Monday, June 20, 2011

Land of Cute-- At the Children's Hospital

The pediactric ophthamologist...

Since my little Teddy Bear has wonky eyes, we pay a visit to the Yokohama Children's Hospital every three or four months for checkups.  He had surgery for strabismus when he was three--just when they opened the new building.  From a crowded, dark, sad old building to a huge, light, bright place that's kind of fun to go to-- especially since the children who go there have chronic conditions and have to spend a *lot* of time in the hospital. 

We've been going for six years now--four years in the new building--and I just noticed that they have a different animal sign for the different departments.  The owl up there is, naturally, for the opthamologist-- eyes, get it?

Here's the sign for the pediatric orthodontist-- Mr. Alligator with his rows of teeth:
Mr. Alligator for the Orthodontist
  Cute for kids, if a little obvious.  I walked around looking at the different signs (a seal for the dermatologist, an Akita-ken dog for the Kensa/lab room). 

Then I got to one that mystified me at first:

Don't forget to wash your hands...;-)
This one is for the Urologist-- any idea why it's a racoon?

I had to think about this one-- and I didn't get it until I sat thinking about the Japanese word for 'racoon' and how it's exactly the same as the German word (English is the odd one out;-). 

Japanese and German call that critter a "Wash Bear" (Araiguma in Japanese, Waschbär in German) because they wash their hands (paws). 

Then it hit me-- the Urologist see patients with bladder or urinary tract problems.  He's the pee-pee doctor, if you will.  And what are you supposed to do after you go to the toilet?  Exactly-- wash your hands.  Just like a Wash Bear;-))

(p.s.-- will be responding to comments forthwith!  Everyone should be off to school tomorrow...)


  1. Hah! That's so awesome! I wish we called them wash bears. I may have to try and start a trend...

  2. Yeah! Between the two of us, we can start a trend, right? :-))

  3. What about the colonoscopy dept...?

    Incidentally (I keep meaning to mention this, then forgetting), every time I see "My jumpy spider," over → there, I read it as "Mr Jumpy spider." No idea why.

  4. It took me a few steps to get from wash bear to urology. I suppose, though, that there really is no obvious animal for that department. It's called a wash bear in Dutch, too.

    Just for fun, I looked up the etymology of the word on OEDonline: < Virginia Algonquian aroughcun, aroughcoune (also transcribed as rahaugcum, rarowcun, raugroughcum, and arathkone), of unknown origin.

  5. I always thought that the German name was so cool. I just had to go online to the Oxford English Dictionary. Apparently, the "English" racoon comes from
    "early 17th century: from Virginia Algonquian aroughcun."

  6. Can you believe that Diana and I were both looking up "raccoon" at the same time?

  7. Hi Daz-- didn't get to the colonoscopy dept...and I've now sat here several long minutes trying to think of a clever animal for it. Tapeworm? ;-))

  8. I am falling on the floor laughing that Diana and Cary are both looking up the etymology of raccoon at the same time... I am *so* not surprised:-)) Of course, as I was typing, the thought went that went through my mind was "I wonder why English 'raccoon' is so different from the German...oh. Must be a Native American word". Are we related? (I like Waschbär, too.)

  9. i am impressed with your creation of different creative signs , you used for different purpose at your hospital land.
    It will be more beneficial for you.