Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Half truths

Photo © Japanzine / carter witt media

Re: Cover story from this months Japanzine (magazine for English speaking foreigners inJapan) entitled "Half?". Read it here. Article by Doug Breath (made up name?) discussing the use of the English word 'half' in Japanese to describe children of mixed nationality parents.

I read this article and remembered an incident from last year when Mitz and I were taking her niece Yuiko out on a day trip. Yuiko is a tall kid, almost topping 170cm at age 12. We always get stares when the three of us are out together. you can see people trying to work out if Mitz and I are the parents because she is so tall (I am 186cm), but then she looks so Japanese doesn't she?

On the train then, bound for Inuyama. Mitz and Yuiko seated, me standing, and the three of us talking about nothing in particular. Did we prompt this? Half way through the journey and one of the four 18 ~ 22 year old girls sitting next to us pipes up to her friend:

"I want to marry a foreigner"

"Why?", asks her friend in mock surprise.

"Because I want to see what a half looks like"

(..... slaps hand to forhead and gives a Simpsons like 'Doh'.)


Anonymous said...

oh God, is this what we've got to look forward to.

Nick Benwell said...

Ben? If so then you should know. It was you that told me about the time you walked past a mother and daughter in a park in Tokyo. The daughter asked her mum if you were American and she replied 'Of course!'
If you are not Ben, then I have no idea.