Sunday, May 22, 2005

New York Yankees Kanji Cap

I know "New York Yankees" is "ニューヨーク・ヤンキース" in Japanese Katakana and 紐約洋基 in Chinese.

According to the news story, the character on the cap suppose to be Kanji for New York Yankees, but I have never seen the character before. Could anyone please verify that?


  1. at first glance, it looks like it's spelled out with the zhuyin phonetics system employed in taiwan to teach kids how to read (like how they use pinyin on the mainland). the top phonetic "wu" + the bottom phonetic "ai" = "wai". perhaps, they're trying to write the letter "Y". if that's the case, what happened to the "N" that goes with the "Y" on the ordinary yankees logo? if it isn't 注音符號, then i have no idea what that says.

  2. It looks like メーカ, maybe they are trying to say mecca.

  3. Regardless, it still does not mean nor say "Yankees".

  4. Looks like 希 to me, which is given in Jim Breen's WWWJDIC as
    Mandarin: xi1
    Korean: heui
    Japanese: キ ケ まれ のぞ のぞみ
    meaning: hope; beg; request; pray; beseech; Greece; dilute (acid); rare; few; phenomenal

  5. It's most certainly not 希 or katakana. The zhuyin explanation looks to be right on.

  6. Yes, at first glance (and subsequent glances) I saw two Zhuyin characters, spelling the syllable "wai". It also lacks a tone mark, meaning it should be pronounced in the first tone. That is how people pronounce the name of the letter Y in Taiwan.

  7. Well, it *does* say in the article that the kanji chosen is to "stand for the letter Y". Or at least, the paragraph under the picture says that.

    I'd therefore say that gives a tremendous amount of weight to the idea that it's supposed to be "wai", the pronounciation for "Y" in Taiwan.

    I'd say it's them not doing their homework as well as they should.

  8. I was interested in the other hats in the photos in the original news article. The others, while at least containing real hanzi, are still pretty vague:

    島 = island
    牛 = cow (the Texas longhorns maybe?)
    貓 = cat

    There's also one which appears to be a type of fish, (based on the 魚 radical), but I couldn't find the character in my dictionary, and can only speculate that it's supposed to be a Florida Marlin or something like that.

  9. Matt,

    It is 鰐, The Gators. It is the mascot of University of Florida. The popular sports drink Gatorade was first developed there, hince the name.

  10. Ah, makes sense. I'm still baffled when some Japanese kanji are a mix of the simplified and traditional Chinese hanzi. Like this one. (= 鱷 x 鳄)

  11. Definitely zhuyin (bopomofo) for "wai." Without "en" to stand for the "New," then it must be just a "Y" for "Yankees."

  12. Unless it's a "why" for "Why am I wearing this cap?"

  13. QUOTE
    I'm still baffled when some Japanese kanji are a mix of the simplified and traditional Chinese hanzi.


    Because the Japanese characters were simplified from the traditional characters in Japan, independently from the simplifications that were made in China.

  14. My favorite example of Japanese half-simplification:

    歡 (traditional)
    歓 (Japanese)
    欢 (simplified)

  15. Actually, here's a better one:

    聽 (traditional)
    聴 (Japanese)
    听 (simplified)

  16. I wanna see a Kanji cap that says "Ham Fighters".

  17. Sorry, best I coud do was the real thing....

  18. Nothing about this particular character, but I found an old, old article about the use of 漢字 in America, and apparently New York Yankees chose the word "朝" to represent them...
    "Because, the home team, New York Yankees, didn't have a single letter to represent them, after successive wins in the Major league, from the words meaning "王朝を築い" "to build a dynasty", they chose "朝""
    朝日新聞 2000年4月22日
    sorry for the bad translations...

  19. i think it's obvious it's not a kanji. it looks a little bit more like a lot of katakana characters piled on top of each other. with a little bit of imagination, each one of the characters in "new york yankees" (in katakana, of course) can be found.

  20. anonymous user from Hong KongSeptember 27, 2009 at 6:10 PM

    It's definitely the Taiwanese version of Bopomofo (, named 注音符號.

    In Taiwan, those strange symbols are used to transcribing Chinese, while Mainland China uses Latin characters, named 漢語拼音 Hanyu Pinyin (

    The Bopomofo written on the cap is ㄨㄞ, which is read as wai. This syllable corresponds to many possible Chinese characters, which have the same syllable.