Foreigners who are more Japanese than Japanese people

 

The first foreign featured is Ivan Orkin, an American chef who owns and operates Ivan Ramen, a noodle restaurant in Tokyo. In addition to making great ramen, Ivan takes time every day to travel around his neighborhood greeting local shopkeepers – a polite gesture that makes him “more Japanese” than the average young person in Japan these days. For more info on Ivan, check out this Wall Street Journal article.

The second foreigner is Jenya, a Russian girl that is a minor celebrity in Akihabara, where she apparently does some tour guide stuff. The reporter is very impressed with her Japanese, noting that she even writes mobile phone mails in Japanese instead of English. She says that she has passed level 2 of the Japanese language proficiency test. The report then contains some information about the JLPT, demonstrating some of the difficult questions that are found on the test.

The next part of the report focuses on a Brazilian man who is very knowledgeable about kanji and traditional Japanese sayings. Having lived in Japan for just 9 years, he is able to answer questions that many Japanese cannot answer after having lived their entire lives here.

At the end of the segment, Ivan and the Brazilian guy comment on things they like about Japan. The Brazilian guy is fond of the kindness and consideration Japanese people show towards others. Ivan particularly likes the phrase otsukaresama, which is used to recognize the hard work of others.

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