01 Apr '12, 4pm

why was aso taro so publicly flippant about his kanji gaffes?

By Kwan Weng Kin Japan Correspondent [email protected] In Tokyo WRITTEN Japanese is full of “kanji”, or Chinese characters, and being able to read them correctly often distinguishes the well-educated from the less so. That said, even the average college student or salaryman may occasionally be stumped by the odd character. But when Prime Minister Taro Aso was caught red-handed several times in the past few weeks mangling quite a few of his kanji, the Japanese were not amused. Last week, for instance, when addressing a Japan-China student exchange event at his alma mater, Gakushuin University, he read the word “mizou” (meaning “unprecedented”) as “mizoyu”. It was only a small error in the last syllable no doubt, but the gaffe apparently shocked quite a few people in the audience. After all, Gakushuin is also the alma mater of Japan’s royal family and many of the country’s ...

Full article: http://blogs.straitstimes.com/2008/11/20/aso-struggles-wi...

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