Team Slogan – What’s in a Translation?

On October 27, Hanshin Tigers new manager Tomoaki Kanemoto was a guest on the afternoon talk show “Chichin Puipui” (Abracadabra). He talked about his aspirations for the team, and was given a marker and a board on which to write his key word. He promptly wrote 変革 (henkaku) on the board and then explained that the team could not win if it continued in its old ways.

Yesterday on Twitter I was asked by @NPB_reddit …

My thoughts were:

Reform: Actually, he rejected this one because in Japanese it has become the foreign loan word for home renovation. Its association with the real estate industry was enough for us to discard it from the options.

Revolution: Sounds too much like there is rebellion involved. Think about the French Revolution. Against whom is this new Tigers regime rebelling? The old guard? They’re already out of the picture! Not only that, but I think this one over-dramatizes what’s happening just a little too much.

Makeover: Makes me think of facials, manicures and new wardrobes. The Tigers don’t need any of this, or if they do, they’re worried about the wrong things!

A great discussion followed this on Twitter, and included the word “Rebuild” which I quickly dismissed. Sure, Kanemoto has used this word to describe what he’s hoping to do with the team, but it’s not a good team slogan or aspiration. It doesn’t exactly inspire excitement. Plus, Kanemoto also said in his press conference that he hopes to build a champion team with its current members. Not exactly your typical rebuild.

As I thought about the word “Transformation” I realized how apt it is. Forgive the “religious” reference, but a very famous Bible verse talks of “not conforming to the world, but transforming your mind.” Honestly, this sounds like what Kanemoto is trying to do with the Tigers players. He is not reforming them or starting a revolution. He is looking to transform their minds (and maybe their bodies to an extent, too).

Therefore, I propose that the team’s slogan for 2016 include the word TRANSFORMATION. Any objections or other suggestions?

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T-Ray is the founder, chief writer and Junior Executive Vice President of Hanshin Tigers English News (H-TEN). Find him on Twitter @thehanshintiger.