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Ode to the Oba-san

They're the unsung heroes of Japan, the backbone of their society. For those not in the know, an oba-san is a Japanese woman of mature years (let's say from 55 to 155 years old). They know everything about everything, and they're tough, mentally and physically. In honour of their power and towering significance, I've penned an ode to the oba-san.



Ode to the Oba-san

Probably born, in 1920,
Now twinkling eyes, false teeth aplenty.

Looking so innocent, pushing the pram,
Yet beneath the facade, as strong as a dam.

A gummy smile, a friendly chuckle,
But in a sumo bout, Kotooshu would buckle.

Nails for breakfast, gravel for tea,
What's for lunch, the Inland Sea?

The salaryman, gets all the credit,
But that info, I'd like to edit.

For it was the oba-san, who saved Japan,
And not the bar-coded salaryman.

They work so hard, every single day,
In the fields, no time for play.

Tattoos on arm, wigs for hair,
It makes no difference, their love is there.

Make-up on, in all the wrong places,
Looks a mess, funny faces.

Skin so pure, a heart of gold,
They're young at heart, yet really rather old.

But cross the line, or make fun of their life,
And they'll sever your kintamas, with a carving knife.

So one word of advice, towards the end of this verse,
Show some respect, and save your balls from the hearse.

Make no mistake, oba-sans are tough,
You might even fancy one, if you like a bit of rough.

Stronger now, than they've ever been,
They deserve a medal, one should be Queen.

Queen Oba-san, should one day reign,
They deserve the credit, they deserve the fame.

Japan needs them, more than they need Japan,
Cometh the hour, cometh the oba-san.

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On Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger Natalie said:

And never forget that they know they are powerful. This is why they scuffle down the middle of streets pushing their little walker-seat carts. They look up from under their little hats, with their five wild hairs whipping about with a look in their eyes that dares you to honk at them. And beware of oba-sans on bicycles, I think they have death rays installed on them.

Signed,
Afraid of the Oba-sans  



On Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Anonymous Petter MÃ¥rtensson said:

I learned a dirty word. I am satisfied.  



On Thursday, 19 January, 2006, Blogger bogue said:

And don't forget their elbows as you board a crowded tube train...

Or that turn of speed as they manage to get the seat in front of you on the train as the salary man stands up, even though they were in a different carriage as he started to rise...

Great poem.  



On Friday, 20 January, 2006, Blogger Sharon said:

My favourite phrase to spit at obasans is (don:t know the spelling)"kusobaba" (shitty old bag), when they have pushed in front/poked/stared at me one too many times.  



On Monday, 23 January, 2006, Blogger MP said:

One particularly annoying oba-san trait, especially annoying in Winter, is hosing down the pavement/street outside their house every single effing morning.

Today, thanks to my beautiful oba-san neigbours and the recent freezing weather in Tokyo, I spent 30 minutes clinging to railings and attempting to walk/slide to the station without killing myself.

I can imagine them sitting at home, beady little eyes peering out through their curtains, marking down points for every pedestrian they see going arse-over tit.  



On Wednesday, 08 February, 2006, Blogger Lewis said:

I've lost count of the times I've been savagely elbowed by a laser-guided obasan heading straight for the front of the bus queue. I swear that in-between hosing down the pavement in winter and staring at white people they must spend hours at home gleefully sharpening their elbows in preparation for an attack.  



On Tuesday, 29 December, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said:

On a totally packed Kyoto bus,totally chockers. Not a spare piece of room to swing any kind of cat. Fifteen obasans board and EVERY SINGLE ONE GETS A SEAT!! All hail the power of the obasan.  



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