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Tag: funny

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 Japanese autumn foods 【Well-Fed Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five Japanese autumn foods. I’ve been wanting to do a few articles about food here in Japan, but none of them really felt “weird” enough to be part of the “Weird Top Five” series.

My editor suggested I just change the “W” to stand for something else for a singe article, so after a lot of soul-searching and Google-searching, I came up with “Well-Fed” instead.

The article is still similar in tone to my previous articles, but it’s a little bit different, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe there will be more Well-Fed Top Fives in the future, maybe there will be none – it all depends on those sweet, sweet clicks.

So if you want to know what autumn is all about in Japan, check it out!

Read the article here.

Photo & Haiku Friday: Bear Mug

Every Friday I like to decorate a photo in Japan with a fresh-off-the-frontal-lobe haiku. I bribe my wife to add her own as well, so we can get as many interpretations as possible, and sometimes a Japanese one happens to float in on the wind as well.

Last week we composed beautiful words to chair socks. Here’s this week’s photo, also taken at a 100-yen store nearby our apartment:

img_2403

My English haiku:
Why did I wake up?
Where is my reason to live?
Only coffee bear knows

Abbey’s English haiku:
I’m HERE, you are THERE
Please don’t touch my underwear
You perverted bear

My Japanese haiku:
目閉じれない!
ここってどこだろ?
蜜地獄

(I can’t close my eyes!)
(Tell me where is “here” anyway?)
(You are in Honey Hell)

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 strangest kanji ever 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five strangest kanji ever. A few months ago I did the top five most difficult kanji ever, which resulted in an explosion of comments demanding more articles counting down the top [insert theme here] kanji.

I wanted to start writing more immediately, but unfortunately the resource that I’d used (the Morohashi kanji dictionary) was at UMass Amherst – not exactly nearby. But now that I’m back in Japan, my local library has a copy of the 10+ volume behemoth of a dictionary, so I was able to go back and do some kanji research!

My last article was all about the most difficult kanji, but I think this one might be more fun because it’s all about the strangest-looking ones. It was fun to look through the index of Morohashi and see which ones caught my eye. Whenever a kanji made me go “whoa!” I wrote it down as a possibility. After collecting several dozen “whoa!” kanji, I sorted them by craziness and the top five are what made this list.

There were so many ridiculous kanji that I found that I think there’s still plenty left over for another few more kanji articles. So long as people enjoy reading them, I’ll keep writing them!

Whether or not you know anything about Japanese or kanji, I think you might like this article. Enjoy!

Read the article here.

Photo & Haiku Friday: Chair Socks

There’s a lot of crazy stuff in Japan. Crazy cool, crazy beautiful, and just plain old crazy.

So every Friday I’d like to show off a small sampling of that craziness with a photo I’ve taken while living here and adorn it with a lovingly crafted haiku poem. I’ll bribe my wife to add her own inspired poem as well, and if inspiration hits me in the balls then I may include a Japanese one as well.

Here’s this week’s photo, taken at a 100-yen store nearby our apartment:

01-chair-socks

My English haiku:
Hey man have you heard?
Chair socks – they’re like socks for chairs
Chairs get cold feet too

Abbey’s English haiku:
Oh so elegant
The chair socks, fuzzy and warm
Now let’s try them on

My Japanese haiku:
子のないおば
いすにソックスを
成長しない

(An old woman with no children)
(Puts socks on a chair)
(It will never grow up)

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 ridiculous details of Japanese office tea 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most ridiculous details of Japanese office tea. Office tea may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Japanese businesses – formal meetings, bowing and business cards probably come before that – but it’s just as important.

Tea is basically lubrication for Japanese business like oil is lubrication for a car – it just doesn’t run without it. When I worked in a Japanese office, every meeting no matter how big or small had tea served to the guests. Whenever me or my coworkers went as guests to somewhere else, we were always served tea as well.

It may sound strange to the uninitiated, but it was kind of nice. Not only were you guaranteed a refreshing drink (cold in the summer hot in the winter) whenever you were going someplace, but it made you feel more welcome than if you just sat down and got right to business.

I don’t want to spoil too much more of the details of Japanese business tea, so go ahead and read the article before I accidentally spoil everything. Enjoy!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most offensive Japanese swear words 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most offensive Japanese swear words. As an armchair linguist, I find swear words fascinating for two reasons: (1) they’re the first words in a foreign language that any student wants to learn, and (2) I can’t believe that so many languages have words that are “forbidden” or “unclean.” I mean, they’re just words!

As far as (1) goes, I think a big reason students clamor to learn swear words is for two reasons: one, it gives them some “bad” vocabulary words to use that other people won’t understand, and two, it gives the language a grittier, more authentic feel. Rather than learning how to say “I’d like three apples please,” you’re actually learning some “real” words that people use when you learn swears.

I remember in high school one Spanish teacher told her class that the best way to pick out a dictionary (before the days of internet dictionaries and smartphones) was to look up the worst swear words you could possibly think of. If it had them, great! If it didn’t, move on to another. I can’t vouch for how effective that method really is, but it did make shopping for new dictionaries a lot more fun.

So if you’re a swear-lover like I am, maybe you’ll enjoy the article. And if not, well, maybe you can learn to love them after seeing how silly it is that certain sounds in another language are considered “taboo.” Enjoy!

Read the article here.