Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Aliens in Japan

Now as everyone knows Japan is full of aliens. This is evidenced by the fact that most of them carry cards saying they are aliens. Well, I say ‘they’ but I should of course write ‘us’ because I am, of course, a card carrying alien, having about my person, so most occasions, an Alien Registration Card.

So, you may be thinking, this is probably a long segue into something interesting because it sure as shit hasn’t got much going for it right now…and you’d be right.

In true X-Files fashion (remember that show, seems so recent and yet so distant – when I first came to Japan, in 1996, I had never really watched it, but soon after arrival Andy (my soon to go mad travel buddy) and I bought a 17th hand tv and video and, after the aforementioned going mad period, I ‘discovered’ the X-Files and spent no small amount of cash renting series 1 to about 7 from the place over the road from my first apartment. I think I may have wooed the Guru by persuading her that she didn’t want to go out for dinner but wanted to eat cup ramen and watch Mulder saying “it’s aliens Scully, they’ve taken over Kent… I digress)


Oh yes, in true X-Files fashion aliens have taken over Japan, indeed they may have been here forever (or at least since the 7th century. And now I’ll tell you how I know.

As everyone knows the Japanese have about 16 different alphabets, but even though they have all these unnecessary ways of writing, the syllabary (if that’s the right word) is fairly constant. In its basic form Japanese 5 vowel sounds and whilst they look like the roman ones: a, e, i, o, u, their sounds are different. I’ll try and make sense now














OK, so bear with me. Japanese vowel sounds are short, so if you want a long vowel sound you have to double up, as it were. Now, looking at the way I’ve written the ‘sounds’ for you there, go down the list firstly making the short vowel sound…

Done that?

OK, now do it but doubling up and long sounds like saying haaaaaat but just making the ‘a’ sound.

Done that?

OK, now do it again but this time change the pitch to correspond to the notes from the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind…

Now is that spooky or what? The basic Japanese vowel system, and basis of their whole language, is based on an intergalactic cosmic tonal scale from a Steven Spielberg movie! Startling stuff, eh? And, if that were not enough, when I confronted the Guru with this startling discovery she kind of sighed, then pulled the ‘skin’ off her face, revealing her true, green skinned, bug eyed alien form underneath and lisped “it’s a fair cop, guv’nor”. They never said that to Mulder…