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Q: Why maakusan?

A:  A Japanese friend of mine suggested it in a moment of inspiration.
I was on holiday in 1998 in Australia.  I was having trouble staying in touch with family in England but knew that my dad had a work email address.  There was an Internet kiosk in the youth hostel and a nice Japanese friend showed me how to sign up for a free personal email account.  The kiosk wasn't that fast and downloading the signup pages for the email account was eating through my cash.  The clock was ticking down and I had 30 seconds to choose my online pseudonym username before the kiosk would log me out and I would have to start all over again. In the pressure of the moment my Japanese friend suggested maakusan and I liked it.  It has stuck with me ever since.

Q: What does maakusan mean?

A:  Maakusan means Mr maaku in Japanese.
Japanese has three sets of characters.  Katakana is used to phonetically spell out foreign words.  The closest thing to saying the sound Mark in Japanese is the syllables ma a ku.  You can see them written in katakana in the logo in the top left corner of the screen.  Maaku doesn't mean anything in English and it doesn't have a meaning in Japanese.  It's just the sound closest to Mark when said in Japanese.

Q: Why were you called Mark K?

A: I am my parents' second child.  My mum's second name begins with M and dad's begins with K, so I had to have a first name beginning with M and my middle name beginning with K.
My mum and dad didn't know what to call me when I was born. I was nameless for two weeks. I was horrible for those two nameless weeks, so they named me after the Roman God of War, Mars.

Q: What is the significance of the K in the middle of your name, why not just Mark Smitham?

A: I am the only Mark K Smitham in the world.
I have been aware of a few other Mark Smithams in the world.  We got in touch via the Internet and I found that none of us have a middle initial K besides me. 

Q: What does you name mean?

A: God of War, Celtic War Chief, Energy Spirit
Mark K Smitham

Q: So how do you translate that into japanese more accurately?

A:  Fire Star War Hero
Maaku doesn't have a true meaning

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