Midnight was coming close, and the party was already in full swing. Aika was mingling with her friends when a familiar face dropped into the conversation. Suddenly, she started to feel anxious. It was nothing personal, she was a great fond of the guy. Nonetheless, the problem she faced was that his name was impossible to pronounce. Naturally, she started to frantically rehearse pronouncing it in her head. She was jerked out her thoughts, when somebody loudly yelled out a name from the other side of the room. Surprisingly, the above-mentioned acquaintance quickly excused himself and headed towards the other side of the room. Perplexed by the accident, Aika later inquired him about his confusing two-name identity. He explained to her that she was not alone in the struggles of pronouncing his name. As his work requires lots of networking, he decided to save others from the trouble of trying to pronounce it. So, he changed it. What a shame, Aika thought. While impossible to pronounce, his name had a beautiful ring to it. And it strangely fitted him, too. Aika probed him about the name change, and the two engaged in a surprisingly productive conversation about the uniqueness of names and their significance. So, Mondonomo was born.
It is a strange quirk of human nature, that the things that matter the most, we notice the least. So, is the case with names. You do not really think about yours. Until someone forgets it at a party, and your mood sinks. Your name is a key part of your self-identity. Also, as it usually goes with self- identity, we all grow to love it with time. The globalised world has brought many challenges with it though. Clashing with vastly different cultures requires being open and accepting of those cultures. The same way someone’s failure to remember your name hurts, so does their failure to pronounce it properly. So, it should. Names are interwoven with your identity. They are the final stamp on everything that you are. Something is a valid part of our social reality only when it is given a name. Parents contemplate their future child’s name for months before they are born. They give them names that they hope will mark their children’s future. Names like Etsuko (えつこ), with the hope of their children’s lives being interwoven with joy. Or names like Hideki (ひでき), with the hope of their children becoming exceptional one day. Therefore, you should expect your name to be respected. In the same way that you should not let anybody disrespect you as an individual, you should not let anybody disrespect your name. And you should treat others and their names accordingly. Be proud of your name and its meaning. Each name has a story that it is bursting to tell. All the poems written to it, all the places it visited, all the cultures it is a part of.
Monodomo was created with this mission in mind. With the aim of giving its due respect to every name known. We do not discriminate names based on how hard they are to pronounce or based on the script they are written in. In our times, in which tolerance towards things that are different from us is becoming more important than ever, we try to extend this tolerance to names. Although often forgotten, they are what makes us unique. As much as our culture and the places we grew up in do. So, in our struggle for a diverse and tolerant society, let us not forget the importance of our names.