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はにゅう ゆずる or ゆづる?

Since he won the Olympic gold medal for men's figure skating last week, Yuzuru Hanyu's name has been a hot topic in the Japanese media. I wanted to see some of his interviews on Japanese news shows, so I searched his name on Youtube. I then realized that I made a mistake because his name didn't show up as I typed. I am often asked by students what the difference between ず and づ or じ and ぢ is. I usually explain that they sound exactly the same, but they used to have a different pronunciation a looong time ago. We mostly use ず and じ, so you don't have to worry about づ and ぢ much. However this time, it was a good example that I SHOULD be careful. I typed his name as stated in the US media, Yuzuru, then hit the space key to show his name in Kanji. None of the Kanji options were his name. ゆずる in hiragana was no mistake; I was confused. After a moment, I realized that I should've typed Yuduru instead to make it ゆづる. His name in Kanji is 結弦. The second letter means 'strings' and it is read as つる. Therefore, his name should be written as ゆづる in hiragana. Making mistakes with ず and づ or じ and ぢ is a common thing even for a Japanese like me. Don't be afraid to make mistakes!

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