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What's in a Name


Tohru Isobe

The word “Isobe” means “by the sea shore”, so I assume my ancestors lived their lives by the Suruga Bay at the foot of Mt.Fuji.  The name is not uncommon in the area of Yui-Kanbar which is now a part of Shimizu-ku, a city of Shizuoka prefecture.

My first name’s Kanji is not pronounced Tohoru but “To-o-ru” or “Tohru”.  It was broken down and Romanized in old Meiji Era style as most Japanese names.  It means stubborn, self-centered, but in modern Japanese dictionary it is obsolete.  However, this Kanji applies to many other meanings when used in conjunction with other Kanjis.  

Based on this original

Story of a Name: Tohru Isobe
uploaded by mkochiyama
Tohru Isobe July 2011 Photo courtesy of Japanese American National Museum More »

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