The majority of Japanese commercials are weird. VERY weird. You can probably watch most of them on YouTube; some of them are really funny and most of them are just weird and random.
Japanese “game shows” are very different from American ones. It’s not really about the grand prize or any money that could be won, and the contestants are often celebrities/TV personalities, especially comedians.
These game shows are often general knowledge quizzes of some sort, including Kanji! Yes, even Japanese people don’t know everything there is to know about Kanji. But then again, Americans don’t know a lot of complicated words in the English language either. I’m particularly amused every time there’s a question involving English, and someone is completely clueless. Such as knowing how the word ‘number’ is spelled. One person thought it was NAMBAR.
I’ve also discovered a few people on TV, one in particular while watching a special of a game show called ‘Nounai Este IQ Supli.”
His name is Eiji Wentz (ウェンツ瑛士). His father is German-American and his mother is Japanese. He’s a musician, and TV personality on a number of shows, and does acting as well.
He’s the one on the left, in case you couldn’t tell which one was “less Asian-looking.”
Now, I get the impression that most mixed-race people in Japan are fluent in two or more languages, usually Japanese and English. Such examples are Jero and Crystal Kay. Anna Tsuchiya isn’t fluent, but she speaks some English and has some control over her accent.
Eiji speaks just as much English as the average Japanese citizen. This is apparently because both of his English-speaking parents worked a lot to support the family, and thus he spent most of his time with his Japanese grandparents. His older brother is bilingual, however. So he’s the only person in his family who doesn’t speak English.
I’m sure a lot of people in Japan expect him to know English, or at least have a better understanding of it because of his background. However, it’s said that he did very badly in English while he was in school (he also happened to do very well in Kanji). This goes to show that language ability has nothing to do with nationality, race or anything of the sort. I wonder if he ever gets depressed about that kind of expectation or assumption from other people. I used to feel the same way, after all. If I went to South Korea and people knew that my mother was Korean, they’d probably have the same assumption, or at least they would ask. If I didn’t tell them anything they probably wouldn’t think that way.
But let’s get to happier thoughts. Eiji’s really cool. Kenisha’s already referring to him as my “man” (not “mine,” but rather “that guy that gets my attention when he’s on TV”). I can’t seem to find any of his music–he’s part of a duo called WaT with Teppei Koike–so I guess I’ll have to stream it and see if I like it, and then buy some CDs. Ugh…expensive Japanese CDs…or get the songs from iTunes, maybe. If they’re there. (Just checked: they’re not.)
In other news, my first celebrity sighting: Comedienne Edo Harumi gave an interview on the Rikkyo campus on Friday. No one seemed to know or care, and neither did I, really. But I saw her. I didn’t even know her name; one of the CIS advisors told me who she was.