There are moments that make studying Japanese worthwhile. Whether it has to do with the language, culture, or the people, that instant where you feel ” No freaking way!” and you get a mixture of shock, excitement, and curiosity all “fusion ha!”-ed together. The further you go, the more you will find these, and the more you are happy the day you first decided to say Konnichiwa with awkward pronunciation.
How do you know when you have these moments?
Oh, you will know. Where there is uncontrollable giddiness involved, there is mind blowingness in action.
So I would like to share my most recent Japanese mind blowing moment.
When you think of American things that were possibly popular and made it over to Japan in the 80s and early 90s, what do you think of. McDonalds? Die Hard? Snoopy?
Well guess who was massively popular in Japan, and is a nostalgic memory for most Japanese people:
Yes, Bob Ross!
For those of you readers too young to know who Bob Ross is, he was a famous painter who had a TV show (The Joy Of Painting) on PBS (that’s the old free channel) where he painted while talking to the viewer. What sounds like a recipe for boredom, with his skill, hippiness, and extremely meditative voice, he brought every person watching into a painter’s high.
And Japan was no exception. The show, known as ボブの絵画教室, aired twice a day on NHK and was extremely popular in Japan. When he visited Japan he was mobbed with massive fans.
It was dubbed into Japanese (which begs the question, “what kind of voice is dubbed over Bob’s” and how did they translate “let’s just paint a happy little tree over here?”
It is still a pop culture item in Japan, and can be occasionally discussed on present day variety shows.
There are dubbed DVDs for sale on Amazon Japan.
And finally, what I know you all want: a sample video!
Mind not blown?
This was enough for me. Feel the same way?
Or better yet, do you have any other Japanese mind blowing moments you would like to share?
マツコ&有吉の怒り新党 ボブの絵画教室 11月13日http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%9C%E3%83%96%E3%83%BB%E3%83%AD%E3%82%B9
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.