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