Friday, September 10, 2010

"That was inappropriate"

It's been a few days since I've made it to the internet cafe, and there's plenty I'd like to post about, but I figure I'll share a slice of Japanese life by putting it into a cynically humored American perspective.

There are many varied individual customs that some small communities or families choose to include as part of their daily life. Certainly, very few people share the same exact custom.

My host parents introduced me to one of their daily customs that I couldn't help but add my own interpretation to it.

Japanese people mostly shower and bathe in the evening. Before one enters the bath it is expected that you wash dirt off with a quick shower. I prefer to just shower, so I don't even bother with the bath.

When we exit the bathroom we say, "Gobureshimashita," or something along the lines of that was inappropriate/unacceptable.

In response, anyone who is around says, "Goyukuri douzo," which kind of means do as you please.

I came across what might be a more literal meaning. The stem of gobureshimashita could very likely be the verb for neglect, so it's more likely to actually be an apology, "I have neglected you."

It's not really serious though, because there is an embedded humor in this exchange. It's very easy to give an exaggerated interpretation of it though.

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