Friday, August 13, 2004

What Ichiro's name means

Ichiro Suzuki, the Japan-born Seattle Mariners powerhouse known among baseball fans simply as "Ichiro," is obviously his parents' eldest son. We know this without having to verify it. Not because of lines on his palm or some sort of aura around him, but because of his name, which literally means "first boy." When they named him, Ichiro's parents were following a very old custom that is still followed today, although was much more common, say, a hundred years ago. Then, the average couple had 4 to 6 children, and there were lots of Ichiro's, Jiro's (second son), and Saburo's (third son). Interestingly, a similar custom apparently exists in the Spanish-speaking world, where first-born sons sometimes receive the first or middle name of "Primero" (first), and sons born next are sometimes named "Segundo" (second). We wonder if similar customs exists in other cultures, as well.

As an astute reader recently pointed out, I was wrong about this one. (Hey, everyone is allowed one mistake per lifetime, right?) Actually, I had posted a correction, but I should have also posted a correction to this, the original post. What can I say. I was young and not well versed in the ways of the blogosphere then. —Monk, April 28, 2008.

Return to the Mellow Monk home page