The mayor of a small Japanese town finds himself in the spotlight when the internet notices the kanji characters used to pronounce his name can sound a lot like Joe Biden.
Thanks to Joe Biden, the mayor of a small Japanese town is enjoying international name recognition. That’s because the kanji characters used to write his name in Japanese can be pronounced as “Baiden-jo” or Jo Baiden, which sounds an awful like a certain Democrat currently dominating the headlines.
Yutaka Umeda, the 73-year-old mayor of Yamato in southwest Japan, said he’s received many joking messages congratulating him on his success. He seems to be appreciating the humor of his moment in the social media spotlight and says he hopes the attention will benefit his town of a little over 15,000 residents.
“Being the president of a superpower like the United States and a mayor of Yamato — the scale (of our jobs) is completely different, but I’d like to think of ways to promote the town,” The Japan Times quoted him as saying.
Yamato is located in the Kumamoto Prefecture, which explains the internet’s new moniker for Umeda: “Kumamoto’s Biden.” Travel sites list the town’s main attractions as the Kumamoto Castle, the Aso Shrine, Mt. Kunimi and the Tsujun Bridge.
The Japanese Internet is getting a chuckle out of the mayor of Yamato in Kumamoto Prefecture, whose name, Umeda Yutaka (梅田穰), can be read with on-yomi (pronunciation derived from Chinese) as "Baiden Jou". https://t.co/oVDXp3WJLl
— Unseen Japan (@UnseenJapanSite) November 8, 2020