(Jason Emde photo)

(Jason Emde photo)

Japanese hair salon takes Vernon B.C.’s namesake

Former resident’s brother-in-law, who lives in Gifu, Japan, named the salon after his hometown

Vernon B.C. isn’t the only place in the world where one can find a business branded after its namesake.

On top of Vernon Shoes, the Vernon Towne Cinema and the many other local hot spots, there’s also the Vernon hair salon in Gifu, Japan.

That’s according to Jason Emde, whose brother-in-law lives in Gifu and recently decided to name his salon after Emde’s hometown.

“If you come to Gifu in central Japan, you can get your hair cut at Vernon,” he said.

On Saturday Emde told the Morning Star the salon has been in his wife’s family since the 1950s.

“When it first opened it was called Suzu, which means bell,” he said by instant message, unable to connect by phone from across the Pacific.

“It was also a short version of my wife’s grandmother’s maiden name, which was Suzuki.”

The salon would go on to trade this sweet homage for something with a bit more ‘excitement’; when the salon passed into the hands of his wife’s parents, they renamed it ‘Whoop-doo-doo.’

“Which my father-in-law thought meant ‘like a festival.’”

Emde said his wife was a hairstylist at Whoop-doo-doo while her younger brother went to the big city to learn the “smooth Tokyo techniques.”

He and his brother-in-law both live in Gifu now; Emde has for the last 23 years.

When he’d returned to Gifu from Tokyo as a polished hairstylist, his brother-in-law wanted to re-brand the salon.

Emde helped.

“I remember sending him all kinds of suggestions for the new name —‘Call it Purple Rain! Call it Strawberry Fields! Call it Jason!’—but in the end, and for mysterious reasons of his own, he decided to call it Vernon,” Emde said, adding it hadn’t been one of his suggestions.

“He’s never been to Vernon, but he thought it sounded cool.”

When asked how Vernon (the city) compares to Gifu, Emde said the main difference is the latter is “a bit” bigger, with around half a million people.

“But it’s considered to be a bit of a backwater.”

The story might sound similar to Pentictonites. Earlier this month the Western News reported of a Tokyo restaurant named after Penticton.

As for Emde, while he loves Gifu for the Nagara River that runs through town, and the Castle of Mount. Kinka positioned in the middle of the city, he still has much love for Vernon after 23 years.

“All my best to Vernon the city, which I miss a lot.”

READ MORE: Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

WATCH: Window-shopping Easter egg hunt on in Vernon next week


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Hairtravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Town of Oliver’s Town Offices, which the town wants to get designated a heritage site. (Black Press)
Oliver council to weigh nixing alerts for water leaks

Staff say the policy has served its purpose in fixing the majority of leaks

(Stock photo)
Snow levels above normal in Okanagan

Spring temperatures, rainfall will affect risk of flooding

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Penticton Christian School. (Facebook)
COVID-19 exposure at South Okanagan independent school

The exposures are the latest in a quickly growing list in the Interior

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read