31 Jul 2004

Japan Gets Set for the Buttocks Generation
Japanese Baby“Japanese parents have been given government permission to name their children ‘Buttocks’ or ‘Prostitute’ if they wish after a bizarre row over expanding the list of officially acceptable names.

Japanese FlagJapan’s system of writing, which has evolved from ancient Chinese script, was simplified after the Second World War when the government abolished thousands of characters. In recent years, however, the authorities in Tokyo have been under pressure to reinstate obscure and archaic characters so that more interesting and original names can be created. Traditional ones such as Hanako, a girl’s name meaning ‘Flower Child’, and Manabu, a boy’s name meaning ‘Studious’, have fallen out of favour. As a result, the justice ministry proposed an additional 578 characters for names, but included dozens that most parents might view as poor taste, such as ‘Piles’, ‘Vagina’ and ‘Slur’.”

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