More personal stuff that nobody cares about

Sorry, I don’t have the time to maintain a personal blog so you’ll have to put up with me as I talk about personal stuff that has nothing to do with this blog. I think I’m breaking rule #3* of blog writing or something but I don’t care. La la la…

How does a puzzle become so popular?

I saw an old man on the train the other day doing a sudoku puzzle. This is the first time I’ve seen anybody doing sudoku in Japan. I was totally blown away at how popular that puzzle has gotten when I was visiting the US last month. Barnes&Nobles had a whole sudoku section with its own tag and everything. I think the sections in that area of the store were like: Health, Cooking…, and Sudoku. I’m totally puzzled with it’s recent popularity since it’s supposed to come from Japan and yet I’ve never seen it or heard anybody talk about it here. I couldn’t even tell you where to go to buy some puzzles. I mean, the Brain Training Game for the Nintendo DS is originally a Japanese game but they added sudoku puzzles for the American version. That would be like McDonalds adding fries to their menu in their Japanese stores while American get stuck with 枝豆 or something. Pretty crazy, if you ask me.

Anyway, I was guessing that maybe sudoku in Kanji would be something like 「数解」 using the characters for “number” and “to solve”. On reflection, I guess that was unlikely because 「すう」 is the on-yomi and 「とく」 is the kun-yomi. 「数解」 would probably be read 「すうかい」 or 「かずどき」 instead. I was surprised though when I found out that the actual Kanji is 「数独」. I got the “number” kanji right but the second one means, “alone”. I guess those numbers are just alone and lonely until you solve the puzzle by filling in the rest of the numbers. Aww… those poor, lonely numbers. You have to help them!

Yet more random thoughts

I ate a コンビニ弁当 for dinner tonight and it was supposed to be a 中華弁当. I think almost every country probably has their own version of Chinese food. I’ve had American-Chinese, Japanese-Chinese, and Korean-Chinese so far. As usual, when it comes to food, I like the Korean version the best. (The one version I’ve never had is, ironically, Chinese-Chinese). You can tell when Chinese food is Korean in disguise when they bring out the Kimchi, 沢庵, and raw onion with the mysterious black sauce. To this day, I have no idea what that black sauce is but it doesn’t stop me from eating it with sliced, completely raw onions. (I think you have to kind of get used to it from birth). Also for some reason, you almost always eat 짜장면. It’s called ジャージャー麺 in Japanese but the Korean version tastes much better. Again, I have no idea about the actual original Chinese dish.

Rule #1 is “you don’t talk about blogs” and rule #2 is… ok, this joke is overdone so nevermind.

14 thoughts on “More personal stuff that nobody cares about

  1. Sudoku isn’t from Japan. It was given a Japanese sounding name to try to make it, well.. sound more cool.

  2. It doesn’t count as boring personal post if it deals with something related to the blog’s topic. I think most of your readers are interested in this stuff.

  3. Sudoku is Japanese, but it was based off of a game now referred to as “magic squares”, which was originally Chinese, and first exported to Arabs through India in around the 8th century. The Chinese “magic squares” led to Latin “magic squares”, and Sudoku is a form of the Latin version of “magic squares”. It was in the late 70’s and early 80’s that it came to Japan, and was first known as “数字は独身に限る” and, thus, became 数独.

    According to one source, there are over 600,000 sudoku magazines published in Japan every month.

  4. I think the black stuff you dip the onions in is what they use to make the jaajaa-myun.

  5. Interestingly enough, I did find some Sudoku magazines the other day but they were titled ナンプレ. No mention of 数独 anwhere I could see.

  6. Hi, I do have a terrible memory but I don’t think I’ve met you before. Are you referring to somebody in the comments? Or perhaps a different Tae Kim?

  7. Wow, it looks like there must be another Tae Kim that also studied Japanese. I didn’t go to High School in OR but I’m curious to know what kind of person this other Tae Kim was.

  8. haha.. this is a random message. but. my friend said that they’re called “nankuro”.. like number crossword? =/

  9. Until a year or two ago I always imagined the kanji to be 数毒 😀 The numbers . . . they poison your brain . . .

    (sorry for commenting on really old posts)

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