Near Shibuya, they're finishing up some construction on a subway system that has been going on for years. It seems they're at the stage of finishing up some road work above where they had been making subway.

In the middle of Meiji Dori, where some of this construction remains, they had this sign:


I understand all the words, and I think I understand the grammar, but I have no idea what it's trying to say. My translation is roughly:

Work that remains on the map.

What map? And how can the work they are doing remain on it? Why is this something you say on a sign for everyone to see?

What does this sign mean?


The generally available geographical map. Google Maps. Local maps. And so on.

The slogan says their work remains on the map -- it is work on a scale that is recorded by cartographers and becomes part of the landscape. Important work having (future) historical and wide-area significance.

Possibly the English nuance of "remain" might throw you here -- it seems to imply that it was on a map before and it will remain being on a map.

The actual message, I feel, is closer to this: after the work is finished in real life, it is not forgotten, but remains (残るs), leaves its mark, on the map.

  • +1 for detailed interpretation :) My interpretation was less literal than yours (a little like the English saying "~ really puts our town on the map"), but I haven't a clue which (if either) is more accurate. edit: actually +1'd now - I forgot before! – ジョン May 5 '12 at 16:32
  • "work that makes its mark [in the landscape]" would sound like a good, somewhat idiomatic, translation, no? – Dave May 16 '12 at 4:53
  • For understanding the meaning, it's good, yes :) As an actual slogan I think it loses a bit of potency and relevance by not mentioning "map"... if I was localizing this, maybe I might go for something like "Work that rewrites the map."? (or "redraws" or "changes"?) ...Anyway. – Hyperworm May 16 '12 at 13:26

This is the tagline of [大]{たい}[成]{せい}[建]{けん}[設]{せつ} (see also cute CM), a construction company and presumably the one carrying out the work there.

The meaning is as you say, "Work that remains on the map". This probably makes more sense now.

(As Flaw says, indicating a company philosophy of building stuff that makes a mark, and building it to last)

  • 2
    Ah so it's a slogan that says that what they build is there to last? – Flaw May 5 '12 at 14:27
  • @Flaw That's my interpretation, yes. – ジョン May 5 '12 at 14:28
  • (as with many slogans it is, to an extent, open to interpretation.) – ジョン May 5 '12 at 14:41
  • +1 for also having background information :) – Hyperworm May 5 '12 at 14:50
  • +1 for the link to the construction company. I gave the check to the other answer for differentiating between the English nuance of "remain" and the Japanese implication of the term. – Questioner May 6 '12 at 0:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.