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Home » Quirky ThingsNovember 2006 » What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Don’t be intimidated by Daisuke Matsuzaka’s name. It’s quite simple when you break it down into its constituent parts. Each character is linked to an animation of its stroke order. Writing these characters in this sequence is important to properly written Japanese.

まつ [ma tsu]
This kanji (Chinese ideogram used in the Japanese language) means pine tree, a symbol of longevity. Hideki Matsui’s family name also includes this kanji.

ざか [za ka]
This character, pronounced “saka” or “zaka” depending on which character precedes it, means hill.

だい [da i]
Many masculine names include this character for great or large.

すけ [su ke]
From the verb たすける [tasukeru], which means to help, to save, to rescue, to give relief to, to spare (life), to reinforce, to promote, or to abet. Hopefully he will be doing all of these things for the Red Sox, except the fifth. It would be fine if he were merciless against the boys in pinstripes.

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