This is part of a series of comparing the Japanese and English versions of the game. Read more about that here! And feel free to leave a request or curiosity on the comments here or on that page.
This is the question a few people have asked me:
“How do the -son names (Bolson, Hudson, etc) work in Japanese?”
Well, let’s take a quick look! Quick context: There’s a group of characters with names that end in “-son” in the game as part of a side quest. I was curious about this one myself so was glad someone asked!
|Tarrey Town||イチカラ村||Ichikara Mura|
These aren’t all the names (I have yet to complete the quest so need to find some others), but enough to show you what pattern the Japanese follows.
As you can see, every name ends with “-da.”
Names like “-son” seem rather typical for an ending, as does “-da” in Japanese (Yamada and Matsuda, for example). It is often seen with the character for “field” 田 in it.
A potential for puns comes along, too, as a phrase ending with “だ” (da) is stating that something “is.” It is an informal version of the term です (desu) which many may have heard before. So in Sakurada‘s (Bolson)’s case, for instance, it can be Sakura-da, or 桜だ (is a cherry blossom).
In fact, the three original members (Bolson, Hudson, and Karson) are all named after trees found in Japan. Bolson, or Sakurada (桜 sakura, or cherry blossoms), Karson, or Katsurada (桂 katsura, or Cercidiphyllum japonicum for the fancy scientific name), and Hudson, or Enokida (榎 Enoki, a Japanese hackberry tree). That explains why they ask for so much wood in this sidequest, I suppose…
In Hudson/Enokida’s case though, it is also a type of mushroom which goes well with him considering his hairstyle.
I’m not sure if Bolson, Karson, and Hudson share the same relation to trees or not, however, or to some other piece of nature. I was thinking of rivers due to Hudson’s name, but it was vague as to whether this was just coincidence or not.
After the original three I don’t see a connection in the names aside from the ending. The Gerudo Pauda can be taken to mean Powder for instance, but does not relate to the others directly.
Interestingly, Gureida was changed to Greyson, retaining the Grey (gurei is often translated to grey) in the name, so the color must have some significance there. Considering he’s always pounding away at rocks, perhaps that has to do with it.
Lastly, the name of Tarrey Town in Japanese is “Ichikara Mura,” or “Town from Scratch.” That’s straightforward enough!
Sorry I’ve been so busy lately! But comparisons and translations remains my greatest passion, so you can bet I’ll post when I can!
So thank you for this request, it was fun to look into. Of course if you have more insight on the English side of things here I’d love to hear what possible meanings Bolson and crew have in their names!
Please feel free to leave comments/suggestions below! See you next article!