One aspect of learning a foreign language is getting a handle on its jokes, gags and other forms of humor. Why a given language group finds some things hilarious but not others is an extremely complex question, and is no doubt linked closely each the kokumin-sei (national character) of the group. Comedy in Japan takes many forms, including the straight man/tsukkomi vs funny man/boke comedy team genre known as manzai; comedians who cast around for a bizarre act that will resonate with the public, such as Razor “Hard Gay” Ramon’s outrageous hip motion; or bizarre physical humor, like the Sasuke/Ninja Warrior obstacle course series. For some reason, various types of puns are common in Japanese, either in spoken form as bad dajare jokes uttered by middle-aged men, or in the form of visual gags as seen below. Do you get the jokes?
(On the left is “Hatsune Niku,” niku meaning “meat” which is the nickname of Sena from I Have Few Friends. The girl on the right is holding a “muffler” she made for a boy, but instead of being a hand-knitted scarf, it’s a car muffler.)
Puns are a big part of humor in Japanese.