When Peter and Tony and I committed to starting a band, the search for a name was the order of the day. It had to be unique, not too long and we need to be able to buy the dot com … and (more of a challenge) we all needed to agree.
Well it took a fair bit of too-and-fro and an email thread of name suggestions as long as King Kong’s schlong but we got there eventually. I went scouring one night through a list of obscure Japanese Zen terms and eventually came to:
Zuii-za (“sitting as one pleases”; release from daily routine)
I liked it. I sent it to the boys. Pete seemed to like it, Tony was nonplussed. It was in.
No idea what happened to the hyphen; I’d already forgotten about it.
The meaning to me seemed very … err … meaningful: for all of us, starting a band was very much about reclaiming time back from the daily routine to sit – or more accurately – do what one pleases, which in our collective case is to rock and/or roll. Playing in a band is for us the (slightly more cultural) equivalent of going to the footy club for a beer or spending a Sunday arvo in the shed working on a car. It’s bloke time basically.
But how the hell do you pronounce it? Me and Pete decided it was pronounced Zoo-zah. Tony asked his daughter who is learning Japanese and she reported back that it is apparently pronounced “Zoo-ee-zah”, a bit like Louisa.
So, rightfully, Tony pronounces it like that. Me and Pete are sticking with “Zoo-zah”.
Logically, it’s now become the name of a planet; we refer to ourselves (and anyone foolish enough to pay us any attention) as Zuiizans. Go figure.