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Tokyo Sky Tree unlikely to take root

31 Comments

When new names are forced down the public’s throat, sometimes they get regurgitated. Back in the late 1980s, when Japan National Railways was broken up and privatized, somebody suggested the name “Kokuden” -- the name applied to its network of short-distance commuter lines in the capital -- be modified to “E-Den” to better reflect the name of the JNR’s successor, East Japan Railway Company.

This catchy new name was ignored by passengers and the media alike, who now mostly refer to it simply as the JR.

Likewise for Tokyo Dome, which replaced the old Korakuen baseball stadium in 1988. Its operators encouraged fans to call it the “Big Egg,” after the appearance of its curved white roof. That idea laid an egg with baseball fans, who were comfortable with Tokyo Dome.

Nikkan Gendai (June 18) uses these examples to suggest that Tokyo Sky Tree -- the new nickname recently announced for the 610-meter-high tower to be erected on the Tobu Railway yards in Sumida Ward – isn’t likely to take root. The new moniker was selected by a public campaign offering six candidates, which included Tokyo Edo Tower and Yumemi Yagura (watchtower of dreams).

“It doesn’t seem to be a name people are likely to take to,” remarks Chiharu Hirabayashi, a professor at the Tohoku University of Art and Design in Yamagata. “To people, a structure standing higher than 600 meters is going to have the image of a tower. A tree isn’t very ‘tower-like.’ And it's a difficult word to memorize.

“In their minds, I think many people have already become used to the name they referred to it by before the announcement -- New Tokyo Tower,” Hirabayashi adds.

Nikkan Gendai agrees. People will probably refer to the new landmark as New Tokyo Tower, and that will be that. After all, when organizations come up with names that fail to excite or inspire the public, there’s no downside to ignoring them.

“I suppose they’re in the process of coming up with a mascot character to convey the image of something that shoots up to the sky, you know, like in the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’” Hirabayashi suggests. “After it’s completed, they ought to illuminate the tower to make it resemble a tree, and then maybe the nickname would catch on with the public.”

Or perhaps, Nikkan Gendai suggests cynically, they might at least consider reserving the “tree” decorations exclusively for the Christmas season.

© Japan Today

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31 Comments
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for starters, the sky tree is 634 meters tall, 6=MU, 3=SA, 4=SHI MUSASHI. so the author doesnt instill much credibility in facts by overlooking this one. in any case, whether you like the name or not, it is already well rooted in the media and they are even going to change the name of Narihirabashi Station to Tokyo Sky Tree station. the author of this article is just being contrarian.

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Plus tree in Japan would be pronounced tlee

No, the pronunciation is tsuree, with the r halfway between an r and an l.

And as the Republic of T points out, it don't really matter anyways.

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Plus tree in Japan would be pronounced tlee, so I hope they scrap that name altogether..

The Japanese don't have any trouble pronouncing R's, just L's, not that it really matters or anything.

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How about "Tokyo A-SU Towaa?" A-SU as in Earth - not the other one, thought Id be tempted....

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Shin Tokyo Tower. Done. Perfect.

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Tokyo Tower When new roads or bypasses are built the same name is often used. Rarely is a New, Old,and never A or B used. Many older building are torn down. So it is likely that the "old/original" Tokyo Tower won't last much longer and the term NEW will be redundant as most people will have forgotten about the OLD one.

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Tokyo Sky Tree unlikely to take root

It might not take root, but its support base had better be strong enough to withstand the next Great Kanto Earthquake, or we will have one helluva a lot of crushed structures in the general vicinity when it Timmmmbers!

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I'm looking foward to seeing Godzilla destroy Tokyo Sky Tree in the next Godzilla movie.

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I think "Tokyo Tree", or "Tokyo Sky Tower" might end up as the alternative. If they lit it up green at night, or even blue, it would help with the branding and might happen with the trend of "eco". Perhaps light it green that slowly changes to blue as it reaches 12AM. Anyways, it's going to be one hell of an object in the skyline.

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is it going to have a massice Kitty-chan or Doraemon hanging off it?

I believe there will be millions of them and other pieces of crap hanging in the lobby, but at sky high prices.

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is it going to have a massice Kitty-chan or Doraemon hanging off it?

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When thinking of these names, there needs to be a common sense

hahaha. this is Japan fella.. no common sense to speak of..

Plus tree in Japan would be pronounced tlee, so I hope they scrap that name altogether..

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taj - "new godzilla perch" Yes! lol!!!

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New Godzilla Perch

That would've got my vote.

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Terrible name. How about "Just another Eyesore"?

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I am sure it will be "The New Tokyo Tower" or how about "Mega Tower" that seems to be the word of choice lately.

But in the end, I'm sure it will be "The New Tokyo Tower"

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I can imagine my future conversations now, "Did you mean meet at Tokyo Tower or Shin Tokyo Tower". I guess if they build a third one, they'll have to rename New Tokyo Tower to Tokyo Tower II and the 3rd one will be New Tokyo Tower, Shin Shin Tokyo Tower, or Tokyo Tower III.

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I`ve seen the posters on the trains for the Naming of the new tower. Seldom have I seen such totally stupid, mindless names for a building. Who, or what kind of brain, thought up such stupidity? Surely the Public should have been given the chance to invent names of their own?

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They could just call it Tokyo Sky Tower. I like the use of the word sky since it's so tall, but I think it's the use of Tree that throws people off.

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New Tokyo Towere has a nice ring to it. I was not a big fan of "Tokyo Sky Tree" as to me it just screams typical Japanese inappropriate use of english.

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Tobu Tower, Sumida Tower, New Tokyo Tower. Bland but normal. Tokyo Sky Tree - unbland but ridiculous. How about: Sumida Sky Happy Life Tree Thingy?

Whenever I tell travel agents I want to fly out of the Tokyo New International Airport they stare at me like I've lost my marbles (which may be true) then it dawns on them. "Ah, you mean Narita?"

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A tree isn’t very ‘tower-like.’ And it’s a difficult word to memorize.

There certainly is a different feeling between 'tree' and 'tower'. However, this part interested me: 'Tree' is a difficult word to remember for the professor?

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People will probably refer to the new landmark as New Tokyo Tower, and that will be that.

End of story. Luckily.

Sky tree? I thought marijuana was hard to find in this country.

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Let's go for something bland like 'New Tokyo Tower' or 'Tokyo Tower II' or 'East Tokyo Tower'

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For a country so concerned about what the English-speaking West thinks of them, they really should have counsulted at least one of them before they yet again turn into a joke.

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New Tokyo Tower. Very sensible and Hobbit-like.

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When thinking of these names, there needs to be a common sense ombudsman from the genereal population. That way, when a stupid name like "Big Egg" comes up, they can simply say "No, that sounds stupid". The problems come from bland, consensus-seeking naming by committee.

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Sound like the name of a crappy satellite TV package...

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How about the 'Tower of Babel'? Lot's of inane TV broadcasting will air from that 'tree'. Ha ha ha!.....oops, I'm laughing at my own joke.

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"Sky Tree unlikely to take root"

Har!

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Yep, as we suspected it's a stupid name

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