Final kanji cartoon post: foreigners

First, the answer to the question at the end of the last post: it's supposed to be 今 and 古, or "new/modern" and "old". Notice that the distinctively Japanese headgear is 古, old. This is a common theme in the 今/古 pictures:

(The hairstyles at the top are entirely intra-Japan; I just like the illustration, and the reminder that at one time one of these two unspeakably old-fashioned hairdos was considered "modern".)

Word fact: the modern replacement for the fundoshi (traditional Japanese jock strap) is a sarumata, or "monkey-crotch", western-style long underwear.

Here's a set of illustrations based on the characters 洋 (ocean → overseas) and 和 (Japanese):

The pair at the bottom left is "mythology"; the West gets the apple-serpent double whammy, while Japan gets a bird which I presume is supposed to be Yatagarasu, a name that means "eight-handspan bird" and was applied quite carelessly in Japanese mythology, so that we can't be sure that Japan's version of the pan-Asian sun bird was considered exactly the same bird as the one that led Emperor Jimmu to the promised land, etc.

Here's an example of using Western orthography to tackle Western themes:

Yeah, OK, we'll let that one go.

And finally: outlanders go like this, while locals go like this.

Popularity factor: 3


Among the most memorable Japanese words I learned in 1974 in Yap, Micronesia, were sarumata, chichibando, and katsudou [daishashin], all still in use there. When Micronesia was under Japanese rule, people borrowed a lot of words for clothing, glass and metal containers, air travel, and baseball.


That is interesting. Do they still wear the same kind of sarumata, or does the term just mean "underpants" now?

And the baseball terms... if this was during the period of Japanese rule, it was up to the end of WWII, meaning that they were... the Japanese terms? Or were they the English terms, via Japanese? (I may be remembering this wrong, but I have the impression that Japan originally used English loan words for baseball terms, then switched to native words (calques) during the 30s and 40s for nationalist reasons, then went back to the English words during the occupation.)


In Yap, sarumata just means underpants now, I believe. Traditional Yapese men's wear is more like fundoshi, and the women traditionally went topless (and still do around home or in traditional dances). So sarumata and chichibando were the latest in fashion during the 1920s and 30s.

I understand that in Pohnpei there are a lot of baseball synonyms from different eras: Taisho Anglo-J., Showa calque-J., and postwar English. I'm not sure of actual examples, but probably like hitto ~ anda ~ hit, or sekando ~ nirui ~ sehkan.

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