Little House In Ise

Skinned Knees

I thought I’d share a laugh with you. Sadly, it is a lost-in-translation laugh …

One of the more popular forms of adult entertainment for men in Japan have been various types of, “No pan” restaurants. “No pan” means “no pants” . It is common to see “No-pan kisa” which are panty-free coffee-shops. “No-pan shabu-shabu” are places to eat a kind of soup without having to be worried that your waitress might be overly encumbered by underclothes. The list goes on. The theory here is that attractive young women wear very short skirts and the rest is obvious. So, what is the connection to Aikido?

Well, I got a new gi that was “specially made” for Aikido. It’s lighter than a typical judo gi, heavier than a karate-gi and didn’t come with pants. It’s been hot and humid here so I decided to try practice without the pants and use only my hakama. Class was much cooler without the bottoms but shiko and suwari-waza tore off four strips of skin that I really preferred having on. While changing after class an instructor from one of the other locol dojo noticed my knees and howled with laughter. He told me that “No pan keiko” would do that to you. More laughter followed and he wandered off shaking his head. I’m guessing that this is the start of a yet another henna-gaijin story.


Funkiness from Japan
June 13, 2007, 03:39
Filed under: Expat, Japan | Tags: , , , , , ,



I’ve totally missed my quota of weird Japanese news/stuff. So here goes …

Powertard: I have no idea whether this is a product name or feature. Since I’ve only noticed the Powartard label on busses my guess is that it is a company specializing in moving politicians from place to place. Common sense suggests against too much truth in advertising so my idea is mostly ruled out.

Curry Soda: Megumi had a buddy over for a late-night girl-talk session. I risked my health and intruded once I realized where all the snacks in the house had gone. They weren’t thrilled to see me but did take the opportunity to say, “Here, try this”. It may be obvious that I had been drinking else I would never have intruded much less taken them up on that sort of offer. It turns out that some genius (powertard?) had decided that the world needed curry soda. It will serve as a good reminder never to intrude on conversation like that again.

Samurai Teens: I was in Tokyo recently (WOOHOOO! Akasaka baby! Roppongi has, apparently, gone to hell — so sad) and I, ahem, just happened to bump into the crowd from Harajuku. When I was last there the style of the day was wedding gowns and prom type dresses for the girls and, well, I didn’t notice the guys, sorry. This last time the scene was nouveaux Samurai. Badly tied and improperly worn haori, hakama and not-quite-kimono all in clashing colors made for a nuclear fashion faux pas. Not laughing out loud took serious effort. I think I pulled a stomach muscle when I saw peroxide Barbie hair topping a purple haori, green kimono with maroon hakama and no clue as to tie ANY of the knots.

IT Bureaucracy: This was half my fault for not reading through the document but still it was a bit extreme. One of the Irish guys with whom I work needed to to get wireless networking running on his laptop. I warned him that he needed to fill out a form and get it stamped by two department heads before IT would allow it. He groaned and asked for help finding the file (no network search at ASI) so I helped dig out what, I thought, was the correct form. The Japanese title was in fact “Application for Wireless Access”. My buddy filled it in, printed it out and then got the requisite two department heads’ stamps. He took it to IT where he was told that typing in the correct password would take a few hours. A couple hours later (with no computer to work on that whole time) they called him in and told him that, yes, it was a wireless network application form but it was for the wrong office. Since it was for the wrong building they weren’t going to do it and sent him away with no changes to his machine. We looked over the form that he had turned in and the one that was supposed to be correct and noticed a one word difference in the text the name of the building. Grrrr ritual Darwination did not ensue but we both wanted to beat the IT bureaucrat with his laptop…

There is almost certainly more but I guess I’m getting used to the place again. Little old ladies firing off emails from their cell-phones and psychedelic seeming not-quite-English tee-shirts on old men no longer give me pause.

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