learning japanese can be very difficult, especially learning to read and write. i have spent a lot of time studying, though i am no where near the level i should be for the amount of time i have spent on it. i feel a bit guilty about that, but hey, learning a second language can be hard for some people, and i'm one of them.

recently i was reminded of the new twilight zone. in particular, an episode that has almost haunted me. one day a man starts hearing words incorrectly--or so he thinks. at first (and since i haven't seen this episode in years, i can't be too sure) he asks and in the repeat he hears 'correctly'. but as his day progresses, the words begin to change. and it's not weird words, it's still english, but changed around...at the end of the episode he's looking at his one of his son's book, and the word for dinosaur is 'Wednesday' (capital W and everything), which really really struck me, because why is the word capitalized?? and that's when i realized that he lost his language somehow, but who is the one who changed? the man himself, in his head, or everyone else around him? doo doo doo doo (twilight zone).

so what does that have to do with me and japanese? well, one of the towns bordering munakata is called wakamiya. one day i was driving and noticed something strange on a road sign. at intersections here in japan there are signs that tell you what cities and towns are in a direction if you turn (or go straight, obviously). and the sign i noticed showed 'miyawaka' if i turned right. miyawaka?? what? i thought it was wakamiya. doo doo doo doo (twilight zone).

i asked yoshi about it, to see if it wasn't just me. it wasn't (phew!) apparently wakamiya and the town next to it (miya-somethingorother) decided to merge, and the new name decided on was: miyawaka. what was a bit unnerving was the kanji decision. wakamiya was 若宮. miyawaka is 宮若. very weird!