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Salmon chaos

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Salmon chaos
Two pieces of salmon sushi on a silver plate bearing the words "Sushiro".
Two pieces of salmon sushi served at Sushiro, the chain restaurant involved in the incident.
Traditional Chinese鮭魚之亂
Literal meaningSalmon chaos

In March 2021, a wave of Taiwanese people changed their legal names to include the Chinese word for salmon (鮭魚, guīyú) to take advantage of a promotion by the Japanese conveyor belt sushi chain Sushiro. The chain offered free sushi to guests whose names included the word. This phenomenon was dubbed the "salmon chaos" by English-language media.[1] The incident garnered significant criticism by public figures and the general population.


On May 20, 2015, the Name Act was amended to allow three legal name changes under six circumstances, including if:

The applicant's given name is unflattering or has an excessively long Romanized form, or there are other special considerations.

— Name Act (姓名條例), Article 9[2]

This condition, in practice, allowed any name a person wants. Three days after the act was amended, Huang Hong-cheng changed his name to the fifteen-character-long "黃宏成台灣阿成世界偉人財神總統", which Taiwan News translates as "Taiwan's World's Greatest Man, President, and God of Wealth".[3]


Between March 10 and March 21, 2021, Sushiro ran an advertising campaign revolving around salmon sushi. Sushiro advertised an upcoming promotion through their Facebook page: on March 17 and 18, people whose names are homophones with the word for salmon (Chinese: 鮭魚; pinyin: guīyú) could dine at discounted prices. Additionally, people whose names had the exact characters for salmon could eat for free with up to five other people.[4][5]

On March 16, a comedic news channel, owned by the Internet forum CK101, posted to Facebook a picture of three identification cards with the names "Liao Salmon", "Zhangjian Salmon", and "Liu Pinhan Handsome Salmon". The post became viral, leading to more people following suit and changing their names, intending to change them back after the promotion ended.[1][6][7][8] The record for longest name was repeatedly broken: it was first 36 characters,[9][a] then 40 characters,[10][b] then 50 characters.[11][c] In a widely publicized story, a Taichung university student used his third and final name change into "Zhang Salmon Dream" (張鮭魚之夢) and was horrified upon learning that it would be permanent.[12][13] Taichung's Civil Affairs Bureau indicated that he had only changed his name twice, and urged him to change it back.[14][15] The Liberty Times reported that by March 19, at least 332 people changed their name for the event.[16]


Government officials and politicians condemned the name changes. Some employees at Household Registration Offices, which processes the name changes, reportedly tried to persuade applicants against changing their names, with varying degrees of success.[17][18] Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen remarked, "this kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork."[1]

The public's reaction to the name changes were generally negative.[19][20] Multiple writers commented on a "split" in ethical values between older and younger generations.[21][22][23][24] Criticism was also targeted against food waste generated during the craze, after images of people only eating the fish and leaving behind the rice surfaced online.[25] After foreign news agencies reported on the story, multiple Taiwanese news outlets called the incident an "international embarrassment".[26][27]

Writer Nick Wang [zh] defended the name changes, saying that "there's nothing wrong with being greedy and saving money."[28][29]


  1. ^ 陳愛台灣國慶鮑鮪鮭魚松葉蟹海膽干貝龍蝦和牛肉美福華君品晶華希爾頓凱薩老爺, lit.'Chen Love Taiwan National Day Abalone Tuna Salmon Snow Crab Sea Urchin Scallop Lobster Wagyu' followed by the names of several hotels.
  2. ^ 李圭歸瑰規硅閨邽龜鮭魚於瑜餘娛虞盂妤漁愚愉于余蝓腴予輿渝嵎榆算了我想得好累隨便啦: the surname Lee, then eight characters pronounced guī, then twenty characters pronounced , with the last guī and first spelling the word for salmon, and finished with "whatever, I can't think of any more."
  3. ^ 陳**有震天龍砲變身*****於二零二一三月十四日與**穩定交往中愛妳愛一生一世此生想帶妳一起吃鮭魚 (personal information redacted), lit.'Chen [former name] has a Black Dragon Cannon and turned into [nickname] on March 14, 2021 is in a steady relationship with [girlfriend name] love you you are my only love for the rest of my life in this life I want to eat salmon with you'. Black Dragon Cannon is a weapon in Counter-Strike Online.


  1. ^ a b c "Taiwan official urges people to stop changing their name to 'salmon'". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse in Taipei. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Name Act". Laws & Regulations Database of The Republic of China. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Deaeth, Duncan (November 20, 2018). "Mayoral candidate in southern Taiwan recites Gettysburg Address in campaign speech". Taiwan News. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "壽司郎祭優惠!名字有「這2字」整桌免費 網友狂吐嘈:誰這樣取名啦" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Apple Daily. March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  5. ^ 張芳瑜 (March 16, 2021). "壽司郎「愛の迴鮭祭」3/21 前限期登場!3/17、3/18 姓名有「鮭、魚」最高可享壽司免費吃" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Up Media. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "壽司郎慘了!3男組團改名「鮭魚」吃大餐 網笑:走上不鮭路了" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). United Daily News. March 16, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Chen, Alicia (March 19, 2021). "Dozens of people in Taiwan changed their name to 'Salmon' to get free sushi. The government asked them to stop". Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  8. ^ Madjar, Kayleigh (March 18, 2021). "Dozens change name to 'salmon'". Taipei Times. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  9. ^ 洪采鈺 (March 17, 2021). "全台最長!他改名36字「鮑鮪鮭魚松葉蟹海膽…」" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). CTS. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  10. ^ 鄭維真 (March 18, 2021). "最長名字曝光!台南男已改一次名 為吃鮭魚再改名40字" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). United Daily News. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  11. ^ 辛啟松 (March 18, 2021). "【鮭魚之亂】台南男大生改名40字「想得好累」 2八年級生爽完踏不「鮭」路" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Apple Daily. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. ^ Everington, Keoni (March 19, 2021). "Taiwanese man horrified to learn new name 'Salmon Dream' is permanent". Taiwan News. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ 葉國吏 (March 19, 2021). "張鮭魚之夢哭了!本想1人收300賺一波 改完才知機會用完後悔落淚" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). ETToday. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  14. ^ 林毅 (March 20, 2021). "醫科男「張鮭魚之夢」改完名才知額度用光?戶政所打臉網怒:他只想紅" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Times. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  15. ^ "改了才知機會用完!「張鮭魚之夢」不後悔:兒子也要取同名" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). SET News. March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  16. ^ 簡惠茹 (March 19, 2021). "鮭魚之亂前 徐國勇曝全台名叫「鮭魚」人數" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Liberty Times. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  17. ^ 郭美瑜 (March 18, 2021). "【獨家/鮭魚之亂】台北萬華戶所這招有效! 3人打消改名念頭" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Apple Daily. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  18. ^ 戴玉翔 (March 19, 2021). "獨/鮭魚之亂!戶政主任無奈曝結果:太過輕率此風不可長" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). SET News. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  19. ^ 翁子桓 (March 18, 2021). "預言鮭魚之亂結局 律師 : 浪費社會資源卻無意義" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Yahoo! News. Newtalk. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "聯合報黑白集/於是,我們迎來鮭魚世代" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). United Daily News. March 20, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021. 這場鮭魚風暴看似有趣,卻也暴露了台灣文化淺薄的一面
  21. ^ 莊雅婷 (March 18, 2021). "年輕人瘋鮭魚之亂 黃暐瀚點出一關鍵現象" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Times. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  22. ^ 王子瑄 (March 21, 2021). "「鮭魚世代」將是下屆首投族 教育學者曝國民黨恐怖危機" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Times. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  23. ^ "【鮭魚之亂】全台瘋改名! 年輕人怎麼了?她嘆:台灣教育深深出了問題" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Apple Daily. March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  24. ^ 邱天助 (March 23, 2021). "「鮭魚之亂 」的隱憂 反啟蒙世代 娛樂至死". United Daily News (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  25. ^ 朱培妤 (March 18, 2021). "鮭魚爽吃壽司!貼空盤照炫耀剩「醋飯山」全場氣炸:丟臉" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). CTS News. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  26. ^ "【鮭魚之亂】丟臉丟到全世界 外媒報導台灣人為壽司去改名" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Apple Daily. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  27. ^ 林俐 (March 19, 2021). "丟臉丟到全世界?外媒爭相報導鮭魚之亂:改名的人在「吃自己」" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Central News Agency. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  28. ^ 蘇士亨 (March 21, 2021). "全台逾300人為吃免費大餐掀鮭魚之亂 苦苓:貪小便宜有什麼不對?" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). China Times. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  29. ^ "鮭魚之亂逾300人改名遭酸 苦苓:貪小便宜有什麼不對?" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). United Daily News. March 21, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2021.

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