Photo : ©SUNDAY / RendezVous
2018/10/29  #018
SNS Eigojutsu (on E-Tele): July 12th
# IndependenceDay and My Wardrobe

Official website of the show :

■Behind the Scenes

On our show Sekai e Hasshin! SNS Eigojutsu, we feature tweets and social media posts that we’ve culled from around the world. But the themes we discuss are very much America-centric. One reason is that when you look at the number of social media users by country, Americans are number one by far. Also, I’m an American; one of our producers also has spent time living in the States. What’s more, Americans post on social media frequently and actively contribute to a wide range of online discussions, perhaps as a result of all the strife that has come to define the current social and political climate.

As someone born and raised in the U.S., I grew up either witnessing or experiencing both the good and bad that America has to offer (although I acknowledge that the social environment in California is quite different from middle America). Since I moved to Japan 12 years ago, I’ve been able to maintain a “healthy” distance with the U.S., which has allowed me to look at my country of birth with fresh, less tainted eyes. Sekai e Hasshin! SNS Eigojutsu is a language program, but what makes it special is the cultural context we provide, both in terms of the internet and American society. And in that regard, I am the only one on the show who can talk about the American reality as someone who has lived it—and I take that big responsibility very seriously.

On this day we featured #IndependenceDay. As a rule Americans are quite patriotically-minded, but under the Trump administration the situation has become more complicated—there are those who believe America is on the verge of becoming great again, and there are those who are disheartened by a government that is pushing the nation in an increasingly insular direction. In other words, my feeling is that everything that has come to pass since Donald Trump took office had cast a pall over Independence Day celebrations this year, and for some it was difficult to celebrate what America is becoming. Of course, as a TV show our position is not to overtly support one side over the other. Instead, we simply tried to shine a light on how different individuals were feeling about America on this occasion.

Our MC’s partner this week was Gori-san. As we touched on in the show, Gori-san is from Okinawa, and as such has a strong admiration for all things American, while also harboring some form of subconscious hostility—his relationship with America and American culture is complicated. The director of this episode also told me about how she was having trouble shaking her understanding of the U.S. as the country that dropped the A-bomb on Japan. We ended up having many discussions at our weekly script meeting and over email. For many Japanese, America continues to loom large in their consciousness—maybe more than ever.


Photo : ©SUNDAY / RendezVous


僕は生まれも育ちもアメリカなので、アメリカの良いところも悪いところも沢山見てきました。( カリフォルニア州の社会環境は、現在、対立の中心となっているアメリカ中部地域とは全然違う状況であることも、確かなのですが。)日本に拠点を移して12年が経ち、アメリカと“健全な距離”を置くことで、母国を冷静な目で見ることができるようになってきたとも思っています。『世界へ発信!SNS英語術』は語学番組ではあるのですが、インターネット文化やアメリカ社会についても、学ぶことができることが大きな魅力だとも思っています。そういう意味では、番組のキャストの中では、唯一当事者としてアメリカの現実を紹介できることに関して、非常に大きな責任を感じています。

この日は#IndependenceDay、つまりアメリカ合州国(※合州国という表記については をご参照下さい。)の独立記念日がテーマでした。そもそも愛国心が強いアメリカ人の中には、アメリカが再び偉大になりつつあると喜んでいる人がいる一方で、トランプ政権の下で、益々内向きになっていくアメリカを憂う人も多く、純粋にこの日を祝えないムードが多くの地域に漂っていたように思えます。番組としてはこうした、アメリカの変化を肯定するわけでもなく、拒否するわけでもなく、あくまでSNSに投稿をするアメリカの一般の人々の様々な思いや祝い方を紹介しました。

今週の“パートナー役”は、ゴリさんでした。番組の中でも語られていたように、ゴリさんは沖縄出身なので、アメリカ文化に対する強い憧れがあるとともに、反発のようなものもあるようで、アメリカという国に対しては複雑な気持ちがあるのではないでしょうか。また、この回のディレクターも、 “原爆を日本に落としたアメリカ”というイメージを幼い頃から強く持っていたようです。今回の台本を作り上げていく中で、編集会議などでディレクターとは様々な話し合いをしました。やはり多くの日本人にとっては、今も尚、アメリカという国は、とても大きなテーマなのだなあという感想を持ちました。

■What is America?

What is America? Many politicians, scholars, and popular figures have said something to the effect of “America is an idea” or “America is an experiment”. According to the Declaration of Independence, the central notion at the heart of that idea/experiment is that “...all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...” In other words, as I touched on in WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #017, the central notion is diversity. The United States of America is an experimental nation based on the ideal of diversity.

Those who find themselves unable to celebrate Independence Day this year from a pure place of heart are perhaps struggling to come to terms with that identity being completely turned on its head by the actions of the Trump administration. What should America strive to be? What was America, really, to begin with? There is currently an intense, often acrimonious debate going on about this issue.

At the same time, there are quite a number of celebratory posts on social media coming from new U.S. citizens. Regardless of the current state of America society, for many, the American Dream is still alive and well.

My father is also an immigrant who came to America believing in its promise of a better life. In that sense I believe I can relate to the pull immigrants feel towards America. At the same time I understand that in my father’s mind, there is a difference between those who came to the country legally and those who come in illegally, and I can also see how there’d be strife between these two groups. In other words, the American notion of diversity or the American Dream always comes with caveats—for some Americans, they are only afforded when certain stipulations are met. Not at all surprising; after all, the United States of America only came into being after taking the land from the native population.


“アメリカとは何か?”という問いに対して多くの政治家、学者、著名人は「アメリカは概念である」とか「アメリカは実験場である」とかと説きます。アメリカ独立宣言によるとその中心概念は、「すべての人間は生まれながらにして平等であり、その創造主によって、生命、自由、および幸福の追求を含む不可侵の権利を与えられている」ということになります。つまり、WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #017でも少し触れましたが、その“中心概念”は多様性なのです。アメリカ合州国は“ダイバーシティ”という概念を具現化しようとしている実験的な国家なのです。




[Movies about the immigrant experience in America]

The Godfather Part II
『ゴッドファーザー PART II』フランシス・フォード・コッポラ監督 (1974年)
Stranger Than Paradise
『ストレンジャー・ザン・パラダイス』ジム・ジャームッシュ監督 (1984年)
Joy Luck Club
『星の王子 ニューヨークへ行く』ジョン・ランディス監督 (1988年)
Stranger Than Paradise
『ジョイ・ラック・クラブ』ウェイン・ワン監督 (1993年)
Maria Full of Grace
『そして、ひと粒のひかり』ジョシュア・マーストン監督 (2004年)
The Visitor
『扉をたたく人』トム・マッカーシー監督 (2009年)
Sin Nombre
『闇の列車、光の旅』キャリー・ジョージ・フクナガ監督 (2009年)
The Big Sick
『ビッグ・シック ぼくたちの大いなる目ざめ』マイケル・ショウォルター監督 (2017年)

■This Week’s Wardrobe/ 今週の衣裳

■Azabu Tailor off-white double-breasted jacket

Photo : ©RendezVous

When I think of white double-breasted jackets, I picture Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, and Al Pacino in Scarface. In other words, someone not on the straight and narrow, who has a particular sense of style as well as an air of danger about them.

Our set on Sekai e Hasshin! SNS Eigojutsu is a colorfully surreal environment with an exotic palace lounge-like feel, so I figured off-white would be a perfect fit. I ordered this double-breasted jacket at Azabu Tailor.

Being a summer jacket, I also went with patch pockets instead of the standard, more conservative flap pockets. As the name suggests, patch pockets are “attached” on the outside of the jacket instead of woven into it. They have a casual look, and are not ideal for suits that are strictly business.






■Azabu Tailor pink linen shirt

Photo : ©RendezVous
For the second week in a row, I decided to wear a breezy linen shirt, also from Azabu Tailor.

I wanted something that I could also wear to a summer shindig, so I had this shirt made in a more casual style. For example, I tucked the shirt in on the show, but it is short enough to be worn untucked without drawing attention to itself. Also, there are two chest pockets with flaps, and instead of my usual French cuffs, I asked for standard barrel cuffs with buttons, so I could roll up the sleeves.




Azabu Tailor Shinjuku East Store
麻布テーラー 新宿East店
4F 3-25-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
〒 160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿3-25-10 當山ビル4F
TEL : +81-(0)3-3358-9921
Open 営業時間 12:00-20:00(Weekday/平日)
11:00-20:00(Sat, Sun and holidays /土日祝)
Last Call 19:30
Closed 定休日 : Thursday / 木曜日

■Tabio silver socks

These are Tabio’s Men’s Supima 3×1 Ribbed Socks in silver (¥972 tax incl.) I wore these socks in pink on our #ShoTime show, which I talked about in WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #007. As this week my shirt was the statement piece in terms of color, I went with something less expressive on my feet.


こちらは『タビオ』のシルバーの「メンズ スーピマ3×1リブソックス」(税込972円)です。以前#ShoTimeの回を振り返ったWARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #007で同じタイプのピンク色の靴下を紹介しました。今回はシャツのカラーが目立つため、足元は落ち着いた感じにすることにしました。

■Tabio pink socks /「ブルックス・ブラザース」のグレイのズボン

Photo : ©RendezVous
Check out WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #002 for more information about this item.

こちらの商品は、以前紹介したのでWARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #002を参照してください

■Paraboot double monk shoes   /「パラブーツ」のダブル・モンク・シューズ

Photo : ©RendezVous
Check out WARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #004 for more information about this item.

こちらの商品は、以前紹介したのでWARDROBE & ENSEMBLES #004を参照してください

■Hold My Beer

Stereotypical American traits include “loud and obnoxious”, “audacious”, and “likes to party”. For the most part, I would say these stereotypes hold up. As I’ve written in a previous entry, Americans—particularly guys—like playing pranks and messing around. And they often possess an unusual amount of confidence. (Incidentally, lately these kinds of traits have started to be considered toxic masculinity.)

Case in point, every summer, there are many people who are reckless with fireworks and end up injured and hospital-bound. Perhaps watching so many action/superhero films has lulled them into a false sense of invincibility. When a group of guys is out and messing around, things escalate, and a certain turn of phrase inevitably rears its head: “I dare you to...” Such “great ideas” tend to come to mind when everybody has been drinking quite a bit, so naturally, the reply is “Hold my beer”. For anybody interested in seeing grown adults act like jackasses, check out the Jackass films.

For Americans, being free is the most important thing, and they will fight to the death to protect their freedom. This notion of freedom also includes the freedom to be as stupid as one pleases. They take their messing around seriously.

In that sense, America is perhaps the ultimate experiment. It is a country that is forever a work in process, feeling around in the dark, repeating the process of trial and error.


アメリカ人のステレオタイプとしては、“うるさくて不愉快” “大胆” “ばか騒ぎが好き”などありますが、僕もそういう感想を持っています。以前も書きましたが、アメリカ人の男性は、いたずらをしたり、ふざけたりすることが大好きで、また、異常なまでに自信過剰であります。(因みに、こうしたタイプの男は最近では“毒々しい男らしさ”(toxic masculinity)と呼ぶようになりました。)

毎年夏になると、花火で悪ふざけをして、怪我をして病院行きになる人が、とても多く出てしまうこともその一例です。アクション映画の見過ぎで、自分が無敵だと勘違いしてしまうのかもしれません。男同士でふざけているうちに、エスカレートし、あるお決まりのフレーズが出てくるのです。 “I dare you to...” (“それだけの度胸があるなら・・・)。大体こういう“素晴らしいアイディア”が出る時というのは、お互い相当飲んでいる最中だったりするので、挑発された側のお決まりの返しは “Hold my beer” (そんじゃ、俺のビールを持っていてくれ)となる訳です。いい大人がこうしたおバカないたずらをすることに、興味がある方は、是非『ジャッカス』シリーズをご覧ください。



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