Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

Japanese Baby Names

Stan Freberg here. Expectant parents in Japan are finding that the government increasingly is having a say in what they name their babies. As I've mentioned before, a national controversy erupted recently when a couple wanted to name their baby "Akuma," or "Devil," and the government ruled it improper. More Japanese baby naming stuff, after this. [:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg here. As I was saying, when the Japanese government objected to a snack bar operator and his wife naming their baby boy "Akuma," or "Devil," hundreds of letters pro and con flew into the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun...not a bad name for the baby right the end, the couple backed down and settled on a new name: "God." I'm not making this up. The Tokyo family court was apparently satisfied.

Previously, the government had refused names, mostly because of what they termed "invalid Chinese characters in spelling the name," or "inappropriate pronunciation." Names pronounced the same way can be written with different characters, and thus have different meanings. Some short names have like 36 characters: "Can you sign in?" "Sure, if you've got a few minutes."

Many of the letters to the newspaper cited instances of Japanese people who had difficulties in life because of their negative names, such as "Inu," which means "dog"--yep, Snoop Doggy Dog has had his problems--or "Yago," which means "dragonfly larvae."

"Hi! My name is Dragonfly Larvae!" Must take him about a half-hour to write that.

Stan Freberg here.

Copyright (C)1997, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.