The Japanese are a Pain in the Ass

Pulls on hip-length boots and prepares to wade blindly through territory normally reserved for Treyvaud.

Sure, I’ll admit that post title is half fishing for search hits and snarky comments, but basically asks you to make that same equation. The page is a Nestlé coffee ad disguised as quasi-日本人論.

I came across it while searching for 五月蝿い, a set of ateji for うるさい. You have to dig pretty deep in the page to find the article addressing the reason why it gets those kanji, but it also explains that うるさい, then written 煩し (don’t ask me how that gets pronounced…うるさし?), initially meant “incredibly skilled or of great personal fiber.” It was associated with a quest for perfection or completion, I believe, and as everybody knows, those are generally the most annoying types of people, so うるさい also came to take on the feeling that other people had towards these class suck-ups – one of distance and annoyance.

うるさい definitely means “of a loud and generally unpleasant volume,” but as shown all over the front page, it can also mean a sort of perfectionist, a stickler. The front page is covered with examples of the pattern Xにうるさい: 四季にうるさい, 旅にうるさい, 言葉にうるさい, コーヒーにうるさい. “The Japanese are sticklers for the four seasons, travel, coffee, etc.” ALC provides fastidious, which is another way to say it. I guess the simplest way to express it naturally in English would be something like, “The Japanese are serious about coffee.”

Although to be honest, truly コーヒーにうるさい people are not going to be drinking Nestlé instant coffee.

2 thoughts on “The Japanese are a Pain in the Ass

  1. There was some comercial, I think it was for coffee, using the phrase 日本人はうるさい!. I adapted that for a vid I made on youtube and it attracted a lot of idiots that thought I was bashing Japan and couldn’t speak English so they stuck with their assumption and ranted at me.

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