Well, another April Fool’s Day has come and gone without incident. I still feel like I’ve never really experienced this holiday the way it’s supposed to be experienced. Where do you have to go to find people who are all fooling the shit out of each other all day, only to stick out their tongues, slap their asses and head for the hills?
Obviously not Japan. I was surprised to learn today that April Fool’s Day does indeed exist in Japan. You’d think that with all the bowing and needless apologizing they do here, a holiday dedicated to the act of making people look foolish wouldn’t vibe so well with the people. And to an extent, you’d be right. The second thing I learned today was that in Japan, April Fool’s Day is “the day when it’s okay to lie.”
I guess that’s sort of right, in the sense that lying is essentially the simplest type of prank one can pull. Example:
Sally: Hey Billy. Today I had sex with another man.
Billy: What? But I…I l-l-love you…Sally. Don’t you…I mean don’t you love me anymore? Oh my god, this is crazy. This is so crazy. How could you? Was he better than me? I mean did he have a bigger cock? Who was it? It was Harold from the office, wasn’t it? I KNEW you and him were fucking, I KNEW IT!! I KNEW IT!!!! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?!!?!? HOW??!?!?!?! COULD YOU!!!!
Sally: April Foooool’s!
But that’s so lazy. Japanese people don’t understand that the beauty of April Fool’s Day lies in devising the ultimate prank, which may, but certainly doesn’t have to, involve lying. You don’t have to lie to put spider eggs in someone’s handkerchief or wrap their child’s daycare center in police tape.
Besides, I would’ve thought it was okay to lie EVERYDAY in Japan, considering all the bullshit I hear flying around at every turn. Isn’t that what a tatemae basically is, anyway? Look it up, dammit.