パンダ贔屓

パンダ人気がすごい。

2歳記念で、シャンシャンの「うんち」展が行われた。
来園者はシャン氏のうんちの匂いを嗅げたりもするのだ。

—–シャンシャンの成長を、ウンコを用いて振り返ります。——(上野動物園HPより)
そして、「ふんばるシャンシャン」の画像、、

https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/topic/topics_detail?kind=event&inst=ueno&link_num=25648

一方で金沢市では、うり坊 や 子グマが発見されては”処分”されている。

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20190615/ddl/k17/040/256000c
https://www.fnn.jp/posts/1645ITC

同じ「動物」とはいえ、こうも違うものか、、
パンダに浮かれてばかりもいられない。

判子の事だけに

仕事柄、公的機関へ手続きに行くことがあります。

ある時、認印としていつも使っている木彫りの判子を家に忘れたので、代わりに会社のデスクに常備しているシャチハタを持って行きました。

案の定、押印する際に役場の人から「シャチハタはダメ」と言われてしまいました。契約書等ではなく申請書類の認印として使うだけなのにと、泣く泣く家に木彫りの熊(北海道土産)ではなく、判子の方を取りに帰りました。

冷静に考えてみると認印で使うだけなのに「シャチハタはダメ」な合理的な理由が分かりません。よくよく調べてみるとシャチハタは、書体が決まっているので悪用される危険性があるというのが理由の一つらしいです。

しかし、私の苗字はとっても珍しい「宝島(ほうしま)」。

昔からシャチハタ判子でさえも必ずオーダーメイド。初対面の人には「たからじまさんですか」と必ず間違われます(判子とは関係ないけれど)。文具屋や100均で判子が作り置きされている可能性も100%無いと断言できるでしょう。

大型スーパーには判子の自動販売機も置いてあるような令和の時代になりましたが、判で押したような「シャチハタはダメ」のお役所ルールは変わらないのでしょうか、判子の事だけに(全然うまくない)。

 

(追伸)

ところで「シャチハタ」は、ご存じの通りシヤチハタ株式会社が製造している朱肉の要らないインク内蔵型の判子の事で、正式名称を「Xスタンパー」というそうです(Wikiedia調べ)。スパルタンXみたいで格好良いですね。

英語でも会社名や商品名が一般名称化している例がたくさんあります。コピーする事を「ゼロックス」と言ったり、ティッシュペーパーの事を「クリネックス」とも言ったりします。

老婆心ながら忠告しておきますが、会社で書類をコピーした時に得意顔で「ゼロックスしときました」と言うと、同僚の人に「はっ?」と言われるので、実際には使わない方がいいでしょう。


公的機関・・・・public institution

木彫りの熊・・・carved wooden bear

合理的な理由・・・rational reason

コピーする・・・Xerox(make a copy)

ティッシュペーパー・・・Kleenex (tissue paper)


Take Me Out to the Japanese Ball Game

After many years living in Japan, I finally did something I’d been meaning to do for a very long time: see a baseball game at the legendary Koshien stadium. The Hanshin Tigers were playing the Chunichi Dragons, and while I once lived near Nagoya, I could not deny the incredible passion of the Hanshin Tigers’ fans.

It wasn’t until after we arrived at Koshien Station that it finally occurred to me that the Hanshin line, the railroad we took in, almost certainly owns the Hanshin Tigers, which would certainly explain the extra trains on the schedule for game days, as well as the unique exit-only ticket gates at Koshien station.

“Decorated

We’d arrived! Granted, the view from the train station wasn’t great, possibly because of the highway that was seemingly built after the stadium.

What a view!

Our friend took a picture of my wife and me outside the stadium, from a much better vantage point. The lighting on us wasn’t great, but, well, there was a highway casting a shadow.

I know I’m making kind of a weird face here

For some reason, as we entered the stadium, we noticed that they were handing out Tigers hats. On the upside: free hat! On the downside: 1990-style faded denim? My wife didn’t wear a hat that day, and it was very hot and sunny, so she took advantage of the free hat, even if it’s not usually her personal style.

Hats!

The game itself was fun, if largely uneventful. One thing we noticed that was rather different from baseball games in the US is that after every time a ball went into the stands, they would make an announcement (“Foul balls are very dangerous!”) and even sent cheerleaders out with a banner to the same effect. Oh, also, there were cheerleaders, which aren’t really a thing at American baseball games — they’re more associated with football and basketball.

Cheerleaders teach the dangers of foul balls!

It’s hard to capture in a photo, but another thing about the atmosphere that’s quite different at Japanese baseball games is the music. In the US, baseball is generally associated with organ music (for reasons far too complex to go into here — there’s a great episode of the podcast Every Little Thing that delves into the topic in detail, if you’re interested!), but in Japan, the norm is constant music played from the stands by fans, generally on trumpets and other horns. Apparently, this used to be the norm in the US, too, but nobody really does it anymore.1

Another thing that happened that I was not used to was the fact that relief pitchers were brought onto the field in a Smart ForTwo.

Don’t call it a ‘smart car’!

However, it is my understanding that this is not a standard part of baseball in Japan.

One last ritual that we really enjoyed came during the seventh inning: the stadium sold special balloons with noise-making nozzles on them, and fans would buy them and blow them up in preparation for the middle or end of the seventh inning.

The little blue patch in the top left is the Chunichi Dragons' fan seating

The fans sing the team’s fight song, then release their balloons all together for a really unique experience. Unsurprisingly, it was a much more impressive show of fandom for the Tigers than for the Dragons, but it was still a lot of fun.

Overall, it was a great experience! We might have to find another chance to see another baseball game at Koshien, one day.


  1. Because of this, it’s easy to tell if old baseball video games, especially on the NES/Famicom, were made in Japan or the US, based on whether they had background music. 

Hello! I’m Greg, an American who has lived in Japan since 2008. I have a tremendous fondness for both reading and writing, which helps out quite a bit in my work as a translator: after all, at its core, the job is built on writing. I’ve always been fascinated with languages, and how they can differ in how they treat even seemingly basic, fundamental things. In particular, there are many common Japanese words that have no good English equivalent, so finding a good way to translate them can be a really interesting challenge.

 

My other hobbies include cooking (Serious Eats is one of my favorite websites, and I cook dinner from scratch nearly every evening), playing games with friends (both tabletop and video games), calligraphy (both English and Japanese, filling an A6 page with some sort of calligraphy practice every day for the past few years), photography, and a long-held interest in computers (as a teenager, I installed operating systems recreationally).

 

I also drink too much oolong tea.