Characters:     C - Chan;     H - Hayashi

A GV and a learner in class talking about Japanese jokes.

H: After traveling  to various countries many times, I realized that

     jokes are a good way to connect to different people.

     It also lightens the mood.

C: What kind of jokes do you usually tell?

H: Well, first of all, I want people to know that I’m Japanese.

     That’s why I choose jokes about Japan. It helps me introduce a fun

     side of my country. Also, even if I say something too extreme,

     it won’t sound racist because I’m Japanese hahaha.

C: Very good point! Hahaha. So… Let me hear some, then.

H: How about this one: why were the parents of the wrestler proud of

     their graduating son?

C: Why?

H: Because he’s graduating “sumo” cum laude from the Japan Wrestling


C: Hahaha. Pretty good.

H: What rule did the Japanese shoguns have to strictly follow?

C: What?

H: Japanese shoguns were not allowed to carry concealed weapons.

     Hahaha. Get it? “Sho-gun”, “concealed weapons”?

C: Hahaha. They have to “show” their “gun”.

H: What time did Godzilla eat the Japanese Prime Minister?

C: What time?

H: “Eight P.M.”

C: Hahaha. That’s a good one. Let me try. I heard this from a friend.

     If a Japanese ship sinks, and there is only one lifeboat, how many

     people can be saved?

H: How many?

C: Nine people.

H: Ohhhh it’s a play on Japanese words. The Japanese word for lifeboat is

    “kyuu-mei”, which is another way to say “nine people”. That is witty.

C: Thank you! Yours were really funny.

H: What can I say? Being a Ja-pun-ese is difficult. You need to study a lot.

     It also helps to have a good “sensei” humour.

C: Pun intended, I’m sure.

(Hayashi and Chan both laugh)


Ja-Pun (Japan + Pun)   ジャ-パン(日本(ジャパン)と駄じゃれ(パン)


lighten the mood    場が明るくなる

racist            人種差別主義者

“Sumo” cum laude (summa cum laude)


              「スモ=相撲 カム・ラウデ」にもじった言葉           

concealed           隠し持っている

“Eight P.M.” 「エイト P.M.」(「エイト」はeat=食べるの過去形と

              同じ発音で「P.M」は「Post Meridiem」の略で、午後という

            意味でもあり「Prime Minister」=総理大臣という意味でもある                                                                                                               

lifeboat             救命ボート

a  play on words       言葉遊び、しゃれ、語呂合わせ

witty              機知に富んだ、シャレのうまい

Ja-pun-ese (Japanese + Pun)  


“sensei” Humour (sense of humour) 



pun intended         しゃれですが、しゃれのつもりです

●Comprehension Questions

What did Hayashi realize after travelling to various countries many times ?

 a. Jokes are a good way to connect to other Japanese living abroad

 b. Jokes are a good way to offend people

 c. Jokes are a good way to connect to different people

    and it also lightens the mood

 d. Jokes are important to build good relationships

What kind of jokes does Hayashi tell?

 a. He likes jokes about different countries and different nationalities

 b. He chooses jokes that have sexual meanings

 c. He choose jokes that are good for kids so he doesn’t get in trouble

    when parents hear him

 d. He chooses jokes about Japan because it helps him introduce

    a fun side of his country and he won’t sound racist if he tells

    extreme jokes since he’s Japanese

According to Hayashi, why were the parents proud of their graduating son?

 a. Because he’s graduating “sumo” cum laude from the Japan Wrestling Academy

 b. Because he finally finished university after 5 years

 c. Because he was able to pay his student loan before graduating

 d. Because he already has a job and will not stay with his parents anymore

According to Hayashi, what rule did the Japanese shoguns have to strictly follow??

 a. Japanese shoguns were not allowed to use guns

 b. Japanese shoguns were not allowed to carry concealed weapons

 c. Japanese shoguns could only use swords

 d. Japanese shoguns could use guns and swords

According to Hayashi, what time did Godzilla eat the Japanese Prime Minister?

 a. Six P.M.

 b. Seven P.M.

 c. Eight P.M.

 d. Nine P.M.

According to Chan, if a Japanese ship sinks, and there is only one lifeboat, how many

people can be saved?

 a. Twelve people

 b. Eleven people

 c. Ten people

 d. Nine people


C-チャン H-ハヤシ


H: いろんな国へ何度も旅行に行ったけど、ジョークは色んな人たちと


C: どんなジョークをよく言うの?

H: そうだな、まずは僕が日本人だと知ってもらいたい。





C: いいところをついてるね!ハハハ。じゃ...いくつか聞かせて。

H: これはどう?なぜ力士の親は卒業する息子を誇りに思っているか?

C: どうして?

H: 日本相撲協会を「スモー」・カム・ラウデ=優等で卒業するからだよ。

C: ハハハ。なかなかいいね。

H: 日本の将軍が厳重に従わないといけないルールは何?

C: 何なの?

H: 日本の将軍は武器を隠し持っていはいけない。ハハハ。



C: ハハハ。「gunガン=銃」を「show=見せ」ないとね。

H: ゴジラは何時に日本の総理大臣を食べたでしょうか?

C: 何時?


C: ハハハ。それいいね。僕にもやらせて。友達から聞いたものなんだ。



H: 何人?

C: 9人。

H: お~、日本語の言葉遊びだね。日本語で救命船は「キュウ-メイ」


C: ありがとう!君のもとっても面白かったよ。

H: なんて言ったらいいか。ジャ-パン-ニーズになるのは難しいね。



C: それ駄じゃれだよね。







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