Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Let's Learn Japanese: Furyo

Furyo (n.)
Young hooligan (lit. "no good")

It was a real testament to my "turning Japanese."

I attended a company Halloween party dressed as a furyo. The Japanese at the party laughed and told me how funny my costume was. The non-Japanese at the party were like, "What are you, a yakuza?"

Never mind that most of my co-workers have lived in Japan for as long as I have, if not longer. How do you not recognize a furyo when you see one? Have I been wasting my time here, educating myself in popular culture while the other foreigners around me educate themselves in going on all-night benders in Roppongi? What am I, the biggest geek?

Yakuza. Peh! Indeed.

By the way, if the concept of furyo seems foreign and difficult to relate to, consider ruffian heroes Kunio and Riki (AKA Alex and Ryan) who gained stateside infamy as stars of the Nintendo game Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari (AKA River City Ransom):

"Alex listened to the R&B. Alex started jamming. Stamina is maxed out!"


Rick said...

Could you help those of us that only speak 0.9 languages and include the phonetic version of the words you teach us? I would like to use this word at work today, but I don't want to mistakenly call someone a garden hose or something.

Jesse Jace said...

Let's see...I guess it would be something like "foor-YOH" or "hoor-YOH" (where YOH rhymes with "go"). It also sounds somewhat close to the Hispanic name Julio, if that helps.

I don't know what's Japanese for "garden hose," incidentally. So far I've gotten along okay in Tokyo without that word. SO FAR...