Grad school application stuff is finally done! Blog posts should hopefully be more frequent now! 😀 Also I have been informed that fellow ALTs have stumbled onto my blog. If so, hiya and thanks for reading!
If you live or traveled to Japan, you are probably familiar with Softbank. Softbank is one of Japan’s biggest cell phone provider companies. Bigger than the company itself is probably the company’s mascot: Otosan. Otosan, literally meaning “father”, is a white dog that speaks in Japanese. For reasons that we are “too young to understand”, the father has turned into a dog which fazes no one in his family. His family contains his Japanese wife, daughter, and oniisan. Oniisan, meaning brother, is the other odd bunch of the group as he is a foreigner. Once again, no one really brings these two things up. The commercials revolving them are about their odd hijinks that they get into as a family. There are many commercials about them as they provide to be a very popular ad campaign. Here are some:
(Subtitles are available!)
Even more commercials! They’re great:
My friend is a huge otosan nut. He will get any merchandise that involves him. There’s a lot of merchandise which ranges from cups, rugs to an Otosan-themed bicycle. If it’s been made, he’s probably featured in it.
Back in August: one day on the way home, we saw a Softbank promotional ad on the train. The ad was promoting an appearance from Oniisan and Otosan himself. If you were lucky, you would be able to get a photo of the two. My friend jumped on the idea. Being a fan, I agreed to join him.
I barely made it to the event on time and grabbed a raffle ticket. While we were there, we ran into one of the Softbank employees that assisted us with our new ALT’s phones. She was a really nice lady that was patient with us and even told one of the new guys that if he ever needed advice or help, to come talk to her because she wanted to be her Japanese mom. It was hilarious. Anyways, I found it amusing that she was there. I guess she really loved Softbank.
We were bummed that our numbers weren’t called. BUT, our Softbank friend cheered when she heard hers. She looked at us and said “Come with me!” All of a sudden, we were winners! We got our photo taken, petted Otosan and even shook the hands of Onisan. It was great!
Suddenly there was a surprise announcement: the entire crowd had a chance to win Oniisan’s autograph and a personal photo with him and Otosan! How would we figure out the winner?
Of course, it was going to be a janken tournament. Janken is Japan’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and is used in so many situations. In tournaments, everyone is against the leader. If you win, you keep going until you numbers dwindle and get a winner. I am awful at tournaments and usually get knocked out the first round.
And yet for some reason, it wasn’t happening this time around. Every time we did Janken, more people would get knocked out but I was still winning or tieing. Finally it was down to four people and we all Janken-ed to decide the winner.
I had won. Still baffled at myself, I was pulled to the front of the stage once again except I was by myself. Oniisan handed me his autograph and I felt a little starstruck this time around. I shook his hand and he said thank you to me in both English and Japanese. Oniisan, aka Dante Carver, was after all, an American. They took one more photo of us and I think it came out how happy I was, haha:
The best part? We were under au banner, which was right next to Softbank’s. au is one of SoftBank’s competitors in the Japan mobile business.
I never win stuff so having the opportunity to meet a couple of Japanese TV celebs and getting an autograph was really awesome! Take that off the checklist!