The level of Japanese that we are now expected to know has suddenly jumped up a gear; some of the set phrases that are required to issue permissions make reading ‘Ulysses’ in dog Latin seem like a walk in the park. It is therefore always encouraging when you learn a word that is much easier to spell in Japanese than it is in English. I can guarantee that I will never have any problems remembering the construction of geri (diarrhoea) for example.
On pretty much a daily basis I see something bizarre being done by a Japanese person; be it wearing an inflatable parrot, carrying around a dog in a canine styled pushchair, or just simply deciding that a medical eye patch makes for a really good fashion accessory. As such, whenever I see someone do something strange I just assume that they are Japanese. Imagine my surprise therefore when the gentleman at Shibuya station, who was dressed up as two child sailors dancing in tandem, turned out to be an American. This reminded me that I should not project racist stereotypes. Though having said that, this American guy did look like a complete idiot!