Talking to strangers is something that’s been drilled into our heads since the early days of ‘Stranger Danger’, roughly the same time as I recieved one of those ‘Green Cross Code’ card holder … things. Also as I’ve previously discovered trying to start up a random conversation with someone you don’t know can at times be like trying to get a five year old to recite the complete life on Henry the Eighth in detail in Latin. This obviously gets enhanced further when you (wish that you) have the speaking capabilities of someone roughly a fifth of your age (aka a five year old).
However once in a while an anomoly occurs and you get some little smart-arse who’s studied nothing but English Classics in their short little lives and can do such a task. This in turn must mean that there is hope for people wishing to strike up a conversation, even a short one, with a complete stranger and not have it go AOT like someone carrying something very expensive and slipping on a pile of mochi.
To the point then. Today a friend and I were in a park in Umeda practicing kanji on white boards and seemed to draw the attention of a (possibly) homeless man. As he came closer I saw him staring down at my whiteboard (covered in miscellaneous kanji combinations). I explained to him we were doing kanji practice and our conversation began.
The conversation ended as quickly as it started as he went off to join some friends a few meters away and we continued our kanji practice. After a while, partly due to boredom and the kanji for the name 今井 (Imai), we ended up playing a few games of noughts and crosses, followed by me testing whether or not my friend new へのへのもへじ (henohenomoheji).
Henohenomoheji (へのへのもへじ) or hehenonomoheji (へへののもへじ) is a face drawn by Japanese schoolchildren using hiragana characters.
The word breaks down into the seven hiragana characters he（へ）, no（の）, he（へ）, no（の）, mo（も）, he（へ）, ji（じ）. The first two “he” are the eyebrows, the two “no” are the eyes, the “mo” is a nose, and the last “he” is the mouth. The outline of the face is made by the character “ji”, with the dakuten forming the ear. Children use henohenomoheji as the faces of kakashi (scarecrows).
This have caught the ears of our visitor who had returned and seemed very eager to show us some other variations of the game. Unfortunately I never had the chance to ask him what they were that he drew, but I did take some photographs of them, and will ask some friends when I next see them.
Speaking of photos, there’re going to be new photo’s on the blogspot page daily for a while! In the mean time, here’s a video of Darth Vader (aka Dave Prowse from Bristol) doing what he does best. Also, did you know R2D2 (aka Kenny Baker) was a Brummie? o_O