In a previous blog, I mentioned how Smith’s School of English, Tsuruhashi had visited the township of Asuka, and how we had stopped off for a superb lunch at a local restaurant. The owner of the restaurant then proceeded to explain in detail about the history of this area, and one of our students, whose name is Shiro, has kindly written a short explanation in English of some of the more interesting points of the owner’s speech.
Shiro’s blog below is unedited, and I congratulate him on his fantastic effort and his enthusiasm to further himself in the art of speaking and writing English. Well done Shiro!
This is a short story about a lunch we had at a restaurant in Asuka and some interesting facts about the origins of the name ‘Asuka’
This is what we heard from the owner of a quaint restaurant at Asuka when I visited there with the teachers and friends from Smith School.
Legend has it that in ancient days a myriad of Koreans possibly resided in this area. The name of Asuka is derived from a Korean word meaning ‘cheap inn’. At the time Korean word ‘Asuka’ was originally applied to Kanji, people then coincidentally saw some birds flying over the inns. That was how they decided to apply the word to the Chinese character ‘飛鳥’ which literally means flying birds.
I had wondered why there were two Chinese characters describing ‘Asuka’. One is 飛鳥 which is used for the name of this district and station. The other is 明日香 which is only used for the name of the village. The owner of the restaurant answered my question. When three villages were merged, Asuka village was the smallest among the three. But the name of Asuka was already well known nationwide. The other villagers reluctantly admitted to keep the name of ‘Asuka village’ by changing Kanji from ‘飛鳥村’ to ‘明日香村’.
I am grateful to the owner of the restaurant for this useful information.
Shiro – Student at Smith’s School of English, Tsuruhashi