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20 April 2006 @ 20:41
Golden Week is getting closer. One of my neighbours has already put up some koi streamers in his backyard. I can see them from my balcony window.

Speaking of which, I met my new neighbour. He introduced himself and brought round a bag of expensive-looking cakes. Anyone know how to deal with situations like that? It's supposed to be common, but I've never seen it done before. I had the Japanese to deal with the situation, but not the cultural background. Upon being presented with the gift, are you meant to invite the person in? I'm guessing the answer is 'no', but it's very... un-British to suddenly receive a gift from a complete stranger and not do something in return. Is there something I should do now? I would like to speak to him again, since it would be nice to know more Japanese people near me. Any suggestions?

Actually, my initial response was to fetch him a small bag of Cadbury's Mini Eggs and explain that it was recently Easter. So British.

I already watched Chikan Otoko, which starred Yanagi Koutarou-san. Um... I didn't really like it? Perhaps it's because I like to pretend I'm studying Japanese when I spend lots of money on video rental, but this was grammar hell; probably since it's based around 2ch.

I think it's based on a book by Itano Sumito, but the comparisons with Densha Otoko are kinda obvious. However, my impression is that its ties to 2ch are much stronger that in Densha Otoko; I don't recall it (the DO film) even mentioning the board by name. And although I wasn't a big fan of Densha Otoko, I thought the main character more likable. Eh, I'm just going to be vague because nothing I'm going to say is worth an LJ cut. I'll just say I'm tired of those infamous cat faces already.

I think, ultimately, if you like Yanagi-san you should give it a go. Otherwise, I don't think it's really worth the time.

I didn't mention that I got some CDs at Book Off the other day. I got a Tenimyu Soundtrack and a Weiss Kreuz soundtrack. I already bought the Weiss CD years ago, but -- like all my other CDs -- I put it onto my MP3 player and took it to Japan instead of fitting all those CDs into my suitcase. And now my MP3 player is dead and useless and only says 'Hardware Problem'. I don't think that I'm going to persuade anyone to send me a new player from a completely different country, without a receipt...

Anyone know when the next issue of WARD is due out...? The official site just says 'Spring', which isn't particularly helpful!
Asrimal: Matthewasrimal on 20th April 2006 10:40 (UTC)
Oh, your British-ness is so cute.
Williamgenkischuldich on 23rd April 2006 08:09 (UTC)
Haha, really?
nekojitanekojita on 20th April 2006 11:59 (UTC)
I know returning a gift is very important but not sure if you were supposed to invite him into the apartment or not. Hmmm... if you find a definite answer, please let me know!

Any plans for Golden Week? You don't have to work, right? I thought everything basically shuts down then.
Williamgenkischuldich on 23rd April 2006 08:11 (UTC)
I asked in my (English) conversation class and they said I don't have to return anything and inviting him into the apartment would have been really weird. I don't know, really.

No plans for Golden Week... I do have to work. I suspect that's when my workplace will the most busy.
nekojitanekojita on 23rd April 2006 12:13 (UTC)
Huh. I can see not inviting him in but I'm surprised they told you that you don't have to return the gift. Interesting. THanks for letting me know!

I wasn't sure if you'd have Golden Week off or not. I imagine w/ everyone else having all that free time, they might want lessons.
Williamgenkischuldich on 23rd April 2006 22:41 (UTC)
If it helps, it would apparently have been different were he a woman or I a man.
nekojitanekojita on 24th April 2006 08:37 (UTC)
Huh, interesting how the rules change if you were the same sex. Thanks again!
Williamgenkischuldich on 25th April 2006 02:30 (UTC)
Well, that's about the 'inviting in' thing. Apparently, in Japan, they are just as squicked by men and women being just friends as we are back home! ^^
nekojitanekojita on 25th April 2006 08:33 (UTC)
Hmm, even more so, I'd say.
mjj: jiip happyflemmings on 20th April 2006 21:39 (UTC)
Moving in gifts don't get returned, if my experience was anything to go by, but you now have a presumed relationship and IME are now allowed to complain if he doesn't rake his leaves or put the trash out properly. -_- (Yamanote-wannabe end of Tokyo. They're probably nicer in Chiba.)

No, you don't invite the gift-giver in, not traditionally. OTOH 1) people were moaning even ten years ago that these niceties are being neglected lately 2) he was being innovative in giving you cakes so you needn't be bound by the trad way of doing things and 3) you're a gaijin so you... needn't be bound by the trad way of doing things. A pity you didn't go with your initial response. You still could. 'Someone sent me some delicacies from my homeland, don't know if you'll care for them but please, blah blah blah.'

The last WARD came out in February so I'd guess May for the spring one.
Williamgenkischuldich on 23rd April 2006 09:19 (UTC)
Thanks for the info! Yes, I get the impression that people are nicer in Chiba -- depending on the area, of course! Inage, I found, was amazingly friendly. The main area where I work, not so much.

Actually, I did give him some Cadbury's Mini Eggs. I'm not quite sure if he understood how rare they were though...!

I bought the last WARD, but I couldn't remember when. I could've sworn it was earlier than that, but I guess not. Or maybe I bought the one before that.