Monday, August 2, 2010

Tidbits of culture

Just as it's hard to believe that my time as an ALT in Japan is coming to an end, it's also crazy to think that I've written over 260 blog posts about it!

Despite all the posts, there are still aspects of Japanese culture that I've failed to mention. So I want to write a little bit about three things that are very popular here:

The game "Rock, Paper, Scissors"

In Japanese, it's called "Jank-ken" (or Jan-ken-pon). And it's pretty much the way to decide anything and everything.

The game usually starts by both players chanting, "Saisho wa gu!" at the same time, (It means "Starting with the stone!") while pumping their fists. Then they shout, "Jan-ken-pon!" On "pon," they throw down either a rock, paper, or scissors. Ties are broken by two more fist pumps and "Aiko desho." ("Looks like a tie.")

So it's the same rules, just with a special chant.

There have been many, many times at elementary schools where I have taught the English version of the game, (a simple "Rock, paper, scissors, 1,2,3" instead of a chant) and there have been many, many lessons in which "rock, paper, scissors" was somehow incorporated.

The Backwards Park

I don't know why everyone parks backwards into a parking space. I guess it's to make a fast get-away? (It sure makes for a slow getting-in, though!)

But it seems that the backwards park is an unwritten rule here...

And it's a rule that I always break. I find it much easier to pull into a space and reverse out of it. Plus, it's easy to find my car when it's parked the opposite way as all the others. :) Dare to be different.


In Japan, there's a recycling pick-up day--like trash day--that's once a month. Plus, there are recycling bins at the front of grocery stores and outside of convenience stores.

In my apartment, I have a little recycling can beside my trash can...

Also pictured is my "eco bag" that I take with me when I go shopping. :)

I've developed some good environmental-friendly habits while living in Japan, and I plan to take those with me wherever I live next.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

It was funny to see all the cars parked one way and you the other! the best thing was it was easy to pick out your car! Have you gotten any better at backing up since living in Japan?