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O and X (maru/ eksu) meaning 2007/7/13 12:45
Hi, Ifm currently making a poster design targeted on Japanese audience, and one of my ides was to use the O and X as main elements, so I wanted to ask the Japanese people here. I know that from the school books Maru and Eksu are very common signs though I want to know how clear the massage behind them for every Japanese person, I canft decide what combination is the best to deliver the massage. One should have the meaning of gwrong, bad, harmfulh and another one gright, good, positiveh. Both signs should be very simple, so Ifm choosing between g+hvs g-h or gOh vs gXh. Please help me!
by T.K.  

O and X 2007/7/13 19:17
I'm not Japanese, but maybe my comment will be helpful.
I've never really seen + or - used in Japanese culture besides math. I've seen O and X on gameshows, in ads, TV shows, books, etc.. so I figure it has its own place in society.

Good luck on your project!
by niko-chan (nicole) rate this post as useful

Marubatsu 2007/7/13 19:33

Just to add that w is usually referred to as "batsu", not "ekkusu", in this context.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

pekke 2007/7/13 21:06
How about keeping it simple and having a tick (check mark in USA?) for good and a cross for bad. I thought these were universal? I'm a designer and work on a lot of signs, and these tend to be pretty much the norm.

Alternatively, seeing as the Japanese love all things "kawaii" a sad face for bad, and a smiley face for good are equally as comminicative.

If you're certain you want to use the O & X, I'd suggest that you colour the O in red (like road warning signs) and the tick green..

just some suggestions.
by furan rate this post as useful

"O"&"X" 2007/7/13 22:16
o & x are better.
it's very clear for us.
"n" means always good,"w" means wrong.
and we use tic for wrong answer and also sometimes it means alright.so if you want to use it,it have to be obvious that the tic is right or wrong..
did you get what i said?sorry my english is not so good...
by motoko rate this post as useful

... 2007/7/13 22:26
means good/positive/correct, and ~ means bad/negative/incorrect.

The words "purasu (plus)" and "mainasu (minus)" is used very commonly to discribe possitive/advantage for the former and negative/disadvantage for the latter.

Symbols { and | are hardly used in sentences while ~ are, but if a Japanese sees a { or | they'd think "plus and minus". Hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2007/7/13 23:33
Thank you all, you are very very helpfull. Thanks for reminding that X is a gbatsuh, just forget about it, thanks Dave in Saitama.

I would like to hear more opinions from different people. Imagine a white list with Maru and Batsu in the center, each is formed from small different signs, but you clearly see that one is O and next one is X, small signs symbolize activities, will it be clear that those forming X are bad and those forming O are right things to do?

thanks again!
by T.K. rate this post as useful

... 2007/7/14 08:32
How about keeping it simple and having a tick (check mark in USA?) for good and a cross for bad. I thought these were universal?

No, they are not universal! In fact, the check mark even has the opposite meaning in Japan. It indicates INCORRECT when correcting exams, etc.
by Uji rate this post as useful

hmm... 2007/7/14 13:06
T.K., what you're trying to do sounds very artistic.

For example, if you put and ~ side by side and ask, "What do these mean to you?" to a Japanese person, probably most people will say that is "correct" and ~ is "wrong".

But for example, if a Japanese person sees a fabric with polka-dots, I don't think the person will think, "Wow! This is a lot of corrects!" or in the same sense they'd look at a shoelace crossed on a boot and think nothing.

It's hard to say what people would think about your design.
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2007/7/14 13:48
Would the audience know that it was done by a non-Japanese (which I am assuming)?

The thing is, when we see "" (maru = circle) and "X" (batsu), the ideas that come to mind immediately are that of "good" and "bad/wrong." That's what we get in school papers lol and we make a circle with the thumb and the forefinger to make a "circle" to indicate OK, not the thumbs-up. So in Japan I'd say it's very clear.

However, if it is to be used outside Japan, or it is known to have been done by a non-Japanese, or otherwise shown in a non-Japanese context, many also know the "love and kisses" representation (just like with the Tiffany rings and things) as well... so the audience might wonder if it was done the Japanese way or not.
by AK rate this post as useful

japan - tokyo only 2007/7/14 14:05
The design is to be published only in Tokyo, may be in some other cities but only in Japan. And though I can not reveal the theme and details it is about choice we made, it is a social theme, the message is choose a right thing as the theme is quite dualistic and things should change for better option, as there are two options almost in every field that will be covered. My original idea was + and , but then I realized that it was a gaijins kangaekata, and more over the use of minus is a bit hard in some graphic variants Im thinking of, so maru and batsu are perfect. I just hope their meaning is really clear for every Japanese person.
by T.K. rate this post as useful

. 2007/8/9 06:05
Please don't use non-ASCII punctuations such as left/right single/double quotation marks.

They are incompatible with Japanese text (which is often seen in this forum, naturally) and get garbled into nonsense Japanese characters under Japanese encoding.
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

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