During my recent trip to the drugstore to pick up some hydrogen peroxide, I figured I would also get some toothpaste. As you know, drugstores like to play hide-and-seek with the items you need most, so I began my search by looking at the signs that hang over each aisle.
Guess what? The signs were all written in Japanese! The English word “toothpaste” did not appear anywhere, but neither did 歯磨き粉 (hamigakiko), the Japanese equivalent. I finally found the word 歯ブラシ (haburashii, “toothbrush”), which was close enough. But it got me thinking: What do all of those other signs say?
If you are wondering the same thing, consider the following table, which documents many of the product categories available throughout the store.
|ベビー用品||bebii yōhin||baby goods|
|漢方薬||kanbōyaku||Chinese herbal medicines|
|生理用品||seiri yōhin||feminine hygiene|
|住居洗剤||jyūkyo senzai||household cleansers|
|衛生用品||eisei yōhin||hygiene products|
|台所用洗剤||daidokoroyō senzai||kitchen cleansers|
|衣料用洗剤||iryōyō senzai||laundry detergents|
|男性用化粧品||danseiyō keshōhin||male grooming products|
|エチケット用品||echiketto yōhin||nail clippers, hair trimmers|
This table just scratches the surface of what drugstores have to offer, a scratch for which they likely offer a healing salve. If you want to see the full list of words from the aisle signs at my local drugstore complete with hiragana readings, visit the membership link shown below.