named their children 6/13

When my parents named their children, they of course had a fortuneteller choose ones. So, I was named by a total stranger. My parents had their each pick for my name when they visited the fortuneteller and they also had a few other names as spares just in case. The fortuneteller picked ‘Hidemi’ out of the spares, which was neither of their picks. Most Japanese names are written in Chinese characters. Each of the characters has its inherent meaning. My name is composed of two characters. The character for ‘hide’ means ‘excellent’ and the one for ‘mi’ means ‘beautiful’. In Japan, we are often asked the corresponding characters to the name when we give out our names. I always explain ‘Hidemi as in excellent and beautiful.’ And the person who hears it almost always gives me a wry smile. I know how they feel…

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