|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Where do odd magazine names originate from?
Da Vinch November Takeshi Ito
There are many magazines in Japan whose odd names puzzle not only foreign but also Japanese readers.
Da Vinch,a monthly magazine providing information on new books,describes where the peculiar names originate from.
The magazine covers 40 magazine names in a seven-page article.
They include two that often appear on this page--Spa! and Aera.
According to Da Vinch,Spa! was so named by a former editor who wanted to cut social phenomena into understandable pieces.
The name Spa! represents a sound which results when something is cut with force in a resolute manner.
Meanwhile,the name Aera was selected from about 100 candidates because of its strong visual impact.
Since its publication,Aera has been trying to popularize the view that the set of four alphabetical letters stand for"Asahi Shinbun Extra Report and Analysis," but Da Vinch reveals that the name originally came from a Latin word meaning "era."
Other magazines have even more unlikely origins. An.an a popular women's magazine,was named after a panda at London Zoo.
The magazine used to carry a small illustration of a panda near the logo on its cover.
JJ is another women's magazine with a mystifying name.
It was so named after designers complained that its unhip original title was too long for a logo.
In early editions,JJ carried near the logo its lengthy original name,"Bessatsu(Supplement Issue of) Josei Jishin," informs Da Vinch.
There are also titles born out of brainstorming.
The weekly entertainment schedule magazine Pia's name is not related to any existing word or phrase.
According to Da Vinch,inaugural editors of Pia raked their brains to come up with an-easy-to-remember title which does not limit the contents in any way.
The editors first picked the sound "pi" after finding that names of many popular magazines started with this sound.
Then thay paired "pi" with "a," the first vowel in the Japanese syllabary.
Da Vinch informs its readers that a popular method among Japanese editors is to turn to another language for a fresh word with impact.
Such odd names as Frau(German word meaning "female"),Jaran(Indonesian word for"going out")and non.no(Ainu word for "flowers")fall under this category.
But some of the most successful titles are Japanese.
A god example is Barazoku.
Literally meaning the "rose tribe," the name the editor of the gay magazine coined to identify its readership more than 20 years ago had such an impact that it has become a standard expression.
Today dictionaries list this word as a synonym for homosexual men,reminds Da Vinch.(TI)