All of these phrases are what Japanese students traditionally say at
the beginning and ends of all of their classes. The idea is for the students to properly humble themselves before their teachers
and just show their respect for their teachers.
Kiotsuke is the equivalence of “Stand up.” The class leader will
say this and all of the students will stand up. Students will stand at varying degrees of rigid posture, complete with hands
at their sides, all depending on how strict the school is, of course. More strict schools have their students practice bowing
and greetings (one term for both. Aisatsu, which is just “greeting/s”
by itself, but apparently bowing is part of greeting). Anyway, the class leader will wait for everyone to stand up, and the teacher to get to the podium and look
at the class and say rei, which means “bow.” So they all bow (again,
more strict schools are rigid about everyone being unified) and say onegaishimasu,
which I don’t know one single word for in English. It basically means “please” as in “please look
2. High school has
three years, not four. So, it only goes up to “san-nen-sei.” (Lit. 3rd year student)
prank (1828). It’s an old word. I was bored, had a thesaurus, and thought Asuma might make his students look up words
from his every-day speech.
4. Classroom appearance…well.
There are lots of
desks with chairs that push in and out from under them. At the front there’s a wall of black boards (mine were green,
though), and at the back there’s a smaller blackboard that’s usually doodled on by students, sometimes written
on with schedule information if the never-changing schedule does something weird (doesn’t happen often).
At the front of
the class, the teacher has a kinda raised platform to stand on. So even if they’re around the same size as the kids
(which some of them are), the teacher will be higher up. There’s a podium for the teacher to lecture behind, which the
teacher usually stands behind. One note, though, the podium’s kinda flat, not slanted. I had a koten (old Japanese. It’s basically a class teacher where you learn to read old haiku, etc) teacher sit
on the podium and perform for us once...I forget what it's called, but it's like a...one man play? Usually funny stories.
|Mock-up seating chart
|Illustration of the classroom.
5. Hiruyasumi is lunch-time, but unlike American
lunch-periods, Hiruyasumi (lit, mid-day break) is an hour long. NOT a measly twenty minutes. While
I’m on the subject of time, I should mention that class periods are also an hour long, and between classes there’s
a ten minute break. However, most schools don’t get out until five-PM…ish.
^_^ and then after club, you have students going home at times like 7:00 or 8:00 for sports, and at the earliest 6:00 for
“Irashai.” = short form for Irashaimase.
All store cashiers
will say this to anyone and everyone who comes in the store. So, in busy places like a video store, you hear clerks saying
that over, and over, and over…sometimes in the middle of a sentence. It’s really funny. ^_^ It’s tradition
to say it very loud and in a whiney tone. JThat is to say, it’s almost always said in a high pitched tone. I think this is so everyone can hear the
clerk, but maybe it’s ‘cause it’s cuter, and not offensive…? I don’t know.
also say irashaimase, but I’ve also heard of them saying banzai! But I’ve never been anywhere that did that, so I can’t tell you for sure. Taise’s host
sister Saori reportedly got so used to saying irashaimase (coincidently also working
at 7-11) every time a door opened that she even said it in her sleep. It gets to be reflex.
Maybe it has roots
in Chinese, which has stress on pitch, too…*babbles*
7. Yellow flower
vs. red dot.
People in the western
cultures draw the sun as a yellow flower. It’s a yellow circle that’s transcribed ($5 verb for “inside of”)
in a kinda squiggly circle. The squiggles are sometimes triangle-like, sometimes not.
familiar with Japanese, it’s like, “Ganbarou!”
This basically means,
“OK, I’m doin’ it!” It’s something you say to mentally prep yourself for doing something. What
you’re doing isn’t necessarily hard, though.
means two, and in this case the “nen” (year) is implied, so it means “second year”. And “no”
is the Japanese equivalence of the possessive marker in English (‘s). “Go” is five, and “kumi”
is class. So, all together, this means: The fifth class of the second years.
^_^ ni-no-gokumi is easier for me…But, I might refer to them as gokumi, or the fifth class. I’ll find out later,
along with you guys, probably. ^_^
10. “The Sloth
Complex,” is actually an article. It’s called “Namakemono conpurekusu” in Japanese. I didn’t
make it up. I read it. The actual reading of it went wa~y over my head (so don’t ask me to translate it, please), but
I found out that “Namake” means “sloth” after I asked several amused girls, who all pointed enthusiastically
to the picture of the dumb animal in our text. Our conversation, as best as I can remember it:
Me: . . .it’s an animal. . .?
Me: . . .complex. . .
Me: . . .sloth complex?
Chihiro: No, no, “Reiji,” [the weird Japanese pronunciation of
“lazy,” in case you didn’t get that] “Reiji!!”
Me: Lazy Sloth?
Chihiro: No, no, lazy!
Me: . . .wha. . .?
*Laughing* but “Sloth
Complex” amuses me so much more than “The lazy-person complex,” so, that’s how I translated it. .
.poor Chihiro. I was seated across the isle from her, so she “luckily” got to explain things to the dumb foreigner.
^_^ my favorite short story was actually about an old couple telling their memories of meeting, and sharing an umbrella…but
I can’t find that one. -__- maybe I’ll ask on of my classmates…doubt if they’d know which one I’m
talking about, but…*trails off*
Read the essay in Japanese.
11. 1-subject folding
notebooks vs. spirals.
I didn’t know
anyone who used spiral notebooks. All of my, and Taise’s, classmates thought our “huge” American notebooks
were the strangest thing. Their notebooks are considerably smaller, all paperback and look like they could have been bound
with duct tape. Only very nice duct tape. Notebooks are about the size of half of their American counterparts. 179 c 252 mm
Almost all notebooks
say “note” or “campus” or other school related, English babble. Like “Campus notebooks contain
the best ruled foolscap suitable for writing” is written on one of mine. And “Most advanced quality gives best
writing features and gives satisfaction to you” on the one I scanned. Not as goofy English as t-shirts or pencil cases,
but still a bit stilted.
|This notebook is from Japan.
|Click. It's almost the same size as the real thing.
remember in the episode where Naruto and Sasuke are fighting up on the hospital? *Smiling* yeah? Good. There’s a part
in there where Naruto says, “Sasuke-chan yo!” before he does something…*blank
expression* I forget what. Anyways, Naruto isn’t mad at Sasuke enough to call him “chan” (right now). So,
I added the “yo” to Sasuke’s name to convey that Naruto is rather…hmm, upset, shall we say? ^_^
Recall that in Japan,
it’s rude to call someone by their first name unless that person specifically asks. My Naruto is occasionally semi-polite,
and calls him Uchiha. Sometimes he’s rude, and calls him Sasuke.
*the sometimes classmates
Refering to the math class Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura, Hinata, and Ino are in. So, “Sometimes classmates.” *Twiddles
thumbs* Yes, I’ve been reading Shakespeare… it was assigned. The ever-popular Hamlet.
Back to Chapter Four
On to Chapter Five
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