top of page

Call me Tets!

A man in his 60's from Kawasaki, Kanagawa came to Guest House Ioly Osaka by car. At first I thought he drove all the way from Kanagawa, but it turned out that he rented a car at the airport.

When I opened the front door to greet him, he was wearing a Tokyo Olympics 2020 shirt, so I assumed he must have been an Olympic staff member, but he admitted just getting it from one of the official shops.😅

After he checked in, he ate at the lounge while he enjoyed chatting with the other guests. Having visited a lot of different places in and outside Japan for the past few decades, he's stayed at hostels and guest houses a lot.

Having studied in the US before, he asked a question to a Taiwanese guest who was staying with us the same night: 'Why do the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong give themselves English names?'

They have English names as in 'Jackie' for Jackie Chan and 'Bruce' for Bruce Lee, even if they're not world-famous. The Taiwanese people I've met gave themselves an English name that sounded similar to their original Chinese name, or they just chose one they liked. I forgot who told me, but I've heard of the cases where parents give their children English names as well as their original native names. That could be Thai names.

The reason why they have English names is since it's generally difficult for non-Chinese speakers to pronounce Chinese names properly, they give themselves English names to make things easier. Hearing this, the Japanese guest remembered something that happened to him during his stay in the US.

His first name consists of two Kanji letters, one of which is 哲, which usually reads 'Tetsu', though his was not read that way. His real name turned out to be hard for the Americans to pronounce precisely, so he came up with the idea of using the more common way of reading his Kanji letter, 'Tetsu', and to make it sound even more like English, he omitted the last 'u', and said to his teacher: 'Call me Tets!'

He thought that was the moment when his new name and persona were born.

The teacher, however, started to laugh and said ' I can't!!'

Apparently, the teacher couldn't help thinking of the word 'tits' instead!😀

He checked in with his own bottle of Jack.





bottom of page