Week 2: ユージニア 🌹

Very late but the other day I finally finished this chapter and I just remembered that at some point there was a mention of initials (I don’t even remember the context right now and couldn’t find it in a quick search, sorry :pray: ) and I wondered what initials even meant in the case of Japanese names… Does anyone remember that and have any insight on the topic?

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I don’t remember what initials you may be referring to, but there are several instances of initials used in this book. I think they’re used just like in English, as a substitute for a name. Not to shorten it, but to be vague about it, I think? I’ve seen initials in other books used a lot for place names or school names for some reason.

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What I usually see is that you take the first sound. So in case of さ, the initial would be S, for か it would be K and so on

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This made me realize I wasn’t totally sure how initialising, say, ちぐさ would be done. My first guess is ‘C’ but maybe some people who use kunrei-shiki romanisation might pick ‘T’ ?

I agree that initials are pretty much used the same way they might be in English. This book is dedicated to an “M.P.”, for instance, presumably because the author didn’t want to name their friend explicitly. In chapter 2 section 7 the city they’re in is referred to as K – I think this is just the author continuing to be mysterious about the location, because nobody would really say ‘K’ there. In the chapter 1 thread we talked about the various hints dropped that let you identify the real Japanese city where the story is set. In chapter 10 initials are used in a diary to refer to people and places just because they’re faster to write and the diary author knows what they mean. People do that in English diaries too (spoiler blurred for those who want to 100% avoid even tiny details about future parts of the book, but contains no info about actual events/people).

I get the impression that the “use initial plus dash to imply but avoid explicitly referencing somewhere or someone real” like “the Duchess of H----” is a thing that’s gone out of style in English detective fiction (I associate it with Sherlock Holmes stories) but not so much in Japanese.

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