I found this written on a blue bottle. What does it mean?


  • 2
    ルツクハ doesn't appear in jisho.org (for reasons given by Yamada's answer), so even though "Look it up yourself" would be the normal instinct, I don't think that should apply. – Andrew Grimm Nov 4 '16 at 6:17
  • Add a photo of the bottle if you can. This might be a really vintage or unique bottle to have the right-to-left writing. – Amani Kilumanga Nov 5 '16 at 5:29

ルツクハ is ハクツル(白鶴) written in reverse order. Japanese was written from right to left in horizontal writing until mid 20th century. Some labels still use the system to express their tradition and authenticity.

白鶴 is a famous sake brand. According to the company's website, the name has been used since 1747.

  • Trivia: 白鶴 is "red-crowned crane" in Chinese, which seems to be what the company's logo references – 小太郎 Nov 4 '16 at 8:17
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    "Japanese was written from right to left in horizontal writing" By my understanding, it was technically vertical writing (which is still in use and has the first column on the right) with each column being one character. – JAB Nov 4 '16 at 16:01
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    @JAB You have a point. However, some symbols in horizontal writing were different from ones in vertical writing. For example, prolonged sound mark was "-" in horizontal writing but not like "|" in vertical writing. So, there is a reason to think that horizontal writing is different from vertical writing with each column being one character. – Yamada Nov 4 '16 at 22:06
  • @Yamada That makes sense. – JAB Nov 4 '16 at 22:10

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