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It’s here! But how do you pronounce “Takeshita”?


My first copy of Takeshita Demons arrived in the post! Wheee! It’s very strange, and it certainly doesn’t feel like “my” book. The letters that spell my name on the cover just seem to be some random jumble of foreign symbols. Very odd.

Don’t you think it  looks GREAT!!!

So a few questions remain:

How do you pronounce “Takeshita”?

It’s the one question everyone is certain to ask me, and, if you’ve ever studied Japanese at school, you might have an idea.

The word “takeshita” is made up of “ta-ke” or 竹, meaning bamboo, and “shita” or 下, meaning beneath.

TA: “ta” sounds like “ta-ta”, the word that many English-speaking babies use to say “goodbye”
KE: “ke” is the same as in “kettle” or “kennel”.
SHITA: The “shi” sounds like the English word “she” (as in “she studies Japanese”) and the second “ta” also rhymes with the English word “ta-ta”, but is squashed together into one syllable with the “shi”, making a sound like “sh-ta”

How do you write “takeshita” in kanji?

The kanji used to write “takeshita”are really cool, because they look like the word they describe:

Check out “ta-ke” or bamboo: 竹
You can imagine the two long vertical lines are long, straight bamboo plants, reaching to the sky. The details at the top of the kanji are like the leaves of the bamboo, waving in the breeze.

And “shita” or beneath looks like this: 下
There’s one long horizontal line at the top of the kanji, and then everything else is below or beneath that line.


I love kanji, and I love Japanese language. It sounds SO beautiful and fluid, and it’s so logical, so the rules of grammar and spelling are easy to learn. And that’s a huge relief for me!!! (My least favourite grammar rule is “I before E except after C” because it’s not even a real rule!!!!!)

“I give you”

I met some cool kids at a wedding on the weekend (and two of them, incidentally, spoke Japanese!) and it was ace to play with them on the kiddies’ table while all the adults made conversation instead.  We played heaps of games, including “I give you”, which we made up on the spot. In the game, you take turns giving each other imaginary gifts: you can give powers, or magical instruments, or, if you think someone’s getting too many powerful gifts, you can give them a giant toad or an empty swimming pool, just to even things out 😉 It was GREAT! One of the greatest bits about being an author for children is that you get to play with kids. YAY!

Author: cristyburne


9 thoughts on “It’s here! But how do you pronounce “Takeshita”?

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Allan, and happy that you feel there might be a bit of spooky heritage there too 🙂 I really think it’s an exciting and romantic idea to have such a colourful history 🙂


  2. Aloha from Hawaii – again!

    I just finished reading Monster Matsuri and enjoyed it very much. I had to chuckle when I read about Miku’s lineage – I’ve been telling people that for years.

    I hope there will be more in the Takeshita Demons series and I look forward to reading them all.



  3. Hi Allan,

    Wow…that’s fab! Thank you so much for the positive feedback and for your support 🙂 🙂 I do hope the kids get into reading the library copies…Libraries can quickly become addictive 🙂
    Have a great 2012 and watch out for those noppera-bo!



  4. Aloha from Hawaii,

    Sorry for the extremely long delay since my first comment. I read Takeshita Demons and enjoyed it very much. I ordered two additional copies from Amazon and donated them to the elementary school in my neighborhood. I’m hoping the Asian connection will pique students’ interested in reading. Yes, I’m an educator but have long since left the classroom to be an administrator.

    I just received my copy of The Filth Licker.. It is not available in the US yet so I ordered it from a London bookseller. I pre-ordered Monster Matsuri from the same company because they will have it months before it will be available on Amazon USA. I will of course order additional copies of both of books when they become available on Amazon and donate them to the school to complete the set – and will do so for any future books in the series.

    I don’t know if there are more noppera-bo in Hawaii, although I chuckled when I read that in The Filth Licker…. and hope I won’t ever find out!

    Best Wishes for 2012!

    Allan of the powerful Takeshita clan


  5. Hi Allan,
    Great to hear from you! And thanks for letting me borrow your name 🙂

    I chose Takeshita for lots of reasons, some of which are important to the plot (so I can’t tell you now ;-)) but one of the best reasons was for TAKE, which, as you know, means bamboo.

    I like the idea that bamboo is strong and resilient, that it will bend in the wind but will not break. That suits Miku’s character, and that of her family.

    I really hope you enjoy Takeshita Demons!
    And PS: Is it true that Hawaii is one of the hot spots for seeing noppera-bo? How exciting!


  6. Aloha from Hawaii.

    Thank you for the nice explanation about how to pronounce Takeshita. Here in Hawaii many people (some in my family are guilty) pronounce it like they are reading hiragana – sound by sound so my family name becomes Ta – Ke – Shi – Ta. I have been correcting people for years.

    I’m wondering – how did you decided on your character’s name?

    I just placed my order for your book on Amazon and I’m looking forward to reading it and sharing it with my family.



  7. Thank you guys!!!!! xxx


  8. Giddy up!!! Awesome news Siege!!!


  9. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! It looks so good, you must be thrilled! You’ll never, ever forget opening up that envelope! Well done 🙂


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