Saturday, 19 April 2014

Shades of Nippon.

OK, having now watched umpteen zillion Japanese ghost stories on YouTube, I consider myself an expert on the Japanese and Japanese ghosts. Certain trends have become apparent:

1. However brave the Japanese might be in other areas of human endeavour, when it comes to anything supernatural they’re a right bunch of squealy, knicker-wetting scaredy cats.

2. Unlike our more rational European ghosts, Japanese spectres generally eschew the more obvious haunting grounds like creaky old buildings and crumbly old cemeteries. Their preference is for schools, modern offices and ladies’ lavatories (especially ladies’ lavatories in schools and modern offices.)

3. Nearly all dead people in Japan appear to have got that way by committing suicide, mostly either by hanging themselves or jumping off tall buildings (especially tall school or office buildings, where they take careful aim to fall past the windows of the ladies’ lavatories. Never the men’s, for some reason.)

4. The best credential for becoming a ghost in Japan is to be female, 30-something, pretty, with long black hair (unkempt, of course) and the capacity to do mean as only the Japanese can.

5. The best credential for becoming a ghost’s victim in Japan is to be female, aged 15-22, pretty, with long black hair (arranged tidily) and the capacity to squeal and succumb to incontinence as only the Japanese can.

6. There appears to be a damsel-in-distress thing going on here, but there are no knights in glinting armour to ride to the rescue. On the odd occasion when there is a young man in the vicinity, he’s always the first to run away and leave his girlfriend to face the music (or menace, or moaning, or whatever.)

7. Alternatively, it could be all about subliminal cultural conditioning, the message being that women with tidy hair are nice, women with scruffy hair aren’t, and boys are useless.

I want to go to Japan. I might be useful (and lucky.)

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