Gaijin Smash

Japanese People Still Say The Darndest Things

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on January 27, 2006

In a class with Ms. Americanized 2, we play a detective game. We give the students a topic, they pick something from within that topic, and the other students are supposed to guess what they picked based on clues that we give out in English. It’s not a game you can play with every class (it wouldn’t go over so well with the quieter classes), but this class happens to be one of the most hyperactive in all of Japan, so we can get away with it. They’re also one of the most entertaining classes.
This time around, the topic was “Christmas Presents – something you gave”.
Sometimes, the teacher and I enter the game ourselves. Ms. Americanized 2 entered, and as for her present, it was something she gave to herself because she wanted it. So the students took a stab at figuring out what it was…
Boy: You want a boyfriend!
Ms. Americanized 2: Well, yes, that’s true, but …
Boy: Ok, it’s (Azrael)-sensei!
Girl: Oh, no, that won’t work. He’s got a girlfriend now.
Boy: It’s okay. They can form a love triangle.
Girl: A love triangle?
Boy: Yeah. Teacher can become his #2.
Girl: That’s terrible. Teacher doesn’t want to be a #2!
Boy: Yeah, but she’s not getting any younger. She’s gonna have to learn to take what she can get.
Ouch.
For the record, her Christmas gift was a vacation to herself.
*****
In another group, a boy had given a present to himself, worth 10,000 yen (roughly about $100).
Boy 1: (guessing the answer) Oh, I know! Dietary supplements!
Boy 2: (the recipient of the present) Dietary supplements don’t cost 10,000 yen!
Boy 1: The really good ones can be expensive.
Boy 2: Either way, that’s a wrong answer. Even if I had 10,000 yen I wouldn’t spend it on dietary supplements.
Boy 1: You should be spending it on dietary supplements.
Ouch. Goddayum ouch.


On the very same question…
Another Boy: I know! A girlfriend!
Here, pretty much ALL of the girls react very badly to this. “You can’t buy a girlfriend for 10,000 yen!” they all cry out. And this is true in Japan at least, if you want to buy love you’re going to have to shell out at least enough for a Louis Vuitton or Gucchi bag, and those things don’t come cheap.
The accused is now facing a class of angry girls, and must explain his reasoning. “Well, there are some places where you can buy a girl for that much, or less even.” Wow. You’re not helping your own case here, kid. “How would you know that!” One girl demands. “Well … I have an older brother.” He simply says. Amazingly, this seems to be explanation enough. Perhaps his older brother is some kind of Super Perv I’m not aware of. Either way, I need to ask this kid where I can find a girl for under 10,000 yen. Share the wealth.
*****
I was finishing up a class with Ms. Forehead at the Ghetto School. As the students cleared out, a sannensei girl entered the room to talk to Ms. Forehead. This is what they said, word for word in Japanese, translated into English, except the part in the brackets [ ] is exactly how the student said it, in English, no translation at all.
Girl: Hey, didn’t you hear the ruckus?
Ms. Forehead: What ruckus?
Girl: (One of the bastard sannensei boys) was singing in class the whole time!
Ms. F: Really? I didn’t hear.
Girl: I’m surprised. He was pretty loud. He just kept singing and singing, and (Ms. Americanized) said “[Shut up! Shit!]”, but he kept it up the whole class period.
Ms. F: Hmm?
Do you see how naturally it just comes out, even when I’m not there? And she’s spreading it to the students too! That’s just awesome. Excuse me, I’m getting all emotional here *chokes back a tear*
*****
Since my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, I decided to have a get-together with some friends. I also invited some of my co-workers as well but Ms. Americanized 2 was the only one able to make it. She gave me a canister of Popeye potato chips – I can only assume this is for added strength in my fight against Watson. That week I was at her school, the one time I ran into him, after him coming after my dick as he usually does, this time he dropped to the floor and wrapped himself around my leg. I was trying to get to the bus stop on time, but it’s fairly hard to move when you have a 50 kg 15 year old boy wrapped around one of your legs. I literally kick-dragged him through half of the hall, appealing to all the students around me to stop milling about and actually help. None of the ichinensei or ninensei could be of any help, as they couldn’t openly go against one of their seniors even if he was wrapped around a teacher’s leg. The sannensei just sighed, filed it into “Another Day With Watson” or something, and went back to talking about Orange Range. Clearly, the Popeye Potato Chips are meant to give me that extra burst of strength in times like those, so I can “fight to da finnish!”
Though she wasn’t able to make it, Ms. Americanized (the original) sent me a happy birthday email. Faithfully reproduced.
“Im so sorry that I couldnt be a part of ur memorable night. drink well, sleep well and have a wonderful love-making (-_~)! C U next week!”
Shit, don’t have to tell me twice.
And, before you even open up your “compose mail” link, don’t. She’s dating. …Not me.
*****
There’s another JET in my town, a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations). As a part of his job, he occasionally holds an English conversation class for adults living in our town. As he doesn’t have much teaching experience, he asked me if I could lend a hand. I go when I can, if for no other reason than it’s nice to work with a group who actually wants to learn English. Not to say middle schoolers aren’t fun, but they still are a captive audience.
Since they’re adults, their level is English is usually higher but they’re more reserved and won’t say some of the off-the-wall shit that my kids do (“Do you play sex? How many times?”). Well, this is true 98% of the time, but it’s always that last 2% that gets ya, isn’t it? That certainly held true for me, as one 35-year-old woman asked me the most astonishing question I’ve ever been hit with, and quite possibly, the greatest question to exist in the universe.
I’ll preface it by explaining that she was already a bit weird. She was unmarried and single, and in Japan that’s kind of a bad situation to be in at her age. She spent much of the class time trying to talk to me when the CIR wasn’t paying attention, and always hung around after class to get a few extra words in with me. Everyone in the class figured she had a thing for me. I didn’t particularly care. Not that I don’t like older women (I actually like them very much. Hey Mrs. Robinson!), but I knew this one was bad news. At any rate, to everyone’s shock, at the last class meeting she spent all of her time asking me if I thought the CIR liked her and if he’d date an older woman.
Anyway, The Question. After one of her usual times of hanging around after class to talk to me, I found out that she’d spent some time visiting friends in America who went to the same university that I did. We were talking about the university, and I was saying how it was such a nice and quiet town, good place to live. She agreed, but then said “Oh, but I’ve heard recently that there’s been an increase in crime, you know? A lot of college girls getting raped too, I heard that’s increasing.” I told her I hadn’t heard about that, but it was too bad.
And now, Question of the Century. As usual, swear to Goodness, this actually happened.
She then asked me, “And, how about you?” Huh? Don’t quite understand. She clarifies. “How many women have you raped?”
That’s … I … you … in the … and the … hoobagastric … The English language has almost 200,000 words, and I can’t think of a single one to use here. I can’t even invent a new one. I’d have to create a whole new language, and use the sum of that entire language in order to properly express the gamut of thoughts and emotions that ran through my head after getting hit with this.
This question is so wrong on so many levels, it just … it just wins. I wouldn’t even know where to start with this one. And even if I did, we’d be here for hours, quite possibly days. So I’m just not gonna start – I’m gonna file this one in the “Japan’s Weird, Did You Know That?” File (thanks Ms. Americanized!) and cry myself softly to sleep, again.
Despite having been desensitized to Japan Weirdness for 2 and a half years, this question just still blows my mind.

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35 Responses

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  1. DarthCthulhu said, on December 20, 2006 at 12:44 am

    So… how did you answer the Ultimate Question?
    A question this Ultimate deserves an equally awesome answer. I would’ve suggested:
    “All of them.”

  2. Lightbulby said, on December 20, 2006 at 3:11 am

    And now I have to wonder…How the hell did you answer?
    “Oh, only three. I fell behind and never managed to catch up.”

  3. Barry said, on December 20, 2006 at 3:34 am

    There may not be an English word to use in response to that question, but fortunately, there’s a Japanese one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_%28negative%29

  4. biobrew said, on December 20, 2006 at 4:31 am

    Well, how many?

  5. Tyra said, on December 20, 2006 at 10:45 am

    It’s true, I don’t think anything would or could ever top being asked how many people you have raped. what did she think ‘oh this man is big and black and went to that uni, I’m sure he had his hands full with raping girls while he was there….hm..I wonder how many HEY! why not just out right ask him!’
    what happened to the directness of the Japanese?
    I would’ve paid to see the look on your face when she asked you that question. Your face must’ve been contorting running through the different emotions that you were feeling trying to come up with the best face.
    or maybe it was just blank in a ‘I’m sorry I think I just blanked out there for a moment and starting dreaming that you just asked me how many people I’ve raped!….come again? say what?’
    lol, only you, only you.

  6. Anonymous said, on December 20, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Ohboy. so uhhhh Az, i think you should just tell her if she doesn’t ask you stupi question you’re gonna rape her friends
    HAHA.
    no ._.
    Yeah, people there in Japan are slightly more (udnerstatment) perverse than NA, so if they asked something like that its not too suprising, rape happens everywhere at high rate in japan, they just hide the stats or the people don’t report it.

  7. Anonymous said, on December 20, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Ohboy. so uhhhh Az, i think you should just tell her if she doesn’t ask you stupi question you’re gonna rape her friends
    HAHA.
    no ._.
    Yeah, people there in Japan are slightly more (udnerstatment) perverse than NA, so if they asked something like that its not too suprising, rape happens everywhere at high rate in japan, they just hide the stats or the people don’t report it.

  8. randomdude said, on December 20, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    I would be seriously tempted to mess with her head. If someone asks a question that outrageous they deserve to be messed with.
    I would have closed my eyes, muttered a “lets see…” and the pretended to count for a few seconds. I would then come out with some random number (Say 17), looked at her in the eyes and say “Seventeen”. Of course, you should only try this if you have a good poker face.
    If she still didn’t get it I would be seriously tempted to keep up the BS, just to see how long it takes her to catch up…

  9. Dorfl said, on December 20, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    As Barry has pointed out, perhaps unintentionally, this could be a joke. In fact, it’s the only thing worth saying in that conversation, as far as I can see.

  10. anton said, on December 20, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Went to Kyoto a few days ago and saw a big black guy who seemed to read kanji well. It was at the temple on the side of the mountain, with the view. He also had a pair of baggy jeans so I couldnt help thinking about it. Was it you?

  11. Mr. Bomberman said, on December 20, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    If I was you..
    “How many women have you raped?”
    Yeah… I think I did about 22, 24….
    (Ren from Ren & Stimpy type voice)
    AND YOU ARE A FUCKING EEEDIOT?!

  12. Anonymous said, on December 20, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    “four lecturers, three seniors, seven undergrads and the football mascot…I was drunk and it was a very big party year.
    Good times… Good times…”

  13. Anonymous said, on December 20, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    “four lecturers, three seniors, seven undergrads and the football mascot…I was drunk and it was a very big party year.
    Good times… Good times…”

  14. Lost in Japan said, on December 20, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    “I am not sure. And you?”

  15. BrianfromNazareth said, on December 21, 2006 at 1:09 am

    If Azrael answered that question with 42, the universe as we know it would end, to be replaced with something even more complicated and ununderstandable. Think Japan on universe scale πŸ™‚

  16. Bully said, on December 21, 2006 at 1:18 am

    “Oh, yeah, all of them. You know, I have a little thing at home, it tells me when women become adults. Then I spring naked out of the cake.”
    I pity you, and at the same time, think you’re the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

  17. Mad_Fox said, on December 21, 2006 at 10:36 am

    So, what did that woman want then?
    all those questions and hanging back after class…
    was it cause she liked you? or the CIR? or was it merely to ask you that question? O_o

  18. Excel-2007 said, on December 21, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    Actually, according to the Global Language Monitor, there are approximately 988,000 words in the English language.

  19. Gabe said, on December 22, 2006 at 12:53 am

    She may be single, but that does not mean she is kid-less. Would it surprise you if you found out that her kid was in your class? Maybe it is Watson…. ?! Is it Watson in drag?! Az!! Run for your life!!

  20. Anonymous said, on December 23, 2006 at 1:50 am

    Maybe she mixed up the words in English? Or it just didn’t click that the words for ‘rape’ and ‘have sex with’ aren’t the same? Or….
    …hell. I can’t think of a possible good reason for that. Not with that lead in. You live a strange, strange life.

  21. Anonymous said, on December 23, 2006 at 1:50 am

    Maybe she mixed up the words in English? Or it just didn’t click that the words for ‘rape’ and ‘have sex with’ aren’t the same? Or….
    …hell. I can’t think of a possible good reason for that. Not with that lead in. You live a strange, strange life.

  22. adfv said, on December 25, 2006 at 3:37 am

    So what were they saying about orange range?

  23. Mr Gohs said, on January 11, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Hahaha, yesterday my manager was telling me a story (I work at a sushi bar where most people are recent japanese immigrants) and my manager was translating a story he was telling another one of the kitchen workers for my benefit. It got to a part where he saw two people in a car and then made what I can only describe as looking like he was putting the top bun on a hamburger and said “They were playing sex”… immediately I thought of this blog and near busted a gut.
    Sorry, just wanted to let you know haha. Keep up the good work, man. These articles are wicked

  24. Rebecca said, on January 12, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Maybe this was her round about way of asking you to rape Her! *grinz*

  25. Olga said, on April 11, 2007 at 6:17 am

    Well consider the question was something like “Is the CIR good at sex?” or “Will you ask the CIR to rape me”. Comfort yourself with the thought that just *maybe* there could have been a worse question. πŸ˜›
    It is a bit shocking, though.

  26. Anonymous said, on April 11, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Well consider the question was something like “Is the CIR good at sex?” or “Will you ask the CIR to rape me”. Comfort yourself with the thought that just *maybe* there could have been a worse question. πŸ˜›
    It is a bit shocking, though.

  27. Anonymous said, on April 11, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Well consider the question was something like “Is the CIR good at sex?” or “Will you ask the CIR to rape me”. Comfort yourself with the thought that just *maybe* there could have been a worse question. πŸ˜›
    It is a bit shocking, though.

  28. Olga said, on April 11, 2007 at 6:41 am

    Well at least we’ re back at laughing in the office. (If you look back I’ve commented on both Moeko’s Owl and Moeko’s Principle about making me have to hide my tears from my colleagues -now we’re back to wondering when they will punch my face for laughing out loud while they are talking on the phone :P)

  29. Ethan H. said, on February 24, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Koo koo k’choo.

  30. Koi said, on April 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hi. I stumbled upon this sight randomly..
    Japan is a very interesting place. With my powers of deduction i noticed a few key things i thought to point out that are relevant to this topic. Rape, nostalgia, perversion, drama, extensive grammar, obsessive behavior, sophistication, self-absorbing derranged behavior, getting off on it and pre-mature ejaculation behind the scenes.. all in all japan is a thing of beauty i remain obsessed with lol oh yea.. they are really cheap here.. i once got felacio for a phone call lol i have done some great asian girls in my day..
    ❀ Japan

  31. Schiffy said, on September 5, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Perhaps it was wishful thinking on her part?

  32. Laharl said, on September 15, 2008 at 2:03 am

    I would have told her “well ive thought about it but really what ive waited for is the right time you know? Like being alone in a classroom..”

  33. Anonymous said, on December 3, 2008 at 5:44 am

    My answer to that question would most certainly be this:
    OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAND!
    Unfortunately, no-one in Japan except Gaijin would get that, seeing as it’s not 9000 in the original version.
    Nonetheless, I just could not resist. It has the added benefit of being so over the top in that situation that surely she would have to realise you were joking…right?

  34. Anonymous said, on December 3, 2008 at 5:44 am

    My answer to that question would most certainly be this:
    OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAND!
    Unfortunately, no-one in Japan except Gaijin would get that, seeing as it’s not 9000 in the original version.
    Nonetheless, I just could not resist. It has the added benefit of being so over the top in that situation that surely she would have to realise you were joking…right?

  35. Rovetious said, on August 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I believe saying 108,000 would have the same effect.
    Which is oddly appropriate, given that dragon ball was very loosely based off the monkey king


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