The four subjects of writing on Japan

Idea from Language Log. (I like the original poetry one the best.) I do this all the time, I know. What can I say? It's a weekend.

  1. Japanese people sure do bow and smile a lot, and their language is quite different from English. What are they hiding?
  2. Check out this mysterious cartoony sex toy I found! (Page translated by BabelFish.)
  3. My Japanese lover and I have come to stay at an onsen by a quiet, picturesque lake, but s/he has a face like a porcelain mask that prevents me from reading their emotions.
  4. Geisha were totally not prostitutes. Not.

Popularity factor: 7


When writing on topic number one, it is mandatory to include the sentence "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down."


Oh, hell yes!

I can't believe I forgot this one:

5. So, World War II, eh? ... Hoo boy, this is awkward.

Mark S:

I'm tempted to modify number 1 based on what I've read on Japan from post-WW2 Chinese sources, but this is a non-nasty blog, so I refrain. ;).


You are a kind man, Mark. We're only mean to Cleo Odzer around here.

H Y A K U N I N C H O:

What is being hidden is only what we do not "hear".

The actors in Noh plays take their masks off when not on stage.


You do know that I'm mocking "writing on Japan" along these lines, right, Hyakuninchou?

H Y A K U N I N C H O:

Absolutely, Matt.

The whole "Zen" mystique thing gets constantly thrown at Japan, inscrutability, blah blah blah. Mind you, whenever the term "my Japanese lover" is used by male speakers, you know they don't mean their girlfriend.Such a loaded and closeted term.

Comment season is closed.