Japan salon takes its name from Okanagan city | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Japan salon takes its name from Okanagan city

This hair salon is named after Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jason Emde
April 03, 2021 - 6:00 PM

A hair salon located in the Japanese city of Gifu is attracting some attention with its Okanagan name.

Former Vernon resident Jason Emde recently posted a picture of the Vernon hair salon in a popular Facebook group, the Vernon and Area Community Forum. The salon owned by his brother-in-law Dai Nakahara and where Emde's wife Maho Emde works as a hairdresser.

The post was met with overwhelmingly positive reception and gathered nearly 400 reactions.

The salon has been around since the late 1950s, called Suzi, after Maho’s grandmother's maiden name Suzuki. In the 80s, Maho’s parents took over and renamed it Whooped-De-Doo.

READ MORE: Penticton woman finds a taste of home in rural Japan

Then Nakahara, who was working as a hairdresser in Tokyo at the time, decided he wanted to come back to Gifu and upgrade and rebrand it.

Nakahara decided to rename it, Vernon.

“I was really pleased,” Emde said. “He had never been to Vernon but I guess he thought it sounded cool.”

Maybe he just liked the shape of the name, although it’s not easy for Japanese people to pronounce, “but nobody seems to mind,” Emde said.

For Vernon's business card, Nakahara uses a photo of Kalamalka Lake, Emde said. “It was a very '70s-type picture,” he said.

There are other businesses in Japan that have Okanagan names, like a restaurant an hour outside Tokyo named Penticton, though Emde wasn't familiar with that.

For tourists, if you get the chance, "come to Vernon and get a super-duper haircut," Emde said.

The Vernon hair salon in Japan.
The Vernon hair salon in Japan.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jason Emde

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