After all of these years these quotes still ring true, even in Japan. I have always felt a sense of revulsion and fascination towards people who display sheer ignorance towards common everyday things. I mean, how can you claim to be a proud Japanese if you know nothing about your own government? I heard from a young lady today that she had never been to a well known and established food chain in her own area, and that she has never even tried ramen, in her whole life! The reasons she gave were as ignorant as her own excuses, yet it was fascinating to listen to her explain her own reasoning. "I don't like food at all," is what she said. I'm not her psychologist, so I dare not analyze her, but even an anorexic model likes food from time to time, even if she has to reverse it the night before a big show. You can have a myriad of health issues and still maintain some form of dietary requirement that doesn't preclude your own national cuisine. To say that you have never been anywhere, or have never tried anything because you are too finicky, or because you live in a closet is totally inexcusable, especially if you appear to be healthy and have no noticeable health issues is just absurd. I had to get rid of a girl two months ago because she couldn't finish off a saucer of sashimi.
In my years here, I have met some other gems too. I once met a girl on my FB who had no idea a certain city was NOT located in her own prefecture. After she was corrected she quickly apologized and changed the subject after being outed on my FB and in front of everybody.
Again, I don't want to come off as pretentious, but I do feel that certain things should be just plain old common knowledge.
This post was submitted to the blog matsuri for March 2011 over at Haikugirl's Japan