There’s no need for Netflix when you have the drama that is goodbyes in front of Japanese train ticket gates. Offering an insight into the highs and lows of the human condition better than any Korean drama, this phenomenon is unique to stations in Japan and something that @endys_holiday captured to perfection with this picture, taken precisely 3 years ago.
Drunk in love
— Takashi Endo (@endys_holiday) November 9, 2018
= Taken 3 years ago on this day, this work of art regrettably wasn’t awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Please have a look. On the right: love. On the left: drunkenness.
Picture the scene. We’re near the entrance of the shinkansen (bullet train) track of a train station in Shizuoka. On the left, a young girl hugs her (assumed) boyfriend goodbye before she returns to Tokyo. Or so we can guess from the kawaii pink suitcase at her feet.
On the right, another kind of couple are also sharing a moment, albeit less romantic. Here we see two salarymen, one holding his colleague tightly against his chest, before one or both of them board the train.
But what does it all mean?
@endys_holiday’s picture has generated a lot of scrutiny on Twitter, with users sharing their own in-depth analysis of what might be happening and the underlying metaphors. Could there be various readings here? That’s what @hsgwtk seems to believe.
— TAKE7 (@hsgwtk) November 10, 2018
= “In reality, there are 3 more possible patterns, aren’t there? On the right: love. On the left: love. On the right: drunkenness. On the left: drunkenness. On the right: drunkenness. On the left: love.”
Making a request in Japanese
The first way to make a direct request in Japanese you will learn is ください, which translates to “Please do or give (something)”. Easy to use, this polite imperative can be attached to a verb’s て form or to a noun. In this last case, the noun will be prefixed with お or ご.
- 見てください = Please look
- ご連絡ください = Please inform
- お持ちください = Please bring
One does not simply know how to request in Japanese
You’re set to ask someone your first request with ください, but let’s review the exact underlying meaning conveyed here because with great power comes great responsibility.
ください is, in fact, giving an order — politely, but it’s not like the recipient has any choice. The person the order is directed at can’t say yes or no. In a classroom setting, when your teacher asks you to 読んでください (= “please read”) they are actually telling you “READ NOW!”
The point we’re getting at is that you must take into account the person you’re talking to and the context. For instance, ください is a perfectly polite way to tell a client or a superior to sit down or to eat; this is a grey area where the order is actually more of a polite instruction. However, if you’re asking for a service (e.g. lend me this book, give me some money) ください will sound quite offensive. To be less straightforward with your request, use くださいませんか instead, which translates into the much safer, “Won’t you do (something) for me please ?”.
|惜しくも||oshikumo||to one’s regret, regrettably|
|ピューリツァー賞||pyuuritsaa shou||Pulitzer Prize|
|逃す||nogasu||to miss (an opportunity, a shot)|
|作品||sakuhin||work (of art)|
|ご査収下さい||gosashuu kudasai||Please have a look|
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