Osaka, I’m Home 大阪よ、ただいま

I left Tokyo this morning at 10:00 a.m. and was back in Osaka two and a half hours later. I said in yesterday’s blog that I had a great trip, and I did, but I also noticed some cultural differences between Tokyo and Osaka.

One thing I was reminded of right when I got off the train is that people talk with different dialects. Most people in Tokyo speak in the so-called “standard dialect.” Next, when on escalators, Tokyoites insist on standing on the wrong side–the left side. They should be standing on the right side, like right-minded Osakans do.

For some reason Osakans often say that Tokyoites are “cold-hearted” (tsumetai). Perhaps this is because people in Japan’s capital are busier, and therefore aren’t as open to the idea of conversing and laughing with complete strangers. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Tokyoites don’t have the “straight-man-funny-man (tsukkomi-boke) culture” in their blood as Osakans seem to have, this being a result of the long history of manzai in their city…

There is an age-old rivalry between Tokyo and Osaka, and Osakans especially seem to enjoy pointing out how different Tokyoites are, and usually for the worse. No, I can’t say that Tokyoites are tsumetai… I haven’t spent enough time in Tokyo to really get to know about the city or its people.  Sure, numerous people did try to run me over in train stations and at the Kaneko Misuzu exhibition, a policeman wouldn’t give me directions to the supermarket, and a hostess in a restaurant appeared to have her night ruined when I asked her where the washroom was, but, no, I can’t say Tokyoites are tsumetai.

Nevertheless, it is great to be back in Osaka. Osaka, I’m home.

After dropping off my bags at home I headed to Somemaru’s house, with souvenirs in hand. In the evening Somemaru had a show at the Hanjôtei. It was also nice to be back in the midst of profession hanashika.








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