Last night in Japanese

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Last night in Japanese class, we encountered an example sentence that Tod & I agreed made us uncomfortable.

We were practicing with "teki," a suffix that's equivalent to -ish or -like. For each sentence using Nihonteki (Japan-ish or Japanese), we had to describe the qualities of the thing. For example, "This is a Japanese house." Then we described a Japanese style house. It has tatami floors, it is cold in winter, it has ranma and a pond with koi.

"He has a Japanese face" is the sentence that threw us for a loop. As "politically correct" Americans we're trained to not look at racial characteristics too closely! What makes a Japanese face Japanese? Sensei said that Japanese faces are more flat that Western ones--not "dekoboko" which means uneven or bumpy.

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