First seen on Sumikai…
If you have ever been to Japan there is a big chance that you already know the popular store Donki (short for Don Quijote) or have at least seen one of them.
At Donki (ドン・キホーテ) you can get everything! From stationary over household goods and foods (specially snacks) to Make-Up and Luxury Accessoires, you’ll find anything you want (or didn’t even know you wanted). Another contributing factor to its popularity are the comparably low prices. The chain has stores all over the country and even three in Hawaii (though with the amount of japanese visitors in Hawaii maybe its considered Japan).
The variety of goods also make it to the perfect destination for souveniers for friends and family (according to Donki half ob all Tourist come to and shop at Don Quijote). That’s also the starting point for the Comic Essay. But what is a Comic Essay actually? Basically its a Manga that consists mostly of only one volume and deal with a specific, often factual topic which is loosened up by the illustrations with a humorous touch.
The title ドンキに行ったら外国人がすごかった (Donki ni Ittara Gaikokujin ga Sugokatta) can be loosely translated as “When you go to Donki the amount of Foreigners is amazing”. The Comic Essay is written and illustrated by Shimamura Hiro with the main character being a sales girl at Donki who is constantly surprised by the sheer amount of foreigners and their behavior.
I stumbled over the Comic while browsing the Donki Onlineshop and was immediately captured by the slogan on the banderole: 日本土産の定番はキットカットの抹茶味！？ (Nihon Miyage no Teiban ha Kittokatto no Maccha Aji!?) which means “The most popular souvenier from Japan is matcha flavoured KitKat?!” This I could answer with a wholeheartedly “YES!” because up until now every time I visited Japan you could find at least one Matcha KitKat Pack in my suitscase on the way bag (but let’s be honest, I never was only one…)
For about 8 Euro (1.080 Yen) you can’t go wrong, so I let my husband buy it for me right after it was published on December 19th 2014. The 128 mostly black and white pages (with some colored ones in between) it wasn’t too thin and it definitely surpassed my expectations. It is always interesting to read about the behavior of foreigners from a japanese point of view and I definitely found myself in some of the pictured situations.
For now the Comic is only available in japanese, but like many other comic essays you can find this one in the Teenager Corner in the bookstores which ususally means that the language is kept relatively easy. This makes it ideal for learners of the japanese language (about level N3) even though not every kanji has furigana. If you are somewhat experienced in the use of dictionaries it shouldn’t be a problem to find the Kanji.
Here’s an example page from the Comic Essay (with a somewhat loose translation):
2) G…Gone!! Moreover only the ones with matcha flavour?!
3) I have to check what’s going on at this place…
4) Oh? Foreign Customers? According to their appearance probbaly from Thailand?
5) I would be glad if they bought one, or even two or three bags.
6) Gah, wrong! They are buying two to three whole boxes!!
The comic essay is available at the Donki Onlineshop or at Amazon Japan and I can only recommend it.
7 thoughts on “Comic Essay ドンキに行ったら外国人がすごかった”
Haha this sounds like a really fun comic 🙂
It really is (^_^)
Japanese people always snicker a bit when they ask what omiage I’m taking to my family and I reply “Sembai and Kit-kat” but honestly, those are the things that fit the category of, “novel, yet not so strange as to be unfamiliar.” Though my family doesn’t care for matcha, so I usually buy the strawberry ones, or something else interesting.
Actually another thing my family loves are the melty-kisses. And since I’m from a large family, and they each want a box of strawberry and a box of chocolate, and one sister commissions a few extra boxes, I walk into the store in December and stick 20 boxes of melty-kisses in my basket. Then I go to the check out, mentally telling everyone around me, “I’m actually a very healthy eater.”
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I never thought about it that way, but I think you are right. Flavored KitKat is just a mini step outside the box and even my grandmother likes them ^^
Uh, I love Melty-Kisses, too. But it’s a bother to take home because the pretty little boxes always come out of my suitcase with dents and bruises. I think japanese chocolate is just bestter suited to give as present because even though usually the amount is very small the packaging is beautiful (^_^)
When in Japan usually my husbands buys all the sweets but I know the “It’s not all for me. Really!” feeling. Here in Germany I’m the one who buys all the omiyage and when you stand at the register with 30 packs of Haribo… f(^_^;)
My melty kisses boxes end up dented, but it works out okay because I usually put them in the Christmas stockings, which means I open the box anyway and dump the pieces inside.
Do Germans know that Haribo are very hard to get outside of Germany? I’ve found them in a couple different stores in the U.S., but they aren’t common. One time I brought blue jello cups to a picnic and I placed raw spinach leaves and Haribo gummy frogs on top of each. Everyone was asking where I had gotten the frogs. I don’t think they had ever seen them before.
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I think at least in Europe Haribo is quite common (though I can’t say for sure as I always rather search for sweets that we don’t have here) but I know that it’s rare or very expensive in Japan and China. Everytime we visit my Inlaws we bring Haribo for the kids and Ferrero for the adults (^_^)
I found Haribo in Japan, at Donki and such, but I was appalled by the tiny size and huge prize ^^”
Though Haribo also can be tricky. My younger brother and sister brought Haribo with them when they came to visit, but included licorice…
Have you ever seen a asian person eat licorice? If you have then you know the disgusted look on their faces and the struggle with wanting to spit it out and being too polite to do so 😉
Ha, ha,ha. No, I’ve never seen them eat licorice, but I have seen them eat cheddar cheese and an apple pie with cinnamon flavoring, which get the same reactions. So I guess they aren’t interested in trying Springerlies or Annisplatzen any time soon…