Google+ Rurousha 流浪者: A conversation with Bakatono

Monday, 27 February 2012

A conversation with Bakatono

Friday night. Freezing cold. The Hero has imploded on the sofa and is reading this blog and various comments on his phone.

"You can't call me The Hero," he announces.
"Why not?"
"You make me sound too good to be true. I'm not. I'm poisonous."
"Poisonous?!"
"Yes."
"You're not poisonous. Maybe dangerous, like Cassius."
"Who?"
"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much; such men are dangerous."

"What's that?"
"Shakespeare."
"Uhn. Don't call me The Hero. Call me … The King."
"What?!"
"The King."
"What's the difference between The Hero and The King?"
"The King rules."
"I'm not calling you The King."
"Then call me Doraemon."
"No. Maybe I can call you Chōnan." (Oldest son.)
"Don't be stupid. You can't call me Chōnan. That's not a name. If you call me Chōnan, StarBrooke will know your Japanese is very bad." (He admires her Japanese ability.)
"I never said it's not very bad!"
"Uhn. Call me … Bakatono."
"You're not baka!" (Baka means mad.)
"It has nothing to do with that. Bakatono was a television character. He was played by Ken Shimura."
"What kind of character?"
"He was a stupid feudal lord."
"Oh."
"Everybody knows Bakatono."
"I don't."
"Stop going to shrines and start watching TV."
"Can I watch you instead?"
"Don't be stupid."
"If you can be a stupid feudal lord, why can't I be a stupid foreigner?"
"No."
"OK. Do you want coffee?" *

Such is life in an intercultural relationship. Even a casual Friday evening conversation** teaches you more about your adopted country than you'd learn in ten books.

* This was a subversive diversion. He's still The Hero.

** It's an ongoing conversation. You can read another dialogue, when he decided he should be called Right-winger, here. The other nomad, Sarah, has the same problem with her man. Read about it here.

31 comments:

  1. LOL! This could well be a scene form a sitcom.

    The Hero is too cute! Not saying you are not..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I enter my classroom, I think I live in a sitcom! ;)

      The Hero manages to be both cute and infuriating at the same time. I can't be cute because I'm not Japanese. :D

      Delete
    2. Yes, you can't. Only Japanese (and Korean) can do cute. ;p

      Delete
    3. I can't do kawaii but I can do kowai! I'm not a barbarian for nothing, you know! :D

      Delete
    4. I've been told by colleagues that I do "kowai" pretty well too. My silent stare would make grown men stutter. LOL

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    5. Us jungle women are experts when it comes to kowai. :D

      PS: It's no wonder Zaini initially didn't want to talk to you!

      Delete
    6. But I was kawaii and not kowai when I was younger! LOL

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    7. Hmmm. I'll discuss this with Zaini in 2014 ...

      Delete
  2. I wish my wife called me The Hero… or, to quote Homer Simpson, for once I want somebody to call me "Sir" without adding "you're making a scene".

    In that Pinker book we talked about, there is one place where he speaks about the kind of Hollywood inspired names the young warriors in Africa give themselves these days. If "The Hero" keeps complaining and you do have to come up with a new name, maybe you can find some inspiration there!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a funny Homer quote! :D

      Hollywood-inspired names for African warriors? I'm not on that page yet, but something tells me I'm going to start reading faster now! ^^

      I found two interesting articles with criticism against Pinker. I'll post them on your blog.

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  3. actually… I am already having second thoughts about those African warrior names. they looked very funny to me, but I just did a web search for the actual characters, and what I found wasn't funny. you guys having been in Africa I suspect may not find them funny either.

    thank you for the links. I knew about the John Gray one - Pinker put it on his own webpage (proudly, I suspect :D). need to check out the other one. thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't been to Pinker's site for yonks. That mullet puts me off! :D

      You're now making me VERY curious about those names. I'll get there. Eventually. ^^

      Delete
  4. Ha! Men! What are we supposed to do with them?!
    By the way, I LOVE Shimura Ken. He is ridiculous and I've already decided to name our first puppy (when we have a house! I'm buying a shiba ken) ShimuKen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew about Ken Shimura, but I didn't know about Bakatono. Now I do. It's hilarious.

      Awww. Do you have to wait for a house? Get the puppy now! I want to see cute puppy pix! :D

      Delete
  5. 志村けん is still popular but he was much more popular when I was a child.
    He was a star of comedy and I feel him nostalgic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've watched some of his videos and he's VERY funny. Sometimes I think the older comedians are funnier than the current ones, but maybe that's because I'm older too! ^^

      Delete
  6. I had assumed "The Hero" came from his name (i.e. Hiro). I guess not?
    It's nice he's taking a look at your blog! I think all in all he comes off pretty well in your telling, so he should be happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's based on his role in this adventure, not on his name. ;)

      He's my blog's main critic and he knows who all the regular commenters are! ^^

      Delete
  7. How did the name Hero come about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every story needs a hero to slay the dragon and rescue the damsel in distress. This damsel had tamed the dragon herself and had turned him into a pet – she's from Africa, after all – but she was nonetheless very happy when the hero arrived, uninvited and unexpected!, from a distant land. :D

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  8. hi! I came from a trip late last night. BTW,have you ever eaten this kind of Manjuu.
    http://www.shoukoukai.or.jp/ippinn/ippin_36.html
    It is very famous at Higasi-murayama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You went on a trip? Then I must visit your blog immediately to look at your latest photos.

      I don't know that manjū, but I've seen Ken Shimura's VERY funny song about Higashi-Murayama. The Hero loves that song because he grew up in Tokorozawa. :) Next time I go in that direction, I will stop at this shop. Thanks for telling me! ^^

      Delete
  9. The Hero quotes Julius Caesar? That does make him a hero, at least to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He didn't, in this particular case, but he can. He's a bit scary at times. :D

      Delete
  10. I adore the way you refer to him as The Hero! Not so sure I'd want to call someone Bakadono...although I have to admit I've rolled on the floor from his antics ;D

    PS: Did you know Ken Shimura, the dude who plays Bakadono, was from Higashimurayama-shi, which is right next to Tokorozawa (where I used to live)? I remember one time when I was taking a taxi home from Shinjuku after a long night out and the taxi driver actually woke me up to point out his home. haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha, now here's how I discovered you. The Hero grew up in Tokorozawa. I was Googling for information about Tokorozawa when I stumbled unto your blog, and then I moved with you when you moved to Shinjuku. See? ^^

      The Hero has told me about Shimura-ken's history, but I've never seen his home.

      Did you take a photo?! :D

      Delete
  11. Your hero would be in good “hero” company if referred to by his preferred epithet: Oda Nobunaga!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He can be the King of Laurasia and I'll be the Queen of Gondwanaland. :)

      PS: Actually I want to be the Empress of Pangaea, but I guess I have to share ... drat ...

      Delete
  12. Ok, so didn't read all the above conversations, but let me just make a note from the ones I *have* read. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm pretty sure you are incapable of being kowai if you are Japanese size. Kowai in relation to foreigners only works when you are the size of an American or a rugby player.
    (See, now you are one step closer to being kawaii. You're welcome.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmph. You haven't seen me glare across my glasses yet! It's my "your antics are not impressing me so cut this crap" teacher look. I've perfected it. :D

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    2. Haha! I've heard of this look. My sister is also a teacher and she also said she practiced the look for hours in the mirror till she perfected it. But she is also a tiny little thing. I just laugh when the look is directed at me.

      Delete

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