Thinking Backwards

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It took a little bit of backwards thinking to realize how ridiculous some of the things I see every day are. Things that you would just NEVER see in America but yet I see everyday here in Japan.

A student from the mountain school got in a small bit of trouble today. I wouldn't say so much "trouble" as really just getting made fun of by the teachers.

Apparently, in art class, he took a nice big chunk of molding clay and fashioned himself a penis. I don't know what he did with it in class, but it ended up on one of the teachers desks. When I asked one of them what everyone was laughing at, she couldn't actually put it into words. She told me to just go over and look for myself. I thought it was kind of funny really. And so did all the other teachers. They made jokes about how the poor art teacher must feel like he's been sexually harassed! In the end, no one saw it as more than a joke and they told him not to do it again and sent him on his way.

Then I got to thinking, what would the teachers do in America? It's hard to say. No one I knew in high school ever did anything like that, lest they be called a raging pervert who needed therapy. And in fact, I think that's what they would do! I think if an American student molded a penis out of clay like my Japanese student did, the teacher would send him straight to the counselors office!

I mean really, for a Japanese student to do something like this is not a big deal. But it's just not a part of American culture. There's probably something very wrong with you if you do something like that!

Which then got me thinking, what else is in Japanese culture that is so common but would put you right into a straight jacket back home.

Well, let's see, most of my students will doodle on their worksheets and I'd say about 65% are of anime characters, 10% are notes to their friends and the, 5% is random and the other 20% is of pooh! And not the Disney character! Think about it! That's more pooh doodles than notes to their friends!

Just search for "unchi" or rather "うんち" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

But that's not all, they have whole products devoted to pooh. Pooh hats, pooh necklaces, pooh dish bowls, pooh WHATEVER!

Next we have Marimokkori man. Marimo is a green ball of algae. Mokkori means crotch. Put those two together and you get the ever popular Marimokkori Man!!!

I don't see this behavior as being wrong. I just finally realized how DIFFERENT it is from American culture. An American doctor would have a field day with the Japanese....especially one who is a fan of Freud's work ;)

1 shared their love:

Anonymous said...

I think the word is "gross". Yuck.


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