びっくりした

In Japan, very few things are less desirable than an event occurring without a plan. Even worse is when things do not turn out as planned, or when a person breaks from the plan. Of course the whole social web of etiquette is one big plan to keep everyone happy, or minimally at peace with their misery.

Enter the foreigner, who is not literate in the language of the social landscape. Or, enter the KY Japanese man or woman who may be socially dimwitted, or simply does not give two shits about maintaining the cherished group harmony--and yes these people do exist in droves, even in Japan. All of a sudden our happy bullet-train to social harmony is derailed. The plan is shat upon and expectations are foresaken.

All this came to me while I was thinking over the expression "Bikkuri shita!" (I was surprised!) and how it is used. Obviously it is deployed in shocking situations, like when a baby panda sneezes...




but it it is also applied as a sort of scathing remark dealt to somebody violates the expected protocol (*note that there is nothing more rude than violating the expectations of others). It is not directly confrontational (making it perfect for the Japanese), but it gracefully draws attention to the fact that the speaker has had his expectations violated by the actions of the listener. With the proper intonation, this can be skin-blistering. Observe...



Let's use this to our advantage!

1 comments:

James said...

I like this. Especially the eyebrows on that last panel.

Once someone is more than 5 minutes late, you can literally feel the stress ramp up.