Household registration offices nationwide have since Tuesday been flooded with people applying to change their name to “salmon” (guiyu, 鮭魚), after Japanese sushi restaurant chain Akindo Sushiro promised free meals for anyone with the name.
Yesterday and today, those with proof of the unusual moniker can receive free meals for their entire table, while people with homophonic names can enjoy half price and those with at least one homophonic character can receive 10 percent off.
Twenty-eight people had claimed free meals as of 3pm yesterday, while at least 1,000 people had participated in the promotion, Akindo Sushiro said.
Photo: Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times
An applicant must pay NT$80 for a new identification card and household registration certificate, the Taipei Department of Civil Affairs said, adding that at least 20 people had applied by early afternoon.
As of late afternoon, New Taipei City and Kaohsiung had 26 people who changed their name to “salmon,” while Taichung had 22, and Tainan and Taoyuan each had 14.
In Taichung, a college student surnamed Kuo (郭) changed her name to Kuo “Salmon Rice Bowl” (郭鮭魚丼飯) to treat her friends, but told reporters that she plans to change it back tomorrow.
Two others managed to eat NT$13,000 worth of sushi in one sitting with their friends, saying online: “I do not think we will want to eat salmon again for a while.”
Another participant set a new record for longest name at 36 characters, already dethroning the previous titleholder, a Tainan-based taxi driver who applied for his 25-character name on Feb. 26.
The name translates to “Chen loves Taiwan, abalone, tuna, salmon, snow crab, sea urchin, scallop, lobster and beef, Mayfull, Palais de Chine, Regent, Hilton, Caesar Park, Hotel Royal.”
While people are free to choose their own name, the Ministry of the Interior urged caution, as it can only be legally changed three times.
A man surnamed Hsu (許) learned this the hard way after his mother informed him that she had already changed his name twice when he was a child.
Screenshots of Hsu’s Line messages went viral on the Professional Technology Temple bulletin board, eliciting sympathy and skepticism among those who said that the office would have informed him that it was his last change.
“Each person has three chances to change their name,” the ministry wrote on Facebook. “Everyone, please consider your name carefully.”
Additional reporting by Ho Yu-hua, Su Meng-chuanand Chen Wen-chan
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