You know you’re Shin-Nisei/Issei when…


•   You thought the idea of spam musubi (and chilli over rice!) was blasphemous

•   You go karaoke and the first songs you want to sing are Arashi

•   You have lots of clutter in your house

•   You think it’s a little strange that some people have kimono, Japanese doll displays and Japanese artwork all over their massive westernized houses

•   You start moving your body when you hear the “Radio Taiso” song… and then sometimes start humming it randomly

•   You know New Years is THE holiday… what’s Christmas?

•   You go to Japan and it’s not THAT big of a deal… been there over 10 times already?

•   You used to read “Dragon Ball,” “Tenshi Nanka Janai” or “Slam Dunk”

•   you were the only one in school who knew Power Rangers and Sailor Moon were Japanese

•   you knew Pokemon stood for pocket monsters

•   you knew J-Drama was just dorama

•   you’ve seen “Grave of the Fireflies” before college

•   you didn’t jump for joy on Fridays after school… you’ve got a week’s worth of J-School homework waiting at home

•   you understand the importance of sharpened pencils for writing clean kanji

•   you eat everything on your plate… every grain of rice stuck to your bowl

•   you use little dishes for meals instead of putting everything on one big plate

•   you own a lot of manga

•   you had Sanrio lunch bags, picnic mats, bento boxes when everyone else had Barbie/GI Joe

•   you had pencil boxes with pencils that had pencil caps

•   your erasers could erase better than anyone in your class… and then made nerikeshi

•   curry or oyakodon was the first meal you learned to cook

•   you know how to (or you know you should) cleanly eat a whole fish

•   you grew up watching “Okaasan to Issho” and Gachapin and Mukku

•   You don’t really remember believing in Santa THAT much

•   3 o’clock means snack time

•   You know to throw soy beans on Feb 7th

•   American scary movies/haunted house look L-A-M-E compared to Japanese ghost stories

•   you know who lives in the third bathroom stall from the right

•   you make triangle onigiri

•   you have a Japanese name that you use

•   you know how to open konbini onigiri

•   going to Japan meant new shoes and no holes in your socks

•   seiza isn’t that bad

•   you can squat with both feet flat on the floor

•   fermented soy beans aren’t something to freak out about

•   Obon means yukata, kingyo sukui, yoyo sukui, not penny toss, teriyaki chicken and bingo

•   for girls: you had at least one koukan nikki (journal shared with friends) with some friends at J-School

•   you know that Yoshinoya is actually pretty good in Japan

•   you know what Japanese milk is like

•   you freak out when people pass food from utensil to utensil… chopstick to chopstick

•   you cheer for Japan during the Olympics or World Cup

•  you grew up watching “Kouhaku Uta Gassen”

•   when [kewpie] is your mayonnaise of choice

•   you used color pencils more than crayons


(Part 1 of 2 parts)

This list is courtesy of NihonmachiROOTS. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Nichi Bei Weekly.

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