I am trying to figure out the meaning of the following :


It is part of a newspaper article on a Japanese Mayor whose name and surname sounds like "Joe Biden"

The entire sentence is


translated as

The mayor’s surname was picked up by the media of various countries, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, and the Financial Times.

I read about Using 〜になる instead of です and about で usage but there are still 2 things I don't understand:

  1. Why using ~になる and not です ? The mayor name and surname won't change, it's a static thing. Is it because we are focusing on the fact that the mayor "popularity" is currently growing because of his name? Like "the fact that his name sounds like Joe Biden is known worldwide" is an ongoing thing (a process that changes and develops over time)?

  2. Why で? I understand it could mark a method/circumstance (something like "newspapers are writing about him only because of his name") or a length of time inside which something occurs (like "his name sounding like Joe Biden only matters for now because of the recent american election"). Is there another explanation?

2 Answers 2

  1. Your sentence seems to come from this article. Please provide more context next time. The ~になる is used instead of ~です because the mayor's name was in process of changing.

The mayor name and surname won't change, it's a static thing.

This is true, but the name changing in this context is kanji-based. Yutaka Umeda's kanji name could be read alternatively as "Joe Biden."

  1. The で used in the sentence is the て-form of だ, which connects two related clauses. It is not a particle. Your sentence can be reworded into something like this


You can think of it as a particle that marks a reason for media coverage.

See @Chocolate's answer for more info.

  • Thanks. When you say the mayor's name was in process of changing do you mean something like "because of the american election more and more people are choosing to use the On-reading of his name ?" i red about On-reading but i still don't understand how a native speaker could know the right reading of a name (ex : someone he/she doesn't know)
    – xavier
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 9:32
  • @xavier Sorry for being vague about that. When I said his name was in the process of changing, what I actually meant was his name can become the same name as Joe Biden if the On-reading of his name changes. The article didn't mention anything about more people preferring to use this On-reading. It only states a fact, which is picked up by the media. It's rare for native speakers to correctly figure out the right reading of the name if it's presented for the first time.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 19:07


「~~ことで新聞・ニュース・メディア等に取り上げられる」 means "is featured in the newspaper/news/media for ~~ing."

So the で is a particle. Here it indicates the reason for being picked up by the media.

The article is saying:


"(Mr Umeda was) featured in the media for becoming the same name (if his name is read in On-reading/if his name is read as Baiden Jou)."

Similar examples of this usage of で:

Kyoto is famous for its old temples and shrines.
Volta is known for inventing the electric battery.

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