漢字 in the wild

I took some photos at an East Asian market here in the US.

taiwan_beer

I hadn’t heard of the Taiwan Beer brand previously. The page for this product is here. The name on the package can be read in Japanese as follows:

きんぱいたいわんぴーちゅう

All of the readings are 音読み. The character 啤 is read ヒ, and ぴーちゅう means beer. Let me know if you ever see the word 啤酒, like on a sign in an izakaya.

sushi_taro

すしろう

An assortment of five seasonings for making sushi rice. The product page is here.

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buckwheat_pillow

This buckwheat pillow has stylized forms of 壽 (on the left) and 福 (on the right).

The symbol in the middle looks like one of these Chinese folk symbols but doesn’t appear to match any of them exactly.

kokusan_kotsubu

国産 小粒 納豆

Here’s a blog post in Japanese about this product.

soon_tofu

韓式嫩豆腐

A 7½ pound bag of soon tofu. Here’s the product page. 嫩 is in the 漢検1級 repertoire.

EDIT: As noted below, I originally entered the text wrong. I’ve corrected 嗽→嫩.

That seems like an odd remark to make given that the packaging looks like it’s written in Chinese, not Japanese?

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It’s not 嗽, it’s 嫰. Still 1級 though.

Is it? I failed to find any source that would list 嫰 as 1級 (haven’t searched very long though) :smiley:

This page says it’s 1級:

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Oh, ok. That’s actually the first place I tried, but used the 異字体 from your post for searching which gave no results

Oh whops, that was a typo. Accidently typed 嫰 because of the 欠 in 嗽, but 嫩 is the one in the picture.

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The authoritative source is 漢字ペディア (see here).

Sidenote: 嫩、嫰、媆 are variants of the same character. 嫩 is the standard form for Japan.

shuangxi_symbol

Here’s a restaurant sign in Chicago. The rounded character at top center is 🉤 U+1F264, another Chinese folk symbol. The 漢字 equivalent is 囍.

u1f264

Here’s the GlyphWiki version.

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chrysanthemum_tea

Here’s a chrysanthemum tea drink from a Vietnamese banh mi shop.

The 漢字 are meaningful in Japanese: きっちゃ

Chrysanthemum tea is used in traditional Chinese medicine, and can help lower blood pressure. However, I wouldn’t consider this product a health drink, as it has a good amount of added sugar.

I love this topic. I’m a quite avid picture taker of signs when I’m in Japan, particularly those that use clever kanji or some form of オヤジギャグ.

Two from my collection:

kanken

An ad for the Kanji Kentei, warning you not to be that job applicant who doesn’t know how to spell 身を粉にする (work one’s self hard - lit., “grind one’s self to powder”; a phrase you think wouldn’t be too popular in the age of 働き改革, but here we are).

debi

Not kanji, but I love the pun. Pictured is Devi Sukarno, a TV star/talent who was the third wife of Indonesian President Sukarno, who’s popularly known by the name デヴィ夫人ふじん.

oriental_vegetables

This one is Chinese, but can be broken down:

  • 豐園 [proper name]
  • 農産 agricultural products
  • 公司 company (from China)

With Japanese 音読み it would be ほうえんのうさんこう.

I couldn’t find a company with that name online.

At lunch today, I saw one of rooster sauce bottles, which are common in restaurants in the United States. Here’s a picture of a sticker with the Huy Fong Foods logo that I found online:

huy_fong_foods_sticker

The Chữ Nôm text is 滙豐食品公司. The Japan-normalized character 匯 is 1級 on 漢字ペディア, and 公司 appears again here.

Based on this コトバンク entry, it could be read as わいほうしょくひんこう in Japanese.

atsuyaki_tamago

あつやきたま

Fans of 厚 should know that its component 㫗 comes from ⿱日𠯃 and not ⿱日子.

frozen_steamed_buns

傳統老麵黑糖風味饅頭(台灣製造)

たいわん Taiwan

せいぞう made

でんとう traditional

ろうめん dough

こくとう brown sugar

ふう flavored

まんじゅう filled buns

jpg-large

Here’s a tweet with the periodic table in traditional Chinese characters.

げんしゅうひょう

  • 元素 chemical element
  • 周期 period, cycle
  • 表 table, list