Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Ben Hills- quotes from “Princess Masako”

“Just as the Inuit are said to have 18 words for snow, Hawaiians 47 for banana and Albanians 27 for moustache, the Japanese preoccupation is with bowing, for which there are half a dozen words” 

I doubt much of that is true and/or significant, but catchily and amusingly written anyway- something which I imagine will turn out to be true of the rest of “Princess Masako” by Ben Hills too. Quote from pg 9.

“younger Japanese… nowadays choose [weddings with] Western-style outfits, tiered wedding cakes and waltzes” 

WRONG (in one point)- no dancing in Japanese weddings. Karaoke, however, we will be having

Princess Masako quotes

“At least one woman fled the country to escape the unwanted attention; others hurriedly arranged marriages to other men to forestall a proposal from the prince [Naruhito]; and a few threatened to have tattoos or body-piercings, believing that such ‘mutilation’ would make them ineligible for marriage to a royal” Princess Masako pg 125
“the idea of ‘romantic love’ [has] unpleasant overtones of something ‘lax, loose, untidy and negligent’ to older, traditional Japanese. Indeed, when [Prince] Akihito’s engagement to Michiko was reluctantly approved, the then head of the Kunaicho felt obliged to stand up in parliament and indignantly deny that it was a love-match” Princess Masako pg 127

“in 50 years his biggest published scoop, [Toshiya Matsuzaki] boasts proudly, was spotting that the Emperor Hirohito had acquired a Mickey Mouse watch after a visit to Disneyland” pg 129
“It’s not that the Japanese media are as aggressive as, say, Fleet Street in full cry can be… Being pursued by Japanese newsmen is more akin to being caught up in a flock of sheep softly nuzzling you to death” Princess Masako pg 136

“I never called my writing criticism because I could never write anything bad or nasty” The ballet reviewer Prince Takamado, quoted in Princess Masako pg 144, but that pretty much sums up all critics in Japan


[…] rainy season (tsuyu), Japanese seasons, Princess Masako by Ben Hills According to Ben Hills in Princess Masako, because it usually comes when the plums are ripening. Makes sense, and clears up one that I have […]

[…] written anyway- something which I imagine will turn out to be true as I read the rest of “Princess Masako” by Ben Hills too. Quote from pg […]

[…] Quote from Princess Masako by Ben Hills […]

[…] Japan’s fragmented and backward pharmaceutical industry from foreign competition” Princess Masako pg […]

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