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An Odd Day In Japan — 63 Comments

  1. えええ。。。
    日本の挨拶は危険なことだと知らなかった。。。っていか怖いだねぇぇ (笑)

    面白い漫画だ ‘(^o^)’

    On another note, I do wonder whether, given it’s purpose, the translation wouldn’t work better being translated a little more literally rather than “localized”?

    And is it just me, or shouldn’t the 外人 interested in being polite in 日本 start by choosing a different first person pronoun?

    • 面白いですね。次回が楽しみです!

      I think using おれ is appropriate in this case, as it seems he is talking/thinking to himself. You wouldn’t really refer to yourself with わたくし if no one else is around. Unless you’re practicing a speech or something like that.

      • Oh, I’m not saying he committed any “politeness illegality” in that scene… It just strikes me as a potentially bad habit… (and it’s not like going all the way to わたくし is the only alternative)
        I guess seeing a 外人 using 俺 just goes against everything I heard about how rough the word is, so much so that I think I’d be pretty scared of actually going and using it in 日本…
        Though right now I wish I had some 日本人 lying around on whom to test the effect of the word… :P

        • I also use it a lot. While I would never use it at work, with people I just met or don’t know well, or people a good deal older than me, I use it all the time with friends. Anything else would feel weird (trust me, 僕 feels strange when you are talking among friends).

          There is a slight age issue. The older you are (think 40s +), the less likely you are to use 俺, and the more likely you are to use 僕.

          Though in casual chats with friends, there is no set rule. There are also young guys who use 僕. It just presents a slightly different image of yourself.

          • I was really worried about this. I’m reading a lot of Fruits Basket and listening to the Pokémon series. In both, the male characters almost always use 俺. Even Yuki, the 王子様, uses it instead of 僕. And they use that when talking to girls or boys, there’s no difference.

            Shigure, the older one, 俺, and in that document with the 100 most common anime words there was a part saying that 僕 is male and 俺 is more “macho”, to be used only between young men.

            Thanks for this clarification. So I can use 俺 normally, right?

            • I’ve always felt unsure of which to use too. Generally when thinking to myself in Japanese I will use 俺 and have occasionally used it on Lang8 entries as a way of experimenting with different styles. However in most of the conversations I’ve ever had I’ve defaulted to 僕 out of fear of being inappropriate.

              Also I tend to notice in media characters will more often stick exclusively to one pronoun as a way of representing their personality type and very rarely vary. It’s very noticeable in things like 鋼の練金術師 where the Ed uses オレ to denote his hot headedness whilst Al uses ボク to show how he’s the calmer more reasonable sibling, or in ガンダムシード where Kira’s use of 僕 shows his (initial) innocent perspective. There are also odd examples like 海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャー where Gai speaks to his 先輩 rangers in 敬語 yet still uses 俺.

        • 俺 is fine to use amongst friends, but with teachers and those with a clear age divide, use 僕. Trust me, your friends aren’t going to bat an eyelid when they hear 俺. If a guy uses 俺 around you too, this is a pretty good indicator they are comfortable enough with you that you can use it too.

    • 漫画のご購読、及びコメントを頂戴致しまして、有難うございます。そうなんです。日本の挨拶は危ないんです。私も仕事先で先方の方とお辞儀をして頭をぶつけたことがあります。(笑) 日本人はお辞儀が身に染み付いていますから、反射的に人と合うとお辞儀しちゃうんですよね。そんな日本のあるある漫画をこれからも宜しくお願い致します。

    • 漫画をご購読頂き、また、嬉しいコメントまで頂戴致しまして恐縮です。これからも喜んで頂けるような漫画を描いていきたいと思います。ご声援に応えられるよう精進致しますのでこれからもご購読のほど宜しくお願い致します。

  2. 最後のコマ爆笑ww
    ゆめのさん、ご作品をここに提供してくださってありがとうございます!
    続きは楽しみです。ぜひ読みます!

    • ご購読とご声援のほど、有難うございます。嬉しいお言葉に大変、励まされました。
      これからも少しでも喜んで頂けるような作品をご提供していきたいと思います。日本の奇妙な出来事や文化に間接的にでも触れて頂けたら幸いです。

  3. 先ず、一人称の話の前に、小山先生、このコマは本当に面白くて、最後のところで笑いました。これからも応援しています!

    On the note of pronouns, I used 僕 before I went to Japan because my Japanese teacher was an おばあさん who thought it was a dirty word. When I got to my high school on exchange, however, I noticed pretty much every single guy was using 俺. So, out of conforming, I decided to start using that as well. From there, it took my a while to find the balance of when to change up between the two, but while I occasionally slip up, I can transition between my two styles well.

    I thought recently that 僕 does suit my English personality more, so I decided to try using it during conversations with friends. It feels so freaking weird that I had to switch back to 俺, even though I concede I’ll eventually probably transition to 僕. I don’t want to be in my fifties and still using 俺. I’m thinking when I become a father I’ll try and make the switch. It’s just about growing up.

    • From my husband’s perspective:

      私:
      Himself Present Day – Doesn’t really use; If he worked for a Japanese company, he’d use it with his boss, and perhaps his co-workers depending on who they are
      Himself in his 50s – Imagines using more

      僕:
      Casually – Used by people who are calm and quiet (おとなしい); He has friends who will use 僕 with their friends; Normal, not showing manliness; Expressed that he wouldn’t use 僕 with friends because it doesn’t show his manliness
      Himself Present Day – Socializing with older people; At church

      So perhaps for people who generally use 俺 with friends, using 僕 in more formal occasions gives the impression to others that you are behaved.

      I can imagine people just naturally おとなしい and showing that by their use of 僕 even in casual settings. I guess you can really get an idea of a person’s personality that way.

      俺:
      Casually – Shows manliness
      Himself Present Day – Uses with his friends and family
      Himself in his 50s – Still imagines himself using

      I don’t know if this helps anyone. I just thought it was interesting how 情暖 expressed he would like to use 僕 more or at least switch to it when he becomes a father so it might help to get some input from a Japanese man.

      • Thank you for the input, Rachel. That’s pretty interesting.

        When I used 僕 around my guy friends, I felt pretty odd, considering they constantly used 俺. Needless to say, I switched back pretty quickly. When you said, “So perhaps for people who generally use 俺 with friends, using 僕 in more formal occasions gives the impression to others that you are behaved”, that definitely struck a bell. I use it with teachers, my host grandmother, and older people in general. I also use it when I am typing in Japanese for an unknown audience (like on a website or whatever). It’s definitely deliberate, but I can’t bring myself to say it with my friends.

        I was also talking to someone on Lang-8 and the use of 俺 is a bit psychological because Japanese boys use it to express manliness and dominance over their fellow guys. It’s like a “No, I’m the most 俺 of all.” And, hey, the person who I have a crush on says barely any university guys use 僕, so I’ll be using 俺 around her.(笑)

        In fact, as far as formality, 僕 is the highest I generally go. I’ve used 私 only a couple times (I can count on one hand), and once with a host family when they expected me to use it. It feels very formal to me, which is not really my personality, so I shirk at the thought of having to use it.

        I guess the reason why I said I’d switch to 僕 when I am a father is tied into the type of image I want to portray as a father. That, plus by the time I’m that age, I’m not sure how much regular contact I’ll be with my various university friends. It’s a more of a wait-and-see kind of thing, but I also see it as growing up in my use of the language (as odd as that my sound). Most of the elegant speakers I know use 僕.

        With younger people you just meet it seems to be more dicey; some won’t care if you use 俺, but they might be surprised if you use お前 just in a casual way. Learnt my lesson on the latter to hold out a bit longer before using it, but younger people don’t seem to care about all those social conventions if they are around each other and just stick with their guns.

        …Someone should write a PhD on Japanese pronouns.

        • I don`t understand why every japanese learner care so much about the 僕, 俺 and whatever. They are just words like any others, you see them, you imitate, you use them, end of the story.

          • If you use 俺 in front of a granny, then prepare to be looked at funny. I’ve reached to point where it’s no longer an issue and I switch when the situation needs it. It can also help display your personality, which is why so many people spend time fretting and over it. Different politeness levels factor into it too. I generally don’t think about it a great deal, but if we’re on the topic, I have lots of feelings toward it.

            I will say that learners seem to worry about when to you 俺 too much or if people will be offended if it is used amongst friends.

            • Nah, it’s not like the world is going to end just because you said 俺 to the oldie. There’s much more than 俺s situations who can and will make you look funny, you just learn with them and move along. You’re right about the learners those dudes freak out for anything

            • “Nah, it’s not like the world is going to end just because you said 俺 to the oldie.”
              No, but in many situations fixing the damage done by insulting someone is far more trouble than getting it right in the first place would be, and sometimes the お婆さん might be someone with actual influence over you.

              “You’re right about the learners those dudes freak out for anything.”
              You seem to have a very low threshold for what constitutes “freaking out”.

    • 4コマ漫画にコメントを頂きまして、有難うございました。外国の方が戸惑うあるあるネタを中心に日本の文化に少しでも触れて頂いて面白いと思って頂けるよう、がんばります。また、次回も読んで頂けましたら幸いです。ちなみに一人称の話では皆さんが色々と感じられていることが多いことにも逆に驚いております。公式には「私」を使われるのが一番無難だとは思いますけどね。ビジネスなどの会社側の人間として相手と話す場合は「こちら」を使うことも多いですね。警察や自衛隊などでは「自分」と言う一人称も使います。「私は」と言うところを「自分は」と言うようにです。「俺」は一般的ですが、あまりいい言葉ではありません。少しがらの悪い言葉なのですが、今は普通に使われてますね。仲間内ではいいですが、知らない人などに使うと微妙な雰囲気になることもあるかも知れません。

    • 漫画にお褒めのお言葉頂きまして有難うございました。残念ながら英語は苦手なので英文に関しましてはよく理解できていませんので、英文に関するコメントは差し控えさせて頂きました。ただ、皆さん、一人称の使い方で色々と考えておられるのだなぁと感心させられました。言われてみると自分はどんな場面でどんな一人称を使っているのか考えさせられました。恐らくですが「私」と言うのが公式の場では無難かと思います。「俺」は気さくな関係では問題ないですし、がらの悪い言葉ですが固くなく飾らない言葉でもありますね。「お前」は相手を低くみるようなイメージがありますので使うのはお薦めできませんけどね。

  4. This was great! Surprisingly I understood enough of it to get a general idea of what was going on(and the pictures helped with that, obviously). But I could read enough of it that even without the pictures I wouldn’t be totally lost.

    • Me 2, let’s celebrate our awesomeness with a imaginary high five
      *I raise my left hand*
      *I high five you*

  5. とても面白かったです!続きを楽しみにしています。
    それと、主人公の名前や国籍について知りたいです!
    提案でもよろしければ、後は主人公が日本で友達を作ろうとする場面を見たいです!

    • ご購読、有難うございます。これから同じアパートの住人やらが友達となって登場してきますので、彼らのやりとりにご注目ください。主人公の素性はまだまだ謎が多いですけど、徐々にわかってくるかと思います。まぁ、普通の人間ですけど「おたく」の傾向は
      あります。色んな日本の文化やら習慣に触れて行く主人公と共に日本見聞をお楽しみ頂けたら嬉しい限りです。

  6. Hahaha! The nicest thing is that I understood half of what was in the Japanese version. This is so motivating, since I’ve been studying for less than three months.

  7. 最近見たドキュメンタリーの中で同じように本物の富士山のとなりの温泉の中に富士山の絵がありました、笑。

    • 銭湯の奥の壁一面に「富士山」の雄大な絵が描かれています。すべての銭湯が富士山の絵なのかですが、かならずしもそうではありません。しかし富士山の絵は定番なので、かなりの確率で富士山の絵が多いです。富士山は日本人にとって特別な山なので銭湯の湯船に
      つかりながら日本人であることをしみじみと感じているんですねー。

  8. I’ve been meaning to say that I’m enjoying this series! This one in particular stuck a chord… I could kind of see myself doing this :) Contents aside, I appreciate the level this is pitched at. I haven’t known every word, but so far I’ve understood every strip without having to resort to the English. It’s great to be able to get a smile from something entirely in Japanese. Keep them coming!

    (BTW, sorry if I missed this in previous comments, but does our protagonist have a name?)

  9. It’s being a nice experience, as I’ve been going through RTK to see how the understanding gets better even if only with Kanjis, without more vocabulary.

  10. Haha, I thought the “I have some fireworks at my house” line would be like the good old “want to come see my stamp collection?” pickup line, so I have to say I’m a bit dissapointed at the ending :P

  11. Understand everything,but I don’t understand why あり is used?
    And also アヒカに来たらメイド喫茶だよね. Do you mean “if you go to X you do/go X for sure”?

    I like these posts and I think it’s funny how he always get troubles ^^

    • 漫画のご購読、有難うございます。「あり」の使い方ですが、「あります」と言う意味です。この漫画の場合は「日本はこんなものも、あるんだ」と言ったような意味合いになります。「アヒカ」と書かれていますが、恐らく「アキバ」のことかと思います。ご存知かと思いますが、「アキバ」は「秋葉原」のことです。略した言葉です。メイド喫茶は世界的にも有名になりましたが、発祥の地は秋葉原です。なのでメイド喫茶と言えば最初に浮かぶのが「秋葉原」なんです。「おたく」の聖地としても有名な秋葉原ですが、メイド喫茶を楽しみに来られる外国観光客も多いので、このような表現の漫画に仕上げてみました。難しかったでしょうか?

      • 細かい回答有難うございます!
        「アヒカ」を書いたのはうっかりミスでした(笑)

  12. I really enjoy reading these comics. Great concept, great source of intermediate-level reading materials.

    …I just wish the punchline in this particular episode didn’t rely on a “comical” moment of homophobic panic.

    • I don’t think this was intended as homophobic panic. I think it was more of a strange shock moment. Maid cafes are already strange enough, and having an entire maid cafe full of cross dressers just takes that strange up a few notches.

    • 漫画のご購読、有難うございます。内容につきまして少し混乱させてしまったようで申し訳ありません。この漫画の意図とするところは同性愛ではありません。メイド喫茶自体が不思議な文化ですが、さらに次々と不思議なものを作り出して行く日本の文化の多様性を言いたかった訳で、同性愛は特に関係はありません。メイド喫茶とおかまバーが合体してみたりと、なんでも出てくるのが日本の文化の特徴かも知れないと思うところがありまして、さらにはもっと変わったお店やら品物が
      登場してくることは予想できるかと思いこの漫画を作ってみました。おたく文化が日本の気質にあるようで文化を突き詰めて行く日本がどこまで行くのか? 私も興味津々です。

  13. Haha, I can’t wait to play Final Fantasy XV: Ultra Mega Stick Final Reality Angry Dream, it’s gonna be awesome!

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