[As I typed the title for this post I had a sudden memory connected with “Part 2.” One of the most popular singers of the Showa Era was Yamaguchi Momoe. And she had a hit song called “Playback – Part 2.” Suddenly I’m compelled to see if there was ever a Part 1. Time to consult Ms. Google. Hah! There really was a Part 1. And now I know. Google it yourself if you’re interested.]
So, back to nakayoshi. Having consulted with my family therapist daughter, she allowed for the possibility that reminding children that they are nakayoshi might be a healthier way to stop a kenka.
Sometimes the very structure of a language can aid or hinder communication. There’s this:
When our family moved back to the USA my daughter had very little English speaking ability. We were in a large apartment complex and one day she saw a little girl around her age riding a sanrinsha. She wanted to see if she could borrow it. She asked me, “Mama, how do I say ‘kashite‘ in English?”
So simple in Nihongo, but all I could think of in Eigo was the unwieldy “Can I borrow your tricycle?” My daughter just stared at me. Too much English for her sansai self and she gave up right away.
Sweatshirts were torēnā in our house until the kids realized that other American kids didn’t use this term. They’d learned it in Japanese because the Japanese learned it from the Australians or the British? I’m not sure.
One day, when my daughter was in kindergarten in New Jersey, she came to me very excited.
“Mommy, guess what?! The word for orange juice is the same in Japanese and Korean!! orēnji jūsu!”
Gotta love the kids!
- Yamaguchi Momoe – 山口百恵 one of the most popular singers who retired when she got married. All of Japan wept on that day.
- nakayoshi – 仲良し good friends
- kenka – 喧嘩 quarrel or fight
- sanrinsha – 三輪車 tricycle
- kashite – 貸して the imperative form of the verb ‘kasu’ which means ‘to lend.’ A casual way of asking. An adult might add a please to it.
- Nihongo – 日本語 Japanese language
- Eigo – 英語 English language
- sansai – 三才 three years old
- torēnā – トレーナー what we Americans call a sweat shirt
- orenji jūsu – オレンジ ジュース orange juice