365 Days of Japanese Day #27

Angie from Sawara, Chiba-ken, Japan

In Japan I got used to seeing the symbol “〒” around places and it took me embarrassingly long to realise it signifies “post”. Post boxes, post offices, or anything post related.

I guess I just thought it was a cool symbol, rather than actually having a meaning!

It would typically be interpreted as “yūbin”.


Something I learned recently is that the symbol 〒 is intended as a stylised テ.

katakana for the sound “te

Why would “te” symbolise post?


So it’s an abbreviation. Interesting.

Before 1998 the official mascot of Japan Post was a face called “Number-kun”. That translates more or less as “Number Lad”, or perhaps “Number Chap”.

Here he is!

This entry about post in Japan is a clue as to what I will talk about tomorrow!


  1. Where did you learn that 〒 was a stylized テ?

    The below says there are several interpretations, but I am not sure if they match exactly with that statement.



    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the clarification. Generally I find Japanese-language sources (wikipedia) are more accurate than English-language ones. I guess something gets lost in translation (:


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