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05 October 2010 @ 10:59
The Japan 30-day Meme: Day 11  
No links again for today. All I have to report is that there is the Japan Writers' Conference on Sunday/Monday and I'm tempted to go. The only session I'm really interested in is the one on Sunday afternoon about first pages, when it's the Thanksgiving meal though. Adding to that, there are no major names apart from Debito. And he's not famous for his writing. ;)

You never know where you might make contacts, but the English language publishing industry isn't found in Japan. It just isn't. Judging by the Book Fair earlier this year, it's difficult to make a case for the Japanese language publishing industry being here either.

...I don't know.

Design Festa and the Tokyo International Film Festival are coming up soon too. I want to see The Singing Hitman.

Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?

May 2009, I was standing outside Tokyo Dome, waiting to enter for an X Japan concert. Someone (I think it was hideincarnate) produced a packet of pocky and offered it around.

For a moment, I was living the dream. At least, a dream for otaku around 1997-2002. Pocky and X Japan, all in one go.

Having said that, pocky is overrated and I've only seen one person in Japan buy or eat it. The fact I noted them with even more diligence than I would a sighting of a fellow foreigner is telling.

Denny's is underrated. All my US friends tell me that Denny's in America is a very different restaurant. You can't eat udon or katsudon there for a start. In Japan, it's the perfect place for entertaining relatives and friends from overseas, particularly when you have a mix of people, some of whom want to dive into a kaitenzushi and some of whom want to deny raw fish is even a option.

Karaoke is also underrated. I mean, we have it in the UK too. Japanese karaoke is different though. You have a room all to yourself, two microphones, two telephone directories of song listings and a touchscreen (or keypad in older places). The walls are covered in lighting or UV-sensitive murals. The film "Lost In Translation" depicted it pretty well as far as I can recall (I wouldn't want to see it again), with the fatal mistake that no one cares about other people's drunken nights out. I have great memories of my first karaoke session in Japan and also the last one, just a couple of weeks ago. We finished it off with "On My Way".

The Japan 30-day Meme:

Day 01 - A picture of you "in Japan". (doing or wearing something "Japanese")
Day 02 - Describe your neighborhood in Japan.
Day 03 - Most interesting person you've met.
Day 04 - What's your favorite place that's not in any of the guidebooks/lists of places to visit?
Day 05 - Which, if any, Japanese mannerisms or expressions have you adopted?
Day 06 - Food that you swore you would never eat but now love (or tolerate).
Day 07 - Which Japanese words do you use in English? (hanami, shinkansen, etc.)
Day 08 - Are you a Herbivore or Carnivore? S or M?
Day 09 - Favorite stores/shopping centers.
Day 10 - Something about Japan that sets it apart from anywhere else.
Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?

Day 12 - Describe a fail!gaijin moment. (Where you did something wrong or completely misunderstood because you couldn't ~read the air~ or just plain had no idea what you were supposed to do because you weren't born and raised here) Describe a gaijin!smash moment .(Where your foreignness was to your benefit)
Day 13 - Something about Japan that sets it apart from anywhere else. -> What's your favourite live event you've attended in Japan?
Day 14 - What is the hardest thing about living in Japan versus your home country?
Day 15 - Weirdest food item you've seen, and weirdest food item you've actually eaten.
Day 16 - How you realised you'd acclimated to Japan. (if you have)
Day 17 - Your karaoke top 5, your sushi top 5, your conbini top 5.
Day 18 - Post some amusing/cute/faily purikura.
Day 19 - Your favorite Japanese character(s) and Gachapon/UFO Catcher toys
Day 20 - Favorite Japanese festival or folklore.
Day 21 - Favorite and least favorite Japanese fashion trends.
Day 22 - Your favorite Japanese saying or kotowaza (proverb).
Day 23 - What is something you have/do in Japan that you wish you had/could do in your home country?
Day 24 - Your favorite Japanese slang or borrow-word (外来語), e.g. セフレ "sex friend"
Day 25 - Most interesting vending machine find.
Day 26 - What's your favorite/least favorite train line.
Day 27 - Place you avoid going to if at all possible.
Day 28 - A picture of you looking like a weaboo/A picture of you trying to blend in and failing.
Day 29 - What's the thing you [will] miss most about Japan when you leave (either on vacation, or move away)?
Day 30 - Did Japan meet your expectations, both good and bad? What has been the most surprising thing about Japan for you, or the thing you least expected?
 
 
Current Music: Covenant - Still Life
 
 
 
sanoiscarisanoiscari on 5th October 2010 16:58 (UTC)
So true about pocky :3
Williamgenkischuldich on 6th October 2010 11:17 (UTC)
I know! The kids I teach seem to genuinely love Choco Baby though.
Kasrakasra_c on 5th October 2010 17:47 (UTC)
There is a very prominent Denny's just outside of Japantown in San Francisco. I've often wondered about its placement; perhaps you can get Japanese Denny's food there? It's right in line with a bunch of other businesses and restaurants catering to Japantown. (Japantown in SF is for the most part a large mall, but there are a few businesses on the street surrounding it, which is what brought it to mind. I could never figure out what a Denny's was doing there, though.)
Williamgenkischuldich on 6th October 2010 11:20 (UTC)
I would've thought that branches within a single country would be more or less the same, but I don't know how Japantown works.

Interestingly, I've met huge numbers of Japanese people who think Denny's is a Japanese chain. I know I've made that mistake with some US brands, such as Coldstone Creamery.
golden_bastetgolden_bastet on 6th October 2010 02:36 (UTC)
I just wanted to say - I'm *really* enjoying reading this.

But Denny's US doth suck. In a way I can't begin to describe. :^(
Williamgenkischuldich on 6th October 2010 11:23 (UTC)
I'm glad. There are so many questions you want to ask about people living in other countries, but you never know what questions to ask. I thought I had a fairly good grip on America, but I was talking to a Texan the other day who was describing his experiences on the American football team in ways I'd never considered before. Most films I've seen looked at them as kind of the bullies of the school.

Japanese Denny's is a great choice for studying on a Saturday afternoon too. :)