Brother, can you spare a…………

合鍵 金物 スペアキー

Use the rikaichan popup dictionary on the text I’ve transcribed just below the photo if you need help reading the sign.
I liked the look of this quaint old sign in front of a small shop in Kyoto that might not even be in business anymore.  I hadn’t realized that the katakana version of ‘spare key’ was Japanese,  so I snapped the photo.

Then, when I used the rikaichan popup dictionary just now as I transcribed the words on it,  I confirmed the reading あいかぎ,  as I had never really been sure about how to pronounce that.  That’s the Japanese word for ‘spare key.’

And though I go to hardware stores now and then, I didn’t know what to call one in Japanese!  the answer is also on this sign.

I’ve seen the characters 金物 and understand that it refers to ‘metal things’ or hardware. But there are various common ways to pronounce these two characters and I’d never been sure about how to read them together. Now I know that if I’m looking for a place to get a key made, I should ask where the nearest かなものやさん is.

It so happens that I need a spare key made, and have been procrastinating about it.  Maybe this will nudge me to get it,  just to have the chance to use these new words before I forget them! I wonder if Mr. Okada is still plying his trade.

ちょっと合鍵を買いに行ってきます!

Originally posted 2012-08-04 07:20:34.

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