shiri

It’s certainly true that everyone poops, and it’s also obviously true that everyone has a butt. But just how much do you know about your butt?

Probably not as much as Noritake Suzuki, author of the anally-focused children’s book Oshiri Wo Shiritai, or, in English, We Want to Know About Butts!

Published last December, this is a delight for everyone from young kids to parents reading bedtime stories. The book, far from just being one giant butt joke, or the joke of one giant butt, actually contains a great deal of linguistic treasures for young learners. And for the rest of us, too! Of course, that’s not to say that Suzuki doesn’t have a sense of humor as the page below demonstrates.

▼“Aaahhh, my butt is on fire.”  “Show us! Show us!”

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お尻に火が付く (oshiri ni hi ga tsuku) is a Japanese phrase that literally translates as above, but more accurately means “to be pressed for time.” The three We want to know all about butts! children have misunderstood his idiom, and, on the next page, they are shown peering at the understandably perturbed man’s posterior.

▼”What? His butt’s not burning at all!”  “Well, maybe his butt is red on the inside?”

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We guess he should at least be glad he didn’t get kanchoed.

In addition to Suzuki’s evocative illustrations, the book contains a, uh, butt-load of phrases that contain “shiri,” the Japanese word for butt. On a semi-related note for language learners: “closet” is “oshi-iri,” not “oshiri,” the polite form of “butt.” You want to put your futon in your oshi-iri–not in your oshiri.

Here’s a few of the butt-er phrases your kids can learn from Oshiri wo Shiritai.

  • 尻が長い (shiri ga nagai) – Literally, it means that one’s “butt is long,” but it means “to pay someone a visit and spend a long time chatting and not leaving.”
  • 尻が割れる (shiri ga wareru) – Taken at face value, this means that one’s “rear is cracked or broken,” but the implied meaning is “to have something bad or hidden uncovered or exposed.”
  • 尻込みをする (shirigomi wo suru) – This phrase would directly translate as “to enter one’s ass,” but the real meaning is “to step back with fear” or “to be timid and hesitate.”
  • 尻毛を抜く (shirige wo nuku) – Here, we have a painful phrase that literally means “to pluck butt hair!” The intended meaning is “to strike when someone’s guard is down or to take someone by surprise.”
  • 尻に付く (shiri ni tsuku) – “To stick to a butt” is the literal meaning of this phrase, and its real meaning isn’t terribly different: “to follow someone, like a subordinate.”

While adult Japanese speakers will probably know most of these phrases, it’s definitely a great book for the anal-retentive language learner! However, it wasn’t enough for Suzuki to simply develop children’s vocabulary—he also included a chapter of oyaji-gyagu, which are basically puns. Though oyaji-gyagu, literally “old men’s gags,” are usually horribly groan-inducing, little kids and some language learners (like this humble writer) enjoy them quite a bit.

Here’s a sample page with some choice butt puns:

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From top to bottom:
“Kusamushiri” is literally “weeding,” but the author gives us a little wink at the “shiri.”
“Dosshiri” means to be “big and bulky,” just like the “shiri” in the picture!
“Oshiriko” is the polite form of “shiruko,” which is sweet red-bean soup. The author added some butt-shaped dumplings to drive the point home.

Going further in the book, there are simply butts everywhere! This page shows off some of the different types of posteriors that people have, before going on to explain the various parts of people’s rear-ends and why we have the butts we have.

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Adults love the book, too!:

At first I thought it was just a gag book, but there’s some serious parts too.

From corner to corner, every page is packed with “butt” fun!

I checked this book out from the library, but I’m enjoying it so much that I don’t want to give it back. Ah! My “butt’s on fire,” so I better return it!

If you’re a language learner looking to add some fun to your studies or you just appreciate great illustrations, you can order the book from Amazon Japan. They ship internationally and you should be able to use your credit card for purchases.

▼The face of a man who knows butts.
Somehow not what we were expecting.shiriauthor

Noritake Suzuki, pictured above, has a number of other volumes including a Japanese take on Everybody Poops, call Boku no Toire, or My Toilet.

Maybe we can get him to write a new book for Mr. Sato about wearing bras

Source: Naver Matome