”

The characters 柳之 can be read Yanayuki as a person’s actual name rather than an art name, although it sounds a bit awkward.

Sometimes they would go on to ask, “Correct?” Now it’s my turn to ponder for a moment what to answer, because it is correct in the sense that the parcel has been delivered to the right place, but the reading of the name is not…

Delivery persons always seem busy and there doesn’t seem any point in correcting them, so I would just say “Yes” and receive the parcel with a little smile, thinking “Nice try!”

Text by Komada Makiko

Click here for a bio of Ryushi.