Gaijin Smash

Japanese Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part 3

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on January 25, 2005

I was asked to give a talk to a class of sannensei about my winter vacation. They were supposed to listen, and afterwards we’d give them a fun quiz to test their listening comprehension. I talked about traveling. I said I liked to travel, especially on the trains. I am stared at a lot by old grandmothers, and sometimes they talk about me, too.
After my talk, we gave the quiz…I asked “What do I often like to do?” One boy raised his hand and in earnest, answered, “Grandmothers.”
I think we really need to work on their listening comprehension more.


***
At the ghetto school, I was walking around outside after classes, visiting the various sports clubs. As I approached the girls’ basketball club, one ichinensei girl (the “breasts” girl, by the way) greeted me with, “Yo Nigga!”
I hate MTV.
She then asked me what it meant. Sigh. I told her it was kind of a greeting, but that it was really bad so never use it. She didn’t quite get it, so I gathered her and her friends around for storytime. I tried my best in simple Japanese to explain American history and slavery and the origins of that word.
They seemed to listen the best they could, and when I finished, Breasts Girl showed her appreciation by giving me a heartfelt, “Thanks, Nigga!”
I really hate MTV.
***
The same girls from the ghetto school’s basketball club, different day.
I was talking to them about something, but as usual, the conversation wrapped back around to love and romance. To say the kids at this age are very interested in this kind of thing is a gross understatement. The girls ask me when my first kiss was. Well, that’s innocent enough, right? So I tell them. Theoretically, it should stop here, and after being here as long as I have, I don’t why I expected it actually would.
They then asked me when my first fuck was.
I gave my usual “That is not appropriate for Jr. High schoolers” answer (I have to give this answer a lot). One girl turned to the rest and said, “He doesn’t want to answer, so obviously he’s had sex.” She turns back to me, “So, did it feel good?”
I complained in Japanese and let them know I definitely wasn’t going to answer anything like that. They eventually gave up and asked me if I drank alcohol. I admitted yes, but told them that they should wait until they are old enough if they decide they want to drink. There, I’m not a bad teacher. No, good teacher. They then asked me what kind of beer I liked. Well, that’s not too bad, right? So I gave them an honest answer. This, however, sparked a debate about which beers and alcohols tasted best. And they knew way more than they should have about this. One girl said, “I like Asahi better than Kirin, it’s drier so you can better appreciate the taste.”
This girl is 12 years old.
I decided I didn’t want to know.
***
At one of my schools, there’s this ichinensei girl who is, without question, The Sweetest Girl in the Universe. She’s very cute, very polite, always smiling, and is really bubbly. Everyone kind of dotes on her, but you would too, she’s so freaking sweet.
She and some other girls were doing a special English drill. In this particular workbook, there was, in my opinion, a rather odd exercise. The other girls would say, “So and so, you’re a good soccer player!” and the girl addressed would then say, “No, I’m not. I’m a bad soccer player. I’m a very bad soccer player.” I can only guess that this has something to do with the Japanese cultural tendency to deny compliments rather than accept them.
So the girls were doing this exercise, and I read ahead to see what Ultimate Sweetness would be responding to. I almost fell over in my chair when I saw it. It was completely innocent, sure, but I knew exactly how my young male mind would hear it. I panicked – I had to stop this from happening, but I couldn’t think of what to do. In my hesitation, the exercise proceeded, and the moment I feared came to be.
Other Girls: “You’re a good girl!”
The Cutest, Sweetest Girl in the Universe: “No, I’m not! I’m a bad girl. I’m a very bad girl.”
I’m going to hell.
***
One day the ichinensei were making skits to perform in English. I was walking around, checking the scripts, when one girl’s script completely threw me off. She’d written, “Hi! I’m [her name], the new English teacher. I like pain.”
I stopped and asked her about this sentence. She explained that she didn’t quite know how to spell “painting.” Oh! Painting. Heh heh heh. Yes, that certainly makes sense. Painting is good.
She asked me what I thought she’d meant. I’m never telling.
***
I was walking home one day, and I turned a corner to see a few of the bastard ninensei boys from the ghetto school, including the worst boy. They had sticks and it looks like they were beating random insects to death in the shrubbery near the park. I considered taking a different route home, but if I did, I’d basically be giving in to a group of 14-year old punk Japanese kids, so I forged straight ahead.
They noticed me, and actually addressed me by my real name this time (as opposed to Bob Sapp, Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, or whatever other black person they happened to be thinking of at the time). So I acknowledged them. They came over, and said, “You have a girlfriend, right?” At the time I did, so I said yes.
The worst boy then put his hand on my shoulder, and said very seriously, “Now, you can’t just fuck her. You have to romance her too. Buy her flowers, take her out to dinner, that kind of nonsense. Girls like that crap. Fucking is nice, but if that’s all you do, she’ll get bored and leave you.” He said all of this in Japanese, with the exception of the word “fuck.”
With an extra pat on my shoulder for good measure, he went back to the bug brutalization. I was left standing in the middle of the sidewalk absolutely stunned. It took me a good minute to regain my wits until I was finally able to walk again. As I retreated, the boy called out behind me, “Remember! Don’t just fuck her!”
Maybe I should call him Rico Suave.

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23 Responses

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  1. Anunnaki said, on June 16, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    Give us new stories.

  2. Darighaz said, on June 17, 2006 at 12:42 am

    No matter where you’re at Az, you frigging rule. Dont sweat the assholes that post junk πŸ™‚

  3. Katherine said, on June 17, 2006 at 1:32 am

    Love this site! I never saw the old one so I dont know how it compares, but its great to read your stories, especially since I plan to go teach in Japan after my degree.

  4. StarkRG said, on June 17, 2006 at 3:28 am

    Oh, man, that’s bad. The worst I had was some 8 or 9 year old class keep calling me “chin-chin” because they had a hard time saying “teacher”. When I finally mentioned it they all laughed so hard some of them fell out of their chairs, from then on they did it just to spite me, I think…

  5. dizzle said, on June 17, 2006 at 3:29 am

    This story is awesome. I can’t wait til i go to Japan this summer.

  6. Bev said, on June 17, 2006 at 11:39 am

    loved this story πŸ˜› esp the Ultimate Sweetness bit πŸ˜›
    had one kid i was coaching (both of us being chinses/asian) walk up to me and on my first day said “whaaaasup my asian browda!!”……

  7. BlueMage said, on June 17, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    Don’t worry, I think we’re all going to Hell for just reading that line

  8. Ben said, on June 18, 2006 at 12:34 am

    Fucking hilarious. I love your stories, dude.

  9. Peanut said, on June 18, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new stories go up. I’ve been waiting forever but I’m sure you’re busy getting your “chin-chin” grabbed over there. Haha quoting previous comments in context ftw

  10. Ihmhi said, on June 18, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    See, now THAT would be an awesome t-shirt. “Remember! Don’t Just Fuck Her!”

  11. ryan said, on June 19, 2006 at 3:13 am

    I live in Japan too, and these “j-thugs” really piss me off. I hear them trying to talk “black” and calling each other “nigga.” It’s hilarious yet sad that the same time.

  12. Matt and Tom said, on June 19, 2006 at 6:44 am

    Hi Az,
    Currently in potato land (Hokkaido) and a lil bit grumpy. Wats with the atm’s in this country closing at 5pm and thus not allowing you to get money out…. and spend your scholarship money on alcohol!! NOT HAPPY!! And another thing… we’re are all the bins?? heh heh??
    PS. Booyah GAIJIN SMASH for all us Australians who won the soccer last week….!

  13. Azrael said, on June 19, 2006 at 11:37 am

    To those still complaining about new content:
    I’ve spent the past four weeks sick, sick, on vacation, and sick, in that order. I’ve got to spend the next few weeks not only doing all the stuff one has to do before they leave a job, but look for a new job as well. And I’ve got to move to a new apartment in the coming month.
    Site move or no move, I don’t think you would have been seeing new stories for awhile now.
    Because of the move and the re-posting of new articles, I’m going to be inserting new, never before seen material as the archives go up. I would have liked to have started it earlier this month but the sickness slowed that down. …Had I not moved, this is something that I would not have been able to do.
    So, to bottom line it, new site = new material. Old site = no new material.
    Still unhappy?

  14. me said, on June 19, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you Azrael.

  15. Scar3crow said, on June 19, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    You tell em Az!
    All these people need to shut their whinging and just be happy there’s something amusing to read at all. Hell, the new site has given me a good excuse to read through everything again, and it’s still just as good as ever.
    Keep up the good work man.

  16. Fox said, on June 21, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    12 years old and tipping em back. She’s gonna be a smart one as she gets older.
    The Sweetess girl in the universe, squeeze her plenty before she grows out of that. If you can do that there.
    As for the teacher who like pain…just tell her,” An’t nothing wrong with that.” πŸ™‚
    And the bastard boys….you got an earfull for just not walking another route. πŸ™‚

  17. Atvaark said, on June 24, 2006 at 9:14 am

    To be honest, i love all your stories (my english ain’t that good, i’m originaly french) the move to this new site doesn’t bother me, aside from one thing, even if your old posts are getting reposted here (does that make sense?, i’m sorry!) i wished they would at least have been posted in the correct order you originally posted on the previous site, because it,s giving spoilers to some stories that haven,t been told yet.
    Aside from that, i hope you can manage to solve all these problems you just mentionned, because even if you manage to turn your misfortune into extremely good stories that can make us laugh at your keen sense of irony (i’m actually quite amazed at your talent as a writer, i guess it’s no wonder you’ve been aproved as an english teacher) your situation must surely depress you at times…so keep your head up,and stay strong!

  18. SH said, on July 23, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    “What do I often like to do?” One boy raised his hand and in earnest, answered, “Grandmothers.”
    This could be a sitcom.

  19. Romanticide said, on August 6, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    don’t worry ass you are not going to hell for posting the “Sweetest Girl in the Universe case”… we are going to hell from laughing at it…
    I need to reread the rest of the archives, I never get tired of them!!! =)

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  21. Sunshard said, on September 16, 2006 at 11:54 am

    This is truly a classic quote repository. Grandmothers, pain and bad girls…
    You might almost believe the most contrived ‘misunderstandings’ that occur in Japanese anime are possible….if repeatedly translated into english and back to japanese.

  22. J-hoosier said, on September 19, 2006 at 7:48 am

    That sounds exactly like every day at my school.
    I need to start posting them more often.

  23. SweetPsyche said, on September 26, 2006 at 9:16 am

    Dude, I am teaching in Kyushu. JH, elementary and kindergarten. I don’t know how I came across your site, but it’s interesting to read your stories and realise that guys get asked some weird ass questions too.
    I have to say in all badness, I used aikido to put on kancho attempting jh kid on the floor.
    Oh the life of a gaijin teacher in Japan


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