steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

On the Inside, Looking Out

I often watch this Youtube channel, first without and then with subtitles, as a way of attuning my ear to spoken Japanese. The topics aren't always particularly interesting, but in this case I did find the answers fascinating, even allowing for possible edits, sampling errors, etc.

That Perry's name crops up a lot isn't surprising, though it's a bit of a cheat when the question is about non-Japanese historical figures, since (as far as I know) he's only famous in a Japanese context. That's a little less true of Francis Xavier - but I'm struck by the happenstance of his being remembered because his picture is on the cover the school history text book in a cool pose. (It reminds me of the fashion-conscious teen who went into a shop and asked for a cross to wear round her neck: "Do you have the kind with the little man on the front?")

Naturally I tried to think of British equivalents, but could do no better than Julius Caesar (Perry) and St Augustine (Xavier). Pytheas of Massalia might do for Marco Polo at a pinch. None, apart possibly from Caesar, is likely to come up in a similar interview conducted on a British street.

About Spanish Napoleon and Russian Shakespeare, the less said the better.
Tags: links, nippon notes
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