The Japan Test

Please watch this video. And decide which things were wrong, very rare, and normal for Japan. Extra points will be given for picking out the mispronounced Japanese word.

Enjoy the Chinese music that accompanies this video. Please relate the things you thought were good in the video.

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15 thoughts on “The Japan Test”

  1. Here is the list from the description at the video link.

    TIMESTAMPS:

    1. Square watermelons 0:17
    2. Ramen noodles bath 0:35
    3. Bizzare flavors of Kit-kat 0:58
    4. Fake food 1:17
    5. Rabbit island 1:36
    6. Purikura machines 1:53
    7. People pushers 2:22
    8. Umbrella parking lot 2:42
    9. Millions of vending machines 3:00
    10. Tokyo’s biggest resident 3:23
    11. Train delays make headlines 3:50
    12. “Silent” Karaoke 4:16
    13. Polite slurping 4:34
    14. Face napkins 4:54
    15. Water-saving sinks 5:13
    16. Strange mayo 5:35
    17. Naps at work 5:55
    18. World’s shortest escalator 6:14
    19. Canned food restaurant 6:32
    20. Doll village 6:53
    21. No 4’s 7:16
    22. Blue traffic light 7:35
    23. Cleaning classes 8:00
    24. Footbath train 8:18
    25. Futuristic toilets 8:41
    26. Crazy ice-cream flavors 9:04
    27. Space-saving parking lots 9:21
    28. Robot-run hotel 9:33
    29. Café companion 9:59
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  2. The remarks about blue traffic lights in Japan calls to mind the puzzle about the colour blue in ancient languages.  As described in this Business Insider article, in 1858, William Gladstone, who  would later become the British prime minister, studied Homer’s Odyssey and noted that the poet spoke of the “wine-dark sea” and used colour in other places, but never mentioned the colour blue, which most people associate with the sea and sky.  Well, according to tradition, Homer was blind, so that may explain his curious use of colour, but then Gladstone went on to examine other ancient Greek texts and found the same thing: the word “blue” was never used.

    Lazarus Geiger, a German philologist, followed up on Gladstone’s work and found no references to the colour blue in ancient Icelandic, Arabic, Chinese, Sanskrit, and Hebrew.  The Hindu Vedic hymns abound with references to colour, but never mention blue.  The only ancient language which Geiger examined which contained a word for blue was Egyptian and, curiously, only Egypt produced a blue dye.

    This raises the question: did the ancients actually see blue, or is this something which evolved more recently?  Is the ability to distinguish blue from other colours dependent upon having a word for it?  An experiment conducted with members of the Himba tribe of Namibia, whose language contains no word for blue, found that many members of the tribe either could not distinguish a blue object among a group of green ones, or had difficulty doing so.

    It’s all very curious.

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  3. More than one mispronounced word.  Some were downright lazy.  I saw in this video a pretty good example of the western tendency to orientalize even slight differences.  Don’t get me wrong — the Japanese do it too in referring to the long-nosed foreigners who all reek of cheese.

    We tend to exoticize that which is slightly foreign, so that we transliterate a name as “Mr. Field-of-flowers” when in our own realm we would call him Mr. Cloverfield.

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  4. 10 Cents:
    Blue traffic light 7:35

    Even here in round-eye-land, green traffic lights have quite a bit of blue mixed in. It has nothing to do with language. The lights are made bluer so drivers with Daltonism (red/green colorblindness) can tell stop from go.

    Via the magic of Gulag street view, we can compare Tokyo and California green lights. First, a couple of Tokyo examples:

    Next, California:

    They all look about the same to me. No need to rely on subjective impressions; cross sections of the RGB values can be compared:

    [caption id="attachment_29600" align="aligncenter" width="253"] Tokyo[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_29599" align="aligncenter" width="300"] California[/caption]

    If anything, the Tokyo light is greener.

    Do I have too much time on my hands or what?

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  5. The old style lights were greener but the recent ones are bluer. They now have flat led ones that they angle. I will try to take a picture of one.

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  6. #6, Purikura was pronounced so badly I couldn’t figure out what it was. This is short for “Print Club”. Puri is for “Pl” and kura is for “CL”.  Japanese doesn’t have stand alone consonants so a vowel always tags along except for “n”. The vowels in Japanese can be pronounced like Spanish vowels.

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  7. Mayonnaise on ice cream is crazy. I have never heard of that. Now having mayo flavored ice cream might happen. I have had soy sauce and also olive flavored ice cream.

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  8. Most buildings I know have fourth floors but if possible Japanese like to keep away from four. It has a different Chinese character but it is pronounced the same as death.

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  9. 10 Cents:
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/E19fCikVBT4/maxresdefault.jpg

    The light at the top of this picture is also saturated so I did a cut just below the middle. Again, green and blue are about equal.

    N.B.: The peaks are the LEDs; the gaps are the dark parts of the assembly between the LEDs.

    The key point to understand is that blue is added in both countries because of Daltonism and that the traffic lights shown in the video are pure BS. US traffic lights do not look that green, nor do Japanese lights look that blue. Fake news!

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  10. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/E19fCikVBT4/maxresdefault.jpg

    The light at the top of this picture is also saturated so I did a cut just below the middle. Again, green and blue are about equal.

    N.B.: The peaks are the LEDs; the gaps are the dark parts of the assembly between the LEDs.

    The key point to understand is that blue is added in both countries because of Daltonism and that the traffic lights shown in the video are pure BS. US traffic lights do not look that green, nor do Japanese lights look that blue. Fake news!

    All news is real but some news is realer than others.

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  11. 10 Cents:
    Mayonnaise on ice cream is crazy. I have never heard of that. Now having mayo flavored ice cream might happen. I have had soy sauce and also olive flavored ice cream.

    I’ve had lobster-flavored ice cream in Maine. Not awful but I wouldn’t get it again.

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