Kanji Kanban Japanese Sign #150-Crocodile’s Garden Cafe

カフェ & 手作りランチ

わにのにわ

Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photos if you need help reading this sign.

I noticed this Kyoto cafe as I cycled by and stopped to take a photo because of its whimsical name, わにのにわ, or  Crocodile’s Garden.

My Japanese friend pointed out at the time that it’s actually a palindrome! Examples of English palindromes, that is, words, phrases, sentences, etc. that can be read the same way forward and backward, include ‘kayak’, ‘level’, ‘mom’, ‘dad’, ‘civic’ and ‘eye.’  Try reading the cafe’s name backward and see what happens.

In Japanese, palindromes are called 回文(かいぶん).  Wikipedia has an interesting explanation along with some famous examples here. I also found this animated youtube video on the topic.

The numbers below refer to the kanji I’ve transcribed below the photo, and correspond to their order of appearance in both Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji and Kanji in Context.

To learn more about how this information can help you learn kanji, please read this.

Heisig(H637, H1142)

Kanji In Context(KIC170, KIC137)

Originally posted 2013-04-22 02:36:21.

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