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I am creating a present for a Japanese Taiko drummer. He is my teacher and is celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

The present will be the Muppet character Animal sitting at a shime daiko, his bachi at the ready. I would like to add a kanji to those bachi to mark them as Animal's.

A taiko drummer considers his/her bachi as an extension of themselves. They mark their bachi (drum sticks) with a kanji representing their name. This is a solemn act by which they put their own soul into the bachi.

I have googled for the translation and have been swamped with a lot of alternatives and can't make out which one would be best for me to use given the above scenario. Considering the symbolic nature of marking the bachi, I'd rather leave them unmarked than make a mistake.

Questions:

  • which translation for animal would best fit the Muppet character Animal?
  • which kanji from that translation would you use if you could only use a single character?
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    i would think アニマル would work just fine since it's a name. – A.Ellett Jun 7 '17 at 17:26
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    not that wikipedia is much of a resource, looking up muppets on the japanese wikipedia page shows that the character names are just transliterated. animal isn't in the list but that all those that are on the list are transliterations and not translations would seem to suggest much the same for animal. – A.Ellett Jun 7 '17 at 17:31
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I'm not sure that you're looking for a translation of "animal". I think you're looking for Animal's Japanese name. If he did have a localized name that was in fact written in kanji, then you could use that. But that does not appear to be the case. It appears that his Japanese name is simply his name transliterated. On a few different sites, I saw his name written as アニマル. This Fandom wiki page has アニマル:

enter image description here

So if you want to brand his bachi with his name, then I would suggest アニマル.

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    Thanks for finding that. And confirming that this is as he is known in Japan. I did indeed go with アニマル as suggested in the comments on my question as well. His bachi now carry ア to mark them as Animal's. – Marjan Venema Jun 8 '17 at 7:48

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