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Most people are envious of tall guys. Jun, at 185 cm or 6’2”, is very tall. But he does not seem to be happy about it. Listen to what he says about how he copes with life in Japan where people are usually smaller than him.




Task A: Matching task

Match the explanations on the left to the words on the right:

Task B: Comprehension Task

Listen to the clip and choose the correct answers:

  1. In his elementary school graduation, why did a parent thank Jun?

    The parent thought Jun was the teacher because he was very tall.

    Hide answer.

  2. What difficulties did June encounter when he was a pupil? (Multiple answers)
    1. When the class had to change seat, he had to move his desk.
    2. The school bag was too small for him.
    3. He looked funny with the backpack and a yellow hat.
    4. He cannot cook.
    5. He hit his head on the door frame.

  3. What difficulties did June encounter when he is an adult? Please list at least three.

    Any of the following:
    1. Kitchen counter is low and he hurts his back
    2. Girls think he is a pervert by being tall and looking at their chests.
    3. Hard to keep balance in the train because the handle is low.
    4. Bump his head on the door frame
    5. Get offended and annoyed when people think he is a pervert.

    Hide answer.

  4. What advice did Jun give to people who are tall and going to Japan:

    Be careful and stay away from short girls as they might think you are a pervert.

    Hide answer.

Task C: Vocabulary Task

Expressing feelings: Notice how Jun expressed his feelings:
I get offended when girls think I am a pervert.
When we changed seats, I had to take my desk with me, which was annoying.

Express feelings with these words in the following situations (you can use the same feelings for
more than one situation or multiple feelings in one situation):

Video ©Rachel and Jun (youtube.com)


Narrator: (Japanese) How tall are you? I’ve been asked this question more than a hundred times when I was in school. I’m 185cm which is about 6’1 so I’m pretty tall for Japan. Actually I grew almost all my height by the time I finished elementary school. I was about 176cm when I was in 6th grade, so I was much much taller than my classmates. Um … I always looked older than my age, too. At the graduation ceremony a mother of another student came up to me and said “(Japanese)”. Blah blah blah blah blah, which means, “ thank you for taking care of my son,” because she thought I was a teacher or something. I was 12 years old! Well, by the way, I’m 22 now. Um … so everything then was too small for me. I just looked stupid. The desks and chairs were stuck together in the classroom, and I couldn’t really move my legs … um… it was very difficult for me to fit in it. My knees always hit the desk. It was very very uncomfortable and I was not happy at all … I even had my own desk, and it was the biggest desk in my school and I was the only one who had a desk that big, um … even though it was small. Um … it was kinda small. Um … there is a day called “sekegai” which means seat change, where everyone changes seats. Everyone else just took their backpacks and books and moved it to a new desk. But I had to take the desk with me and move it across the room, which was annoying. Also, Japanese elementary school students all have to use a specific type of backpack called “Randoseru”. They are hard and not flexible. Um … this is what I used. Um … they are kind of expensive, too. So usually your grandparents … well not all the time … they buy them for you. And it was supposed to go down to your waist, but since I was too tall, it just stopped midway down my back. And you also have to wear a bright yellow hat so you are easier to see. Um … this is my sister’s. Um … the hats for boys are a different shape. Everyone else was really tiny and short and they looked like little kids but I looked like an adult with a “Randoseru” and a yellow hat so I looked really stupid and funny. Um … I was only less than 10cm shorter than I’m right now … shorter than I am right now, so um … this is what I looked like in elementary school.
Narrator (when his recorder broke apart): what?
Narrator: I’ve come here to save you!
Narrator: And on buses and trains sometimes the girls standing next to me would put their hands on their shirt and try to hide their chest because they think … because they thought I was taking advantage of being tall to see their chests. I am not a pervert! I get offended! And on trains they have rings for you to hold called “sukikawa” to keep your balance. For most people it’s far above their heads so they can hold it easily and balance, but for me it’s right next to my head … like here. So I have to train my muscle when I’m holding onto it to keep my balance, like … fuck it’s so low. And when I’m not holding them it just hits me in the head. And in Japan there’s a lot of concern about perverts on trains about guys trying to grab girls and things, so us/as normal Japanese guys have to be really careful to stay away from girls on trains so they don’t think we’re perverts. But some Japanese girls are really short compared to me, um … they came up to here. They’re really short. So um … when the train is busy and crowded it’s very difficult to avoid them and I have to use all my muscle I have got. Um … by the way, this is the umbrella I was talking about in my last video; it just broke because of the wind. It’s something made of metal, though. Anyway, if you are tall and thinking about coming to Japan, please be careful.
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