Conversation with a Japanese friend at a café in Yokohama
Me: Can I ask you a question?
Friend: Sure. Go ahead…
Me: Well, last week my student told me that a staff person had asked her if she were 100% Japanese…
Friend: Really? A staff person? Why? Does she look like a foreigner?
Me: She has long dark hair and a suntan and sometimes she wears Hawaiian accessories. Jewelry and whatnot…
Friend: Sou desu ka. Ja, the staff maybe think she wants to be like Hawaii’s people.
Me: Yeah. and??
Friend: Well, the staff was probably…oseiji…do you know oseiji?
Me: Yeah, you mean like flattering or ass kissing…
Friend: Sou sou sou sou! Staff do it all the time!
Me: But, how is asking someone if they are purebreed or pure blood ass kissing? I don’t get it.
Friend: Well, we are Japanese. Almost Japanese want to be like another people.
Me: What? Japanese don’t like being Japanese?
Friend: No, we like our culture…but we like another cultures too.
Friend: Your student…when she tell you that, her face was happy deshou?
Me: Kinda…I mean it was more like indifferent…not happy, not disappointed.
Friend: If she tell you the story that means she is happy. If she didn’t like it she don’t tell you about that, I think.
Me: That makes sense…but why does she like it?
Friend: She wants to look like Hawaiian, so the staff oseiji to make her happy.
Me: I guess I understand. I had the wrong idea…
Friend: Japanese is very difficult culture.
Me: Sou da ne. So if I say to a Japanese person that they look like they are mixed with another people’s blood it’s ok?
Me: It’s confusing. One time I told my girlfriend she looks kind of Chinese and she almost started crying…
Friend: Eeeeee! Never Chinese! Japanese people do not think Chinese are attractive.
Me: What? So if the staff person had said my student looked a little Chinese then…
Friend: Ohhhhh No! They never say that! Everybody knows it’s rude to say Chinese!
Friend: All Japanese know!
Friend: Muzukashii kore (this is difficult)
Me: Do Japanese people hate Chinese people?
Friend: No, we hate no people. But, eeto ne, we think Chinese people hate Japanese people so…
Me: So, what?
Friend: So…that’s what we feel.
Me: Paranoia’s not a feeling.
Friend:Nani sore? (What’s that?)
Me: Betsu ni nani mo nai (It’s nothing, forget about it.) What if the staff say she looks mixed with white?
Friend: Oseiji! White people are very attractive to Japanese people. Japanese people like blond hair and blue eyes…
Me: Most white people don’t have blond hair and blue eyes though…
Friend: Don’t care. White people are kawaii…Japanese people think white people are more beautiful than Japanese people.
Me: What about black people? If the sales staff say you look mixed with black…
Friend: Eetoooo ne…If customer is B-boy or B-girl, it’s ok.
Me: If not?
Friend: Not oseiji…normal Japanese people don’t like to compare to black people.
Me: Normal? Nevermind…Why?
Friend: We are so different…
Me: I see.
Love this song, and this movie! Pump up the volume!