Thursday, January 06, 2005

Not the intended effect

A friend's father is a sumo fan, and thinks I'm one too. (I am, but only sometimes.) He is a friend of one of the judges, and every year he gives my friend, to give to me (the weird gaijin friend of his daughter), a sumo calendar.

The calendar is always wonderful, if occasionally overwhelming. Sometimes I hang it up. Sometimes I send it to a friend (it makes a good gift). I do appreciate getting it. I know they are not common. I probably should keep them - maybe one day they'll be worth something.

This year the sumo calendar is particularly interesting, for two reasons. The first reason is the cover. It is a wonderful cover, but I don't think they expected it to be quite so appropriate. There's something a bit spooky about them getting it so horribly right.

The second reason is funnier, and my friend pointed it out to me inadvertently. She turned to the September/October page. "My father's friend is on this page," she said.

It was embarrassing the way I hooted. Not elegant at all, but she had taken me by surprise.

She stared at me. I pointed, laughing so much I couldn't speak.

She looked where I was looking, and I'm very pleased to report that she folded up with laughter, too. If she hadn't I might have wondered if it was one of those perverted gaijin things.


tinyhands said...

Hokusai's "The Great Wave" is a classic, but that would have gotten pulled from shelves here in the great-PC America. You're right though, very spooky.

The other, "Spank me, big daddy" would have just gotten it moved to a higher-shelf away from the kiddies.

Badaunt said...

I don't think this calendar was ever on the shelves anyway - it's given out to people who belong to some sumo fan club. (Well, they call themselves something more dignified, but that's essentially what they are.)

Would it really be pulled from the shelves in US? That's ... too PC for me, I think. Although I must admit that here there is an amazing capacity to compartmentalize things - the famous 'case-by-case' attitude. I imagine it didn't even occur to them that it might be offensive. I don't know which attitude is worse.

The spanking... well, I don't think that occurred to them either. Sumo fans look at it and see the ritual (which does not include spanking, btw), and miss entirely the overall effect. It positively LEAPED out at me, though (which probably says more about me than it does about them).

tinyhands said...

Would it really be pulled from shelves? I don't know, but the cynic in me says yes, someone would make a fuss and then the local TV news at noon (more useless than nipples on a man, by the way) would have a huge exposé. I don't find it offensive, as I don't find most of the things that cause an uproar here offensive. As for my fellow citizens, the best I can do is manage to shrug my shoulders once in a while.