branch large support

I recently came across the following phrase in Kanji: 枝大支

The Fish translates this as “branch large support” but that’s just the literal translation; I am sure this is some kind of reference to something else but am unable to find out what. I wonder if anyone might know what the phrase really means. I am reminded of my favorite Chinese restaurant, which has the symbols 大四川 emblazoned across it, which a Chinese friend tells me means, “big four rivers” (a reference to Szechuan province cuisine). Oddly, according to the Fish, 川 is Japanese kanji and not traditional Chinese. I confess that I have ni idea what I am talking about. At any rate,I suspect that the kanji above also have some meaning beyond the literal, and any help in figuring this out would be much appreciated.

17 thoughts on “branch large support”

  1. This is a test. The Japanese name for “Sugar, a little Snow Fairy” is ちっちゃな雪使いシュガー

    The Japanese name for “Haibane Renmei” is 灰羽連盟

  2. So it doesn’t work in comments, either, which makes it a lot faster to test. Try changing the encoding to Windows 1252, as per my email, and let me know so I can try this again in a comment.

  3. Actually, I doubt that’s going to make a difference. I just posted some kanji on Pixy Misa’s site and it worked fine. His page is set to use UTF-8. Kanji posting on J Greely’s site also works fine; he does it all the time. He also encodes using UTF-8. On the other hand, I use Windows 1252 and equally have no problems.

    I suspect that this is a WordPress issue. My guess would be that you have to muck with the settings to enable extended-set characters.

    There’s one other experiment I want to try again, using the Haibane Renmei name: ㌥ㄩ伢䱁 (assuming I didn’t botch up the numbers)

  4. Well, I did botch up the numbers, but the [Ampersand][Pound]99999[Semicolon] encoding does at least try to display properly. So I think that this really is a WordPress issue, and since WordPress is supposed to be multi-language, almost certainly this is something controlled by your setup choices.

  5. I found “the following threads”: at the WordPress support site, but to be honest it is a bit over my head. As far as I grok, it seems that the problem was with the WordPress 2.1 upgrade, which now messes up the encoding in the database backend, not the display.

    The “previous post here”: on this blog that used kanji used to work just fine and now is similarly corrupted, suggesting that the upgrade to v2.1 is indeed at fault.

  6. From this end, I can’t tell if the data has been corrupted or if WP is just attempting to interpret valid data as some other binary encoding that needs to be converted to HTML entities. If the former, you’ll want to grab your old blog entries from Google’s cache before you have to figure out what they used to say.


  7. I didn’t realize it! If you look at the raw source, the individual garble characters are all ampersand-name-semicolon indications, which means that WordPress is actively converting the binary values into escaped names for the garble text we’re seeing. It isn’t allowing the binary values through, which would permit the browser to recognize UTF-8 encoding and display them properly.

    That explains a lot. It makes me think that the one page which talked about “Latin-1” encoding in the database is probably on the right track.

  8. I’ve been looking through the support threads at the WordPress Codex and I found a bunch of stuff about UTF-8 issues. I tried “this solution”:, and it seemed to have an effect in that it has changed how the kanji is wrongly rendered. But still wrong.

    However since the concensus seems to be that the issue is a database problem. Here are some details:

    bq. MySQL – 5.0.24a-standard-log
    MySQL charset: UTF-8 Unicode (utf8)
    MySQL connection collation: utf8_unicode_ci

    *Server variables and settings:*

    bq. character set client utf8
    (Global value) latin1
    character set connection utf8
    (Global value) latin1
    character set database latin1
    character set filesystem binary
    character set results utf8
    (Global value) latin1
    character set server latin1
    character set system utf8
    character sets dir /data/mysql/maddie/share/mysql/charsets/
    collation connection utf8_unicode_ci
    (Global value) latin1_swedish_ci
    collation database latin1_swedish_ci
    collation server latin1_swedish_ci

  9. One of the suggestions from Ask Mefi seemed to imply that it is all those “latin1” entries which are the problem.

    It would be interesting to know what Don’s installation says in all those values. I bet a lot of those “latin1” entries are “utf8” in his installation.

  10. Well, THAT was interesting.

    WordPress database error: [Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) for operation ‘=’]

  11. What’s the context in which you found those kanji?

    My Nelson dictionary doesn’t have an entry for that exact compound, but based on the kanji definitions I’m seeing, I think it may be an aphorism about branching branches or some-such. The first refers to a small branch or twig. The second is “big”, and the third is also a kanji meaning “branch”. (The “support” definition comes from the verb sasaeru, which uses the same kanji).

  12. Are you quite certain it’s a Japanese phrase and not a Chinese one? Googling it (which I’m sure you’ve tried) gives a document from Taiwan’s forestry bureau as the only result.

    If it is Japanese, it might be a name. The first kanji would be the family name (pronounced Eda or Shige) and the latter two would be the given name (Hiroshi or Hiroki). In fact, given that Google knows next to squat about it, I’d guess it’s the name of a rather undistinguished individual.

  13. It can be quite difficult to translate without the context- for example what if someone asked you what “American Brown” meant? Hard to say. But in fact “American” is a (very rare) first name (most famously, there is a well known game programmer named American McGee).

    I’m going to guess that that is what is going on here. The second two Kanji are an obscure way of writing the given name Hiroshi or Hiroki. Really obscure ;), I think. I don’t want to get into an explanation of reading Japanese names- let’s just say it can be really tricky. There are some laws in place in Japan now to try to make it a bit easier, but people born before those laws went into effect can have extremely hard to read names.

    If you can give the context you found this in it might be possible to make a better guess.

  14. Ack, I missed the comment right above this one pointing out the same thing about the name. Sorry about that.

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