Saturday, 12 June 2010

No Ear-Whigs, but a whole lot of Lib-Ears

Another prime minister has stepped down in Japan, something like the 6th in 5 years?? His replacement, Kan, is gathering a fair bit of news attention. One day last week the lunch-time news was all about the new first lady. She seems to be a politically savvy and smart woman, deeply involved with her husband’s political career and a great improvement over her predecessor (although since Mrs. Hatoyama had no qualms telling international media she believed she had been abducted by aliens, there wasn’t much room for going anywhere but up!). Then another day was about Kan and his new cabinet. Since the actual announcement had come the previous day the lunch hour “news” program had to come up with a new angle to the story and brought in a panel of “talents” and a specialist. The talents were the usual mix of ditzy and serious but their specialist stole the show.

A popular political pundit? Nope.

A serious scholar? Nope.

A n eccentric ex-politician? Nope.

An ear-reader. Yup.

Hold on.... a wha??

Yeah... they had an ear-reader, like a palm-reader, only of ears. Their shape, the size and thickness of the lobe, any bumps or bulges, you name it, she gave it meaning.

There are apparently a dozen or so set ear shapes such as “inverted moon” and “diamond” and “half-moon” and the most common with 60% of the Japanese population having “triangle” ears.

Ex-prime minister Hatoyama’s ears apparently show him to be unable to accept responsibility for his actions, and the little bulge at the end of his very small lobes (denoting a lack of intelligence) means that he holds on tightly to money and uses it very selfishly on himself. Apparently overall his ears are well suited to a comedian. In contrast new prime minister Kan has much more promising ears, heralding better times ahead for Japan.

The ear shapes of the entire cabinet were unveiled, as were the shape of the ears of the half a dozen talents on the program’s panel. As usual one guy was completely blasted – he’s a lawyer and talent, but his ears apparently show him to be completely unreliable and always telling lies. The poor guy shakes his head and looks embarrassed while the rest of the panel laugh and tease. Then the woman sitting next to the lawyer is told that her ears show she has a big heart and is generous and kind. She clutches the flounce on her dress above her heart in rapture and gives what she thinks is a *generous* smile as the panel again laugh and tease.


With news programs like these, is it any wonder that I tend to get my daily news fix with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation podcasts?!

(although I will admit to spending an embarrassing amount of time in the bathroom contorting in front of the mirror after lunch trying to figure out what shape my ears are and what that means about me)


  1. hehehe an only in Japan moment hey!!

    and Kans wife is apparentley his first cousin! Interesting country we live in.

    Japans new slogan "Yes he Kan!"

    ...have to go and check my ears.

  2. Hehe sounds like going back to the days of phrenology! Next they'll be telling us that blood type determines personali...oh wait.

  3. Tee hee! You both made me laugh!

    Achan - his first cousin? How shocking! ;) (madly trying to come up with some amusing combination of first cousin/lady but will have to plead tiredness!)

    Umebossy - I shocked my friends in Japan for a few years by not knowing my blood type - THE SHOCK, THE HORROR!! (the amusing thing is that they had decided upon my blood type and then it turns out that I'm not actually that blood type so they had to reevaluate their estimations of me...)

  4. Hilarious! But also terrible throwback to nineteenth century European racial ideology. Imagine being turned down for a job because you don't have the right ear shape! It's a bit like the personality tests that grocery and retail stores in the US get (low-wage) applicants to fill out. They're horrid and demeaning, and apparently useless in detecting whether or not an employee will be reliable or will be dishonest and steal, but somehow millions of dollars have gone into developing these tests. Have you checked U's ears?

  5. I must admit I didn't actually remember what all the different ear types meant - I was far too busy being amused by the fact that this was being treated like real news! I will have to examine U's ears, however, who knows what personality traits they are hiding?! ;)