The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: April 9th, 1999

Name Game

By: Rei Hino

Let's straighten a few things out here, people. Rumors have been running rampant lately about senshi names and such, or so it seems to me. The foremost example of this is the civilian names of the StarLights. I recently came across a page (and I can't for the life of me remember the title or URL now) that claimed yet again that Seiya, Yaten, and Taiki are the boys' given names, Kou being their family names. The web author stated that this is true because the three were foreigners who were saying their names in the Western fashion (given name first) rather than in the Eastern way (family name first).

The author went on to claim that he/she knew this to be true because the furigana (tiny kana above kanji to distinguish what the kanji means) above the kanji for the Lights' names was actually katakana, the script used for writing foreign words. If this were true, then it would make sense in a way to assume that the Lights' given names are Seiya, Yaten, and Taiki.

But there's no way this could ever possibly be factual, and there are a number of very good reasons for that. One, no Japanese person would ever use kanji to write the name of a foreigner. The only writing form that would ever be used to that end is katakana. Two, the Three Lights' names themselves are Japanese. Why would foreigners have Japanese names? And lastly, the claim that the furigana above the kanji for the boys' names is katakana is utterly ridiculous, because furigana is only ever hiragana.

I really wish I could remember the URL of that page, because (and this may sound cruel, but ignorance annoys the hell out of me) I would love bursting that web author's little bubble of delusion. People, if you're going to attempt to discuss Japanese or the three kana on the web, make sure you know what you're talking about first! Otherwise you just look like a fool.

As for the Three Lights, their given names are Kou. Their family names are Seiya, Yaten and Taiki. Case closed.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Rei Hino.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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