Wednesday, December 9, 2009


(Read the text below the Christmas Tree in the picture above before reading)
I found this little paper sign hanging all over a local market in Sado. Let me try to explain what may have happened here. The word 元気 (Genki) is used a lot in Japanese and it is most often used in the question, 元気ですか Genki desuka or “How are you/Are you well?” The main issue here is most likely meaning vs definition. The meaning of Genki in context is “well” but the direct translation is more like “lively” or “full of life”. If you poorly cross referenced “full of life” in a Japanese-English dictionary you might just find something about a strong beating heart or lively motions. Take that and look for synonyms that sound fun and “English’y” and you might finally arrive at throbbing. Therefore, the sign would/should have read something like “The Wonderful Lively Christmas”. Not perfect but not quite as blog worthy as throbbing. While this poster is no doubt miles away from inspiring proper Christmas cheer, if you are willing to see where they might have started from, you can laugh without poking too much fun at the creators. Then again, I teach English at a school less than 100 yards from these signs and no one ever thought to ask me if Christmas throbs. So here is this blogger's wish that all of my faithful readers have a Very Merry Throbbing Christmas!