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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Elevator Girl Kanji

Have you ever created your own word?

I have—but mostly through me gersplitzing (fumbling) my way through the English language.

I even created my own adage: "Desperation breeds tiny monsters."

The kanji image you see above... I did NOT create it, but a friend of a friend did. It has been sitting in my wallet longer than some condoms I used to carry around in my early 20s before I discovered Japan and women discovered me.

The kanji is 'elevator girl'.

In Japanese department stores—especially the big ones—young Japanese women are hired as elevator girls to press the button on the elevator to get you to whatever floor you are going to.

They do so wearing a uniform, white gloves, and possess the highest most squeaky voice you will ever hear. I wonder if a high voice in Japan is a way of deference... which is why a Yakuza (mob) boss will growl... ?

Actually... the elevator girl possesses a high, melodic voice... in Japan, like many countries, a high voice implies femininity. Perhaps it also means servitude...

Come into my box... and we shall move up and down...

"Second floor... Lox, clocks, bagels and socks... mind your step, please.... Third floor... flippers, clippers, bedroom slippers... mind your step, please."

Anyhow... I have been been uplifted many times by Japanese elevator girls... who don't seem to have a kanji to describe their job... as they are simply called 'erebata garu' in sucky phonetic katakana Japanese.

So... my friend of a friend created a kanji to elevate these young professionals into the lexicon of Japanese society.

The kanji symbol on the left is 'girl', while the one on the right is a combination of the two kanji for 'up and down' placed over each other... Up and down... like how an elevator travels.

I think it's brilliant.

Do any of YOU have any made-up kanji you want to share?

Andrew Joseph


  1. Replies
    1. I aim to please. Except when I'm doin kyudo (Japanese archery), in which case my astigmatism seems to kick in - get outta the way!