Youme (You me?) department store, Beppu Japan

Youme Town Department Store, Beppu Japan
Youme Town Department Store, Beppu Japan

The Youme department store. Finally there’s a store for myself and anyone in my immediate vicinity. I thought that this would be a genius marketing strategy. You can have several other branch stores named “Us/Them” and “He/She”. My plan was immediately crushed after I heard the Japanese pronunciation for the store and realized they were pronouncing it “wrong”

youme parking lot 2
Day View of Downtown Beppu Japan from Youme deparment store parking lot
Youme Deparment store parking lot
View of Downtown Beppu Japan from Youme deparment store parking lot








Language note:
The store name You Me does an interesting language split. The first word is pronounced in English and the second in Japanese. This forms a new mixed word that is pronounced like a completely different Japanese word.

The “You” is pronounced as it is in English, Like the letter “u”.  It is not pronounced in Japanese as, “Yo”(よう), like “Yo Adrian, we did it!”

The “me” is just the opposite, it is pronounce using Japanese. So it is not, “me” as in “meet”, it is pronounced, “may” (め) as in the month of May.

Nihongo Language Note:
Thus, the English/Japanese combo word is unofficially pronounce “yu-may”. The word “yume”  in Japanese means, dreams and visions. It is written like this; (ゆめ, or 夢). Yume is a word often used in Japanese culture, and may be one of the first vocabulary words you learn outside of your Nihongo books. I thinks its a requirement that you must place the word “Yume” somewhere in every pop song, and its kanji character is a much sought after tatoo idea for drunk college kids.

So the store name translates to “The Store of Dreams”.  I’m not sure if this is strategic marketing or the usual its-cool-to-play-with-English-words idea that so commonly backfires in Japan. I only know that my original plan for the “You Me” marketing campaign has been completely crushed.