There are certain paradoxes you encounter when dealing with Japan. For example, we often think of the country as a streamlined high-tech land of the future, but in reality things are quite low-tech, like the NHK employee who comes around to manually pick up people’s TV-watching fee each month rather than automating the process somehow. Japan is the most polite country in the world, where society’s “golden rule” is to never cause 迷惑 meiwaku (inconvenience, trouble) to others…and yet, politicians and pro-Emperor nationalists regularly drive around with speaker cars shouting their loud slogans and annoying everyone. Another paradox I’ve noticed is the inverse relationship between how much Japanese a foreigner studies and how popular he is with a given member of the opposite sex. For various reasons, Japanese perceive foreigners to be a lot of “fun” and rarely expect us to be able to speak Japanese properly, let alone be capable of appreciating the Tale of Genji in its original 11th century manuscript form. When we do these things, they nod and smile and compliment us, but on some level they probably wish we could be more like the other gaijin are, perhaps belting out an Earth, Wind and Fire number at the karaoke machine while everyone claps instead of singing a sad enka song about the windswept Tsugaru Strait between Aomori and Hokkaido. A male who speaks a little Japanese might find he’s more popular with some Japanese females than he might be back at home…but if he goes overboard and studies “too much” Japanese, well, some of those girls might be less attracted to him. On the other hand, my wife took an interest in me specifically because I was able to write the kanji for “rose” (薔薇 bara) on a napkin, which not even Japanese people can write. I’m sure she thought, a foreigner who can write a kanji like this must surely be someone worth getting to know better.
My theory certain explains this guy.