Thursday, April 15, 2010

4月15日 Day 22: Ice Breakers

So I'm basically used to my Japanese class dynamic. My other classes, not so much.

My Religion and Society in Japan class sucks. The professor is speaking English, but her wording honestly makes NO SENSE. It might as well be in Portuguese. I'm basically in the class because it's only requirement is attendance, 1 class presentation and a final essay. It will kill my theology credit for school. I hope.

My Contemporary Japanese Culture class is SUPER fun though; I can tell I'm really going to like it. Sensei started the class by asking us about the stereotypes, "What stereotypes do you see in Japanese people or in Japanese culture?" Most of the volunteers gave really general answers.

"They don't like outsiders."
"They're homogeneous."
"They're polite."
"They all work really hard."
"They go crazy for trends."
"They have access to a lot of technology."

The only really interesting one I really heard was, "Japanese people aren't very direct. They sort of expect you to figure out what they're talking about, and they're not confrontational."

I was completely baffled as to why no one mentioned how INSANE Japanese people are. What about all the socially deviant things that make people come to Japan in the first place? What about everything I read about in my Naturalism in Japanese Literature class?! What about the penis festivals I've been to and ass-shaped pillows I've seen at multiple stores? In an attempt to be direct and confrontational, I queried,

"Uh, isn't it a very sexually repressed culture?"

The 150 person lecture erupted in laughter/nervously honest giggles. My professor said quite sincerely, "You know, there's a whole class about sex in Japan. If that's what you'd like to study, you can take a whole class on it!"

I felt like a total perv, but dammit, it needed to be said.

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