365 Days of Japanese Day #27

Angie from Sawara, Chiba-ken, Japan

In Japan I got used to seeing the symbol “〒” around places and it took me embarrassingly long to realise it signifies “post”. Post boxes, post offices, or anything post related.

I guess I just thought it was a cool symbol, rather than actually having a meaning!

It would typically be interpreted as “yūbin”.

郵便
“yūbin”
postal

Something I learned recently is that the symbol 〒 is intended as a stylised テ.


“te”
katakana for the sound “te

Why would “te” symbolise post?

逓信
“teishin”
communications

So it’s an abbreviation. Interesting.

Before 1998 the official mascot of Japan Post was a face called “Number-kun”. That translates more or less as “Number Lad”, or perhaps “Number Chap”.

Here he is!

This entry about post in Japan is a clue as to what I will talk about tomorrow!

3 Comments

  1. Where did you learn that 〒 was a stylized テ?

    The below says there are several interpretations, but I am not sure if they match exactly with that statement.

    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/郵便記号

    なお、「T」マークの由来にも諸説あり、漢字の「丁」(てい)を図案化したもので、これは「甲乙丙丁」の「丁」が逓信(ていしん)の「てい」の読みに合うからだという説や、「逓信」をローマ字で表した「Teishin」の頭文字だという説もある。

    Liked by 1 person

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