Fun Link Friday: Reblog: On Being Funny in Japan

Anyone who has been to Japan for a substantial amount of time understands the pain of attempting to tell a joke only to have it fall so flat that all you get is blank stares and mildly offended silence (I found this particularly true when stumbling through the mine fields of sarcasm).

I came across this article last year and saved it for a rainy Fun Link Friday. Eryk at This Japanese Life has put together a brief and amusing introductory guide to humor in Japan (as he notes, there is no real word or phrase to describe a “sense of humor” there) and introduces some of the basics to your standard funnies in Japanese culture, including tradition things like rakugo and manzai, but also plain old scaring the daylights out of people and some of the weirder things, too. I think there’s definitely more that could be added to this, but I thought it was a neat introduction to the topic, so be sure to check it out! What would you add?

This Japanese Life.

There’s actually no word for “sense of humor” in Japan.

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About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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