As far as I can tell, Japanese possess a keen sense of humor. It’s even evident in the anthropomorphic paintings by master artists on paneled screens painted hundreds of years ago. A dragon who’s lost his spark or maybe his viagra? A tiger looking sheepish. An ancient scroll reveals frogs and rabbits frolicking, for what I do not know.
My most convincing and subjective criteria for the humorous sensibilities of the Japanese is their ability to unerringly laugh at my husband’s jokes. Many fellow Americans do not find his jokes funny, unless they’re fellow New Yorkers. He enjoys making outrageous statements delivered with a poker face. Most people take him seriously or are just plainly befuddled. I am usually the one who becomes most uncomfortable in this situation . I usually move to untangle the awkward social moment. by injecting, “He’s just kidding.” That’s never been necessary in Japan.
Below, are some random photos of objects of silliness, wit and humor uncovered in daily life in Japan. Unfailingly, they bring a smile to my face, even if it is of childish delight. It seems the Japanese enjoy silliness as well as cuteness. So do I. It’s particularly appreciated in times when the world situation is grim.
Art installation in Naoshima made of plastic buoys.
Balloons at celebration in local shrine.
More art installations.
Rural shop sign
Just one more.