The Portuguese were the first westerners who arrived in Japan, in 1543, and because of the commercial exchanges many Portuguese words were borrowed by Japanese. Some of them are Bidoro (glass), that comes from “Vidro“, Pan (bread), from “Pão“, end even Igirisu (England), that comes from the Portuguese word “Inglês“.
Furthermore, traces of the Portuguese language can be found in the name of one of the most popular streets in Kyoto, Ponto-chō. Although it is written with kanji characters, 先斗町, the Ponto-chō name comes from the Portuguese “ponte” (which means bridge), combined with the Japanese term “chō“, that means block or town.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: