Advance Wars Naming Column - for non-Japanese players

I'd like to write to introduce some Japanese naming in Advance wars series. I sometimes found translation mistakes because of a lack of knowledge of Japanese cultures or common sense. Then I'd like to explain untranslatable words.

If you have some requests or questions (or want to correct errors), send me a message.

ハシダテ会戦 (橋立会戦 Hashidate Kaisen)

An AW2's campaign's map, where Yellow comet's Sensei (Yamamoto) encounters Adder (Snake) for the first time. In English version, this map is called "Sensei's Return."

"Hashidate" is derived from a famous sightseeing place in Kyoto, "Ama no hashidate." This is called one of "three most scenic spots in Japan (日本三景)," which are "Ama no hashidate", "Aki no Miyashima", and "Matsushima." The literal meaning is a "natural bridge of heaven," coming from the green island's shape which can be seen as if it was a bridge.

See the photos by google image search and you can easily understand the origin of the map's shape and name.

Of course you know Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are in Kyoto :)

フウリンカザン (風林火山 Fuurin Kazan)

The name of Kanbei and Sonja's (Kikuchiyo and Asuka's) tag CO power, which comes from Chinese ancient strategist Sun Tzu's phrase. He says "其疾如風, 其徐如林, 侵掠如火, 不動如山," which means "(march) as fast as wind, as quiet (or silent) as wood, invade as rapidly as flame, (be) as immovable as mountain." Taking last letters from these phrases, we obtain the word 風林火山.

In Japan, this word is well known because a famous warring lord (Daimyo) 武田信玄(Takeda Shingen) had used this as his slogan to write on his flag.

イッキツーカン (一気通貫 Ikkitsukan)

The name of Koal's (Chakka's) CO power, which is derived from mah-jong's (one of the most popular game deriving from China) winning hands. This may be because Koal's makeup reminds us of a Chinese opera actor's one.

When you have collected from 1 to 9 in same suite, you have done Ikkitsukan. Literal translation is "go straight at once."

コクシムソウ (国士無双 Kokushimusou)

The name of Koal's (Chakka's) Super CO power, which is also derived from mah-jong's winning hands.

This hand is very famous for its rareness, strangeness and ease to remember. In English this is called "thirteen unique wonders," but this hand doesn't relate the name directly. The word's original meaning is "a hero for whom no one can be match," or a distinguished person.


ホイップ (Olaf: Whip)

This Japanese spell can't be a weapon whip. When we indicate the weapon we use "ウィップ." "ホイップ" is always used as "whip cream." Maybe the snow is a little similar to cream on delaying march.

ヤマモト (Sensei: Yamamoto)

Yamamoto must be derived from admiral Yamamoto Isoroku who commanded Combined fleet to attack Pearl Harbor and other Pacific naval battles such as Midway. "Sensei" means a teacher, a master, a (medical) doctor, and so forth, and we use the word as a title of honor. As you English speaker call the teacher "Mr/Ms Smith," we call "(Smith) Sensei." So we feel a little strange on reading AW2's lines.

キクチヨ (Kanbei: Kikuchiyo)

Kikuchiyo is very common name, but it is very antique name and only used in samurai. Kanbei is also common and antique name, and famous tactician has the name. In 2014, NHK broadcasts historical drama of him (Wikipedia:Gunshi Kanbei).
Furthermore, in the movie "Seven Samurai" of Kurosawa Akira, two samurai have name Kikuchiyo and Kanbei, I think this is origin of his name.(Wikipedia:Seven Samurai)

チャッカ (Koal: Chakka)

Bolt Guards are all related to fire in Japanese version. Chakka means ignition. In Japanese version, he tends to use difficult Chinese-like idiomatic phrases and speak pseudo-classic style Japanese.

ジーポ (Jugger: Zipo)

Zipo must be derived from Zippo, the lighter brand. In Japanese version, he(she?) speaks in a little broken Japanese to make us feel as if he is an artificial existence or robot.

キャンドル (Kindle: Candle)

Candle, of course. She is always high and mighty. In our culture, laughing as "ohohohoho" shows affected manners.

ハチ (Hachi)

Hachi has three main homophones. One is "eight (八)," another is "bee (蜂)," another is "(flower) pot (鉢)." Though you may feel it's strange, his name must be derived from "eight."

In traditional Japanese sit-down comedies "Rakugo (落語)" we usually uses few typical names for its personage, and the names let us easily understand his/her background and personalities because social stangings ruled our names in the period Rakugo treats (almost all Edo era). And in Rakugo, Hachi is always careless lively townsman (craftman or merchant), whose letter is 八, who always has funny dialog with Kuma (熊, (animal)bear) -- who is also townsman -- and Go-Inkyo (ご隠居, retired man) who is well-informed elderly neighbor.

In addition, eight is thought as a lucky number which calls happiness derived from its broaden typeface in Japan and China.

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