How to pronunce Hongkong's Japanese Occupation era place and street names during WW2?

When Hongkong was under Imperial Japanese occupation from late 1941 until 1945, some locations were renamed. Japan also set up their own system of districts for administration (Britain adopted some of them postwar). We were taught only in schools their Kanji forms, but never the actual pronunciation. Even nowadays, it seems this matter is poorly researched, and some published works - some academic - contain even contradictory or seemingly erroneous accounts.

For example:
The district known as 油尖旺/Yau Tsim Mong was formerly two districts - Yau Tsim油尖 and Mong Kok旺角. Mongkok旺角 as a place name already existed pre-WW2. When Japan occupied Hongkong, they put Mongkok into a district named 大角.
Now here’s the problem: is 大角 Daikaku, or Oogaku (which is the modern Japanese pronunciation for Mong Kok. Oo is also the modern Kunyomi spelling of 大), or neither? I’ve seen one book that claims it’s Daikaku, but that book’s Japanese spellings contain so many mistakes (maybe printing mistakes?) that I don’t think the book can be trusted.

And, this is just one name. Imperial Japanese could not rename all Hongkong names that were rooted in British rule, but they still managed to rename a lot of them. Some were not changed when made into a district name, though, like Shau Kei Wan 筲箕灣, Tsuen Wan 荃灣.

The only one that has the pronunciation indicated is the Japanese name for the 太平山Victoria Peak - 香ヶ峯. The most plausible pronunciation may be *Nioigamine, cuz ニオイnioi was printed on a announcement board for new place and street names, but even this was not a complete translation…

For reference, here is a Wikipedia page that shows a list of most of the found names in Chinese, English, and Japanese Kanji. Be reminded, though, that some of the names in Japanese may be already in use before WW2, because when translating British Hongkong place names, Japan sometimes would translate them based solely on the English name, not Chinese name. Error due to misprint is also possible, especially IMO [船灣] - Plover Cove - 船海灣.

I beg Mr Indy and his team to do a through research on this matter, because with a serious lack of concrete historical evidence and material, I alone have reached the bottleneck… I don’t know if this will be featured on the OOTF episodes at all, but please help me… no… help us…


Here are names that I have been unable to decide what the Japanese spelling would be like:


  1. 青山-區 Aoyama-/Seizan-ku
  2. 大角-區 Oogaku-/Daikaku-ku
  3. 赤柱-區 Sekichu-/Sakichi-ku
  4. 新田-區 Sinden-/Nita-/Nitta-/Nida-ku


  1. 英皇道/King’s Road->豐國通Hokoku-/Toyokuni-dori
  2. 東海旁/軒尼詩道/Hennessy Road->八幡通Yawata-/Hachiman-dori

Correction and addition:

“Now here’s the problem: is 大角 Daikaku, or Oogaku (which is the modern Japanese pronunciation for Mong Kok. Oo is also the modern Kunyomi spelling of 大), or neither?”

Oogaku is a wrong pronunciation. It should be Ookaku/Ōkaku/おうかく.
Now, one must understand that these are all modern Japanese spelling that accords more to modern Japanese pronunciation rather than traditional.
旺 was still formally rendered as わう/wau, an 大 as おほ/opo/oho in Kunyomi.
Despite the oldschool spelling at the time, pronunciation was already largely the same as today.


I know this question is really difficult to answer, but I really hope Indy and his friends can try researching on this. I believe even if the answer can never be found, the process will lead us to something extraordinary.

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