I know what day it is...but...

Good morning everyone,

We're going to be living through highs of 34C or 35C all week...keep your A/C on.

I know that the Olympics opens today and being in Hiroshima, I know that it's the anniversary of the dropping of the A-bomb, but I'm switching roles today and teaching you a bit of kanji.

Do you know this one?

kanji honorable mention small

This is why I don't bother learning kanji anymore...

On a less insane note, there's another simple phrase that is often misread in Japan. I think it's just companies taking advantage of young workers, what do you think?

Japanese company culture is notorious for being insanely heavy on work, and light on personal life. Your dedication to the company takes huge precedence over…well everything else in your life. However, in general, people know exactly what they are signing up for when they choose a certain job. Unless the company uses this kanji with a  bit of a slippery meaning...

The deceiving kanji look like this, 週休2日制, and are read as shukyu futsukasei. Breaking the kanji up, it literally translates as “system of two days of weekly holiday”. Simple! So in a seven day week, two of these days must be a holiday! Screens on trains asked their passengers just what they thought the kanji meant, saying, “This set of kanji means every week has two days off, right?”

vacation 1

Wrong! It actually means that in a month, there is at least one week that has 2 days off. This can be easily understood by the following picture where the red days indicate days off in a week.

vacation 2

The last picture explains that what people thought the kanji meant is actually represented by the kanji: 完全週休2日制 (kanzen shukyu futsukasei) and means “system of two full days of weekly holiday”.

vacation 3

Minds were blown. Japanese people across the country reacted with disbelief. They were so stunned that the meaning of the kanji was not what they thought it was that their comments came out in short phrases and half-sentences:

“It’s a lie…right?”
“This has to be a lie.”
“What? What is this?”
“Huh?? What?? …HUH??”

I can understand their confusion, that's exactly how I feel every time I turn on the tv in Japan...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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