Nothing gets a crowd riled up like two 300 pound men going at each others throats! Me and the other Oregon kids got to go to the finals of the sumo tournaments and had a great time. Every time a match was over we'd scream, "homies!" and take a pull of whiskey. I started screaming things in Japanese I don't really remember, but apparently it wasn't bad because I made a couple friends in the process who helped me with other things to say to pump up the sumo-sans. All in all it was a really great time.
To those of you who don't know what mochi is, let me put it like this: Mochi, though it sounds alot like tai-chi, is much more deadly. How many times have you heard of someone who died from anything to do with tai-chi? Probably never. That's the right answer. Mochi, on the other hand... mochi can, and will kill you. Every year, people die from mochi.
Now you might be thinking, "Where can I learn?!? Billy Perkins has been picking on me at school and I want to kick some ass with this thing of awesomeness called mo-chi..."
Well, sorry kids. It's true that mochi does kill people every year but unfortunately, it is not some sort of sweet martial arts. Actually, it's not so unfortunate, because it is delicious. It's a sort of dough... maybe sort of a cake, made out of pounded rice and can be served in lots of different ways. And when I say lots, I mean it. Listen to an explanation here:
This is what the Japanese call a 馬鹿外人, or "baka gaijin" which translates to "stupid foreigner." All I can say is, "wow." This happened just a couple months ago since I've been here, and I watched it on the news. Just recently found it on youtube so I thought I'd share it with you guys. Wow...
Just like in any country, one act can give a whole group a bad name... In Japan, it's not so much that, "Oh, that <insert nationality here> did something bad, <insert nationality here> are stupid" but it's more like, "Oh, that FOREIGNER did something bad, foreigners are stupid." Obviously every country does something similar, whether it be to a people group, or foreigners in particular, and obviously not all Japanese people stereotype foreigners (called gaikokujin here, or more loosely, gaijin) as being dumb and disrespectful. It's just unfortunate for us foreigners when something dumb like this DOES happen and people DO start giving us a funny look when we get on the train. Don't get me wrong, I haven't felt any discrimination since I've been here, but I also haven't really inserted myself into society here either. I've heard of many stories where people are treated wonderfully when they are just visiting Japan, but when they try to actually be an active member in society, problems arise. Anyway, this is something that actually happened since I've been here and I saw it on the news a couple months ago. It is pretty funny, just because of how ridiculous it is, but hopefully it doesn't give a bad name to all foreigners! As pessimistic as that sounds, I promise I'm still having an awesome time here! Don't worry about that