The Power of a Name


Spirited Away: The main character signed away her name and came under the control of the witch.

I started playing the guitar when I was 15 years old. It was around when NIRVANA started dominating the music scene and destroying the existing values. People made a fuss, saying “Alternative Rock is not tainted by commercialism.” I gave cold look to such fanatical people. NIRVANA didn’t look new to me at all because they had a name, the same as the existing bands. I know names are practically necessary, but the old me purely wanted rock musicians to be anti-establishment. Let me introduce real rock in that sense. It’s Souseki Natsume. He is the most famous novelist in Japan (1867 – 1916). His masterpiece is “I Am a Cat.” The story starts with these sentences “I am a cat. As yet I have no name.” How rock it is! Today, let’s dig deeper the power of a name.

Do you know Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? It can be interpreted in short as “language is equal to thought.” This interpretation is not widely supported. Alternatively, it’s nowadays interpreted not to deny all the non-linguistic thoughts. When first learning the hypothesis, I remembered a movie “The Never Ending Story (1984).” As the fantasy world of Fnatasia is being devoured by “The Nothing,” the inhabitants come to forget everything but their names. I had wondered at that time why names were exceptions, but now I feel like I can understand. Ultimately, without names, we can’t even recognize objects. Everything in the world exists by name.

As you may already be aware, the reason why I’m writing about names is to make our brand name more memorable to you. The name, CONDE HOUSE, was created not to have a specific meaning in most places, so that we can be widely accepted all over the world. I’d like it to be synonymous with good furniture in the near future, the same as in Japan. Thank you very much for reading this article to the end. In the narrow sense of Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, we today come into the world by your awareness of our name.


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


Photo Credit: https://beneaththetangles.com/2015/11/05/sen-to-chihiro-control-to-freedom-the-significance-of-names-here-and-forevermore/

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