April 15, 2009

Kamichu -- Soda is available

Ep 9 of Kamichu is pretty much the only part of it I ever rewatch, but I revisit it several times per year. There's just something about that episode that resonates with me, and not just because it features IJN Yamato. (It's also what I wanted most from the series: lots of magic, and no middle-school angst. Shame most of the episodes weren't like this one.)

Over at the Duck's I left a joke comment about how the guy who built the 1/40 scale Yamato replica out of Legos forgot the "Soda is available" sign. That's a reference to this episode. Yurie researches the ship and learns that there was a room in it where they made soda. She thinks maybe there was a sign like that on the ship. The sign to which she refers is one that shows up in corner grocery stores:

/images/02495.jpg /images/02496.jpg

And next to that is the one she draws herself:

I got curious about what it really says. It's written old style, in columns which are read right-to-left. The first column says ラムネ ramune which turns out to be the Japanese word for soda pop. The other one, though...

First two characters are hiragana あり ari and I've got it worked out that the word must be a version of ariawase which means "on hand, available, ready", but I cannot figure out what that last kanji is. It looks as if it's 4 strokes, especially the way Yurie writes it (though she's being sloppy about leaving out a corner in her first stroke). None of my standard tools are helping me here, either. There doesn't seem to be any 4-stroke kanji based on either 口 or 囗, according to the Multradix lookup. And I can't find anything that looks like that in the Jouyou Kanji.

It's driving me nuts. Anyone care to help me out here?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 08:56 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 316 words, total size 2 kb.

1 It's not kanji, properly speaking, but rather an informal abbreviation for the -masu ending. If you want to look it up, it's unicode character 303c.

Posted by: HC at April 15, 2009 09:42 PM (y9yco)

2 Ramune's not quite soda pop. It's a fizzy drink with a peculiar flavor, more tart and less sweet than cola. Try a bottle if the chance avails itself, but don't buy a case until you've tried it.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 15, 2009 10:10 PM (vGfoR)

3

Which means I'm wrong about it being ariawase, eh?

So it's this: 〼

-masu shows up so damned much that it's hardly surprising they ended up with an abbreviation for it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 15, 2009 10:12 PM (+rSRq)

4

Ramune's not quite soda pop.

The impression I get is that it's a specific term that's become generic, like the way that gohan specifically means "rice" but is also used generically to mean "food" or "meal".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 15, 2009 10:14 PM (+rSRq)

5 It's a fizzy drink with a peculiar flavor, more tart and less sweet than cola.

Depends on which flavor you're drinking.  The original Ramune flavor tastes like a sweeter Sierra Mist to me, or perhaps bubblegum.  I'm not sure where you get the more tart part from, though... except for the lychee flavor, all that I've tasted are very sweet.

I just realized I've got five flavors in my fridge right now... original, strawberry, melon, lychee, and peach.  I really only like the first two, though.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 16, 2009 05:03 AM (2+BgR)

6 In my limited experience R/Lamune is a brandof Japanese soda also POPular in Taiwan and Korea. The only word for soda I've heard is Koora (cola). Note though, that my experience is limited to classes here and 44 days (non sequential) in the country .

I like Ramune...As Avatar says, it's generally not as sweet as US sodas.

Posted by: at April 16, 2009 05:09 AM (wpNq6)

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