[quote="Kaimugen"]I dont actually mind the elitist view from japanese, you can get a lot of mileage out of being underestimated. And being a gaijin is a license to make faux pas and get away with it
but I'm being a jerk. The isolation of japan in the past would be one reason for this superior viewpoint. Except for the occaisional invasion and some mixing with korea and china, japan developed independantly. But they did absorb chinese writing, art and swordmaking techniques. [/quote]
Korea and Japan didn't have a lot of contact, but Japan mixed with China a lot, actually. A lot of Japanese culture is based directly upon Chinese culture, in more ways than what you listed (even sushi originated in Chinese cooking, which I was not aware of until recently), and many Japanese aristocrats practiced Chinese writing (it was a refined art). I really don't understand the hatred for China when they borrowed so much from them, Ah well. And their mixing with Portugal affected things. Their word for bread, 'pan', comes from Portuguese.
Anyway, I didn't say their elitism doesn't have a basis, I know they chose isolation for a long time and they're still adjusting to globalisation, like everyone. But they've been open for a while now, I think it's time to change their thinking, but I know they drag their heels when it comes to tradition, so I'm not expecting miracles, it's just wishful thinking on my part, I guess (I wish every country would smarten up about this sort of stuff). And hey, if you can make their elitism work for you, that's cool.
Their elitism isn't really a big deal most of the time; just because they think foreigners can't learn Japanese doesn't mean they can't, we're doing fine, thanks. Just those few cases where they really hate foreigners are kind of disheartening, to put it mildly.
[quote="jigenbakuda"]But from what I understand japanese has 2 tonal levels, about 2,000 kanji that the adult uses, and an very structured easy way of speaking the language (waaaay less exceptions to the rules grammatically, besides articles and counters, I heard its not that hard). [/quote]
Japanese doesn't really have tones like Chinese. It uses inflection similar to English (to a much lesser degree, though). When you ask a question in English, your tone changes. When you're being sarcastic, your voice takes on a different tone, that sort of thing. If you're not sure about the right stresses in Japanese, it's often recommended you stick to a monotone, because the tones aren't that big a deal.
You put stress on certain syllables in words same as you do in English (and the stress you put on the word in Japanese varies from dialect to dialect; even Tokyoites have difficulty pronouncing Kansai-ben with the proper stresses). It's not the same as Chinese tones, which are specific and killer. I want to learn Mandarin, but I don't want to do it unless I can find a teacher. I don't want to screw up my tones. XD
Kanji aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be, in my opinion. But yeah, Chinese uses many, many more (not to mention that there's a simplified and traditional version of each character). Also the dialects Kaimugen mentioned are tough.
And yeah, Yamashita Tomohisa is gorgeous, that picture you linked is often passed around. XD I really like thispicture
, myself. <3
I had never seen Kuriyama Chiaki before, but I can see why you like her, she's really, really pretty. I Googled Kanno Miho, and she's really gorgeous also.