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Visual language overlap: Part 2

November 12, 2010

To provide photographic evidence for the visual language overlap presented yesterday, I give you this soba shop in Ginza, Tokyo:

Soba shop Yanyan in Japan looks like Jewish deli

(Click for larger version)

My husband (then boyfriend) and I visited Japan a few summers ago so he could see what my love for the place was all about. Most of our time there was spent with my favorite people rather than sightseeing, but we did manage to see a lot of stuff in Tokyo and the surrounding cities. It was while wandering through Ginza one cloudy afternoon that we came across this Shanghai-style soba shop called ヤンヤン (Yanyan).

I didn’t even notice the place, but my significant other was drawn to it immediately. “Are there Jewish delis in Tokyo?” he asked incredulously. This was long before I knew I’d be living in Israel and before I began studying Hebrew, so I couldn’t see what he saw. But now I do.

ヤンヤン (Yanyan) looks a lot like נקניק (naknik, lunch meat) in Hebrew. It’s a bit of a stretch, but if you imagine the word written in some sort of Asian-ish font it’s not impossible. I couldn’t find fonts to show this very well, so I asked my husband to write naknik and I tried to make Yanyan match it:

ヤンヤン vs. נקניק

I took a picture of the shop to humor a confused Israeli boy and just remembered it after reading the comments in my previous post. Who knew I’d be as excited about it as him two years later.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ayako permalink
    November 12, 2010 8:34 pm

    I think you can eventually write my Katakana name in Hebrew! Yay. Cool. Is there something like ヤ??

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