You Know You Are Japanese-American If…

“You Know You Are Japanese-American If…” – e-Hawaii Joke

  1. You know that Camp doesn’t mean a cabin in the woods.
  2. The men in your family were gardeners, farmers or produce workers.
  3. The women in your family were seamstresses, domestic workers or farm laborers.
  4. Your Issei grandparents had an arranged marriage.
  5. One of your relatives was a “picture bride.”
  6. You have Nisei relatives named Tak, Tad, George, Harry or Shig.
  7. You have Nisei relatives named Keiko, Aiko, Sumi or Mary.
  8. You’re Sansei and your name is Janice, Glen, Brian, Bill or Kenji.
  9. You’re thinking of naming your Yonsei child, Brittany, Jenny, Lauren,Garett or Brett, with a Japanese middle name.
  10. All of your cousins are having hapa kids.
  11. You have relatives who live in Hawaii.
  12. You belong to a Japanese credit union
  13. Wherever you live now, you always come home to the Obon festival.
  14. The bushes in your front yard are trimmed into balls.
  15. You have a kaki tree in the backyard.
  16. You have at least one bag of sembei in the house at all times.
  17. You have a Japanese doll in a glass case in your living room.
  18. You have a neko (cat) in your house for good luck.
  19. You have large Japanese platters in your china cabinet.
  20. You have the family mon and Japanese needlepoint on the wall.
  21. You own a multicolored lime green polyester patchwork quilt.
  22. Your grandma used to crochet all your blankets, potholders and dishtowels.
  23. You check to see if you need to take off your shoes at your JA friends’ houses.
  24. When you visit other JAs, you give or receive a bag of fruits or vegetables.
  25. When you visit other JAs, you know that you should bring omiage.
  26. When you leave a JA house, you take leftover food home on a paper plate or a Styrofoam meat tray.
  27. You keep a supply of rubber bands, twist ties, butter and tofu containers in the kitchen.
  28. You have an air pump thermos covered with lilacs.
  29. You know that Pat Morita doesn’t really speak like Mr. Miyagi.
  30. You’re mad because Kristi Yamaguchi should have gotten more commercial endorsements than Nancy Kerrigan.
  31. You know someone who has run for the Nisei Queen Pageant.
  32. When your back is sore, you use Tiger Balm or that flexi-stick with the rubber ball on the end that goes, “katonk,” “katonk.”
  33. After funerals, you go for Chinameshi.
  34. After giving koden, you get stamps in the mail.
  35. You fight fiercely for the check after dinner.
  36. You’ve hidden money in the pocket of the person who paid for dinner.
  37. You don’t need to read the instructions on the proper use of hashi.
  38. You know that Benihana’s isn’t real Japanese food.
  39. You eat soba on New Year’s Eve.
  40. You start off the new year with a bowl of ozoni for good luck and the mochi sticks to the roof of your mouth.
  41. You know not to eat the tangerine on the top of the mochi at New Year’s.
  42. You have a 12-pack of mochi in your freezer – that you still refuse to throw away in July.
  43. You pack bento for road trips.
  44. Your grandma made the best sushi in town.
  45. You cut all your carrots and hot dogs at an angle.
  46. You know the virtues of SPAM.
  47. You were eating Chinese chicken salad, years before everyone else.
  48. You know what it means to eat “footballs.”
  49. You grew up eating ambrosia, wontons and finger Jell-O at family potlucks.
  50. You always use Best Foods mayonnaise and like to mix it with shoyu to dip broccoli.
  51. You use the “finger method” to measure the water for your rice cooker.
  52. You grew up on rice: bacon fried rice, chili rice, curry rice or red rice.
  53. You like to eat rice with your spaghetti.
  54. You can’t start eating until you have a bowl of rice.
  55. You use plastic Cool Whip containers to hold day-old rice.
  56. You like to eat your rice in a chawan, not on a plate.
  57. Along with salt and pepper, you have a shoyu dispenser at your table.
  58. You have a jar of takuan in your fridge.
  59. You buy rice 25 pounds at a time and shoyu a gallon at a time.
  60. Natto: you either love it or hate it.
  61. As a kid, you used to eat Botan rice candy.
  62. You know the story of Momotaro.
  63. You have a pet named Chibi or Shiro.
  64. Someone you know, owns an Akita or Shiba dog.
  65. You went to J-school and your best subject was recess.
  66. At school, you had those Hello Kitty pencil boxes and sweet smelling erasers.
  67. When you’re sick, you eat okayu.
  68. Milk makes you queasy and alcohol turns your face red.
  69. Your dad owns a Member’s Only jacket.
  70. Someone you know drives an Acura Integra, Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
  71. You used to own one of those miniature zori keychains
  72. You have a kaeru frog or good luck charm hanging in your car.
  73. Your parents compare you to their friends’ kids.
  74. You hang on to the illusion that you are superior to other Asians.
  75. Your dentist, doctor and optometrist is Japanese American.
  76. You socialize with groups of eight or more people.
  77. Whenever you’re with more than three people, it takes an hour to decide where to eat.
  78. You and your friends call yourselves “Buddaheads,” but don’t like it when white people do.
  79. You’ve heard your name pronounced a half-dozen different ways.
  80. You know that E.O. 9066 isn’t a zip code.
  81. You’re not superstitious but you believe in bachi.
  82. You never take the last piece of food on a plate – but will cut it into smaller pieces.
  83. As much as you want it, never ever take the last – anything. Enryo, enryo, enryo.

(Submitted via email by “Joni”)

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