Kinki University in Japan Will Change Its Name to Something Less Naughty-Sounding

(Photo: Kinki University)

The “kinki” in Kinki University means “near the capital,” which is a reference to its proximity to the city of Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. You should not make any inferences about the proclivities of its students, faculty, or staff based on how its name sounds in English.

The school has 32,000 students, 329 of which are foreign. I don’t know how many of them are English speakers. But the school would like to have more of them and is worried about how its name might be perceived by prospective students:

"We aim to get more foreign students coming here, so we've decided to change our English name to ensure there is no misunderstanding," the university told English language newspaper the Japan Times.

The school isn’t changing its name in Japanese. But it will refer to itself in English as Kindai University, which is also a geographic reference:

In Japanese, the institution will continue to be known as Kinki Daigaku (daikgaku being the Japanese word for “university”). The school is also known colloquially as ‘Kindai,’ taken from the first kanji characters in Kinki and Daigaku, and the school has announced that it will be changing its official English name to Kindai University. By the start of the 2016 school year, the new name will be in place on signs around campus, school literature and stationary, and sports uniforms.

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