Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #25, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
Summer 2016 has already ended but today we will cover one character that I wanted to write a bit about. Also some data about these 3 months of Summer and 6 months since starting this blog.
This post will be supervised by 阿波根(a.ha.gon)うみこ(umiko), programming chief at Eagle Jump, the game designing company from New Game!, one of my favorite shows of Summer 2016. For the sake of this post, it is recommended to have fully watched this series to avoid becoming a target for Umiko’s Spoiler-gun.
What do we know about 阿波根(a.ha.gon)うみこ(umiko)? Programming chief, strict, military geek, loves サバゲ(sabage; short for サバイバルゲーム, survival game). Over the series she interacted a lot of Nenecchi, someone with a completely different background and mood, always resulting in hilarious scenes. Let’s check her name out, お名前は？
Family Name: 阿波根(a.ha.gon)
阿波根(a.ha.gon) is the very reason I chose to write about Umiko-san. This name contains a lot of interesting points. 阿 was presented in the very first post here, Kacchon from Kiznaiver, as in 阿(kuma; corner, nook, shade) and 阿呆(a.hou; fool). 波 appear in words like 波(nami; wave) and 波紋(ha.mon; ripple). As for 根, some vocabulary include 根源(kon.gen; root, source) and 屋根(ya.ne; roof).
Putting aside 阿 for now, 波根(ha.gon) would mean originated from the waves, a suitable name for someone from the island of 沖縄(oki.nawa). This also matches very well with her Given Name, as we will see further below. Thinking now, there was no need to remove 阿 to point out this idea, as its corner/nook concept would only further emphasize that she came from a non-central area, as it is the case for Okinawa. As Kou-chan said, this name is fitting for someone with a tanned skin like Umiko.
But is this all we can find here? Maybe not.
On Episode 7, Umiko openly shows that she is embarrassed about her surname and has to write it down for Aoba-chan to understand it. As we have seen up there in 阿呆(a.hou), 波紋(ha.mon) and 根源(kon.gen), if you look at each kanji isolated, Ahagon is a fairly plausible reading. Turns out that these readings aren’t very used for naming purposes, which is why people would have difficulty to properly read her name, as shown below, also on Episode 7.
阿波根(a.nami.ne) and 阿波根(a.wa.ne) were both only guesses by the nurse, as the unusual combination proved to be beyond her knowledge. Reading a bit into 沖縄口(uchinaa.guchi; Okinawan Language), I found out that the language borrows from Chinese significantly less than modern Japanese, which makes 訓読み(kun.yo.mi; “Native Japanese reading”) much more common than 音読み(on.yo.mi; “Chinese reading”). Upon grasping this new basis, I got all excited, quickly scrolling up here looking for the kanji used in Ahagon, only to find out this:
Yup. It is fully read using 音読み(on.yo.mi), not 訓読み(kun.yo.mi), the complete opposite of what one would expect after finding out that characteristic of Okinawan language mentioned before. Hmm. Still, as I said a while back, these readings here aren’t usual for naming in Japan, so maybe it is a thing in Okinawa?
Others 阿波根(a.ha.gon)… wait, you expected to find another character named Ahagon? Seriously? Well, there isn’t any but there is real world bearer that could be relevant. 阿波根(a.ha.gon) 昌鴻(shou.ko) was a famous Okinawan pacifist who spent his life opposing U.S. military presence on the island. He also proposed a respectable lifestyle, favoring a tempered behavior, proper work ethic, etc. These last points are easily seem in Umiko-chan manner, while her passion for guns and military heavily contrasts with Shouko’s ideals.
Given Name: うみこ (umiko)
No kanji here and there are a vast multitude of ways to write it, but the most obvious reading here is 海子(umi.ko; child of the sea), a name that matches very well with the concept of her Family Name we explored above. As a further trivia, this uses both 訓読み(kun.yo.mi) readings for 海 and 子, which would follow closer that Okinawan trait.
Summer 2016 wrapping up!
Yay! We have now concluded the second season of [Onamae wa?] posts. Next week it will be six months since the first post, Katsuhira Agata – onamae wa？. Since then, over 2000 visitors and 4000 views, of which roughly 3000 were now in Summer. Once again thank you all for joining me in exploring the names of the characters that, albeit sometimes only for a short time, made part of our lives.
Unexpectedly, the most popular post was once again Subaru Natsuki – onamae wa? from Re:zero, with 295 views only in Summer, for a total of 418 views since published back in May 1st. In second and third places were my personally favorite posts from Summer, Kouhei, Tsumugi and Kotori – onamae wa? from Amaama to Inazuma, with 109 views; and Canaria Utara – onamae wa? from Qualidea Code, with 98. My favorite finding was related to the title of Amaama to Inazuma, so I’d recommend giving it a read! Also, the idea behind Canaria was rather easy to perceive, but Utara was a great surprise!
Thanks all for your time over Summer 2016! I’d like to remind you that this blog is heavily influenced by Confirmation Bias, so by no means any claims made here should be taken seriously, but rather be considered as trivia material that, sometimes, happen to be accurate. Hope to see you all around as we start our Fall 2016 exploration next week!