Sunday, April 3, 2011
My Favorite Japanese Words - "The Bar-Code Ossan"
Ok, time to try and get back to normality and not only post quake related posts, we're all getting a bit fed up with that, ain't we?
This time I thought I should bring up to a wider audience one of my favorite Japanese words: "バーコードおっさん・baakoodo ossan" which translates into something like "Bar-code old geezer". "Ossan" means middle-aged man, but has a bit of a derogatory flair to it and the "bar-code" comes from the, not too unusual, fantastic comb-over hairstyle which, depending on the richness of the hair, can give an image of a bar-code when viewed from above.
I think that in most developed countries, it is a common belief that a comb-over is not a dignified way of trying to cover up one's hairloss, but in Japan it is still quite widely accepted and not at all unusual to see. However, before you start thinking of doing this yourself on the basis of "it's ok in Japan", I should warn you that being a Bar-Code Ossan is not perceived as something positive in Japan among the younger people although among fellow Ossan Salarymen and politicians, it could help you melt into the crowd.
(1. Oh yeah, speaking of looting, apparently a neighbor of us had a break-in in the days past the quake when a lot of people were hiding in their hometowns over the weekend and we're pretty far away from it... 2. Supposedly I'm in that #Quakebook thingy and I will blog about it but don't see much point until the book is out, check it out here meanwhile)