Posted by: yoko | March 5, 2004

Words From Childhood 2.6

Today’s phrase: hidari giccho

Hidari means “left”, giccho is a (redundant) slang word for “left-handed.” The usual phrase is hidari te, where te means hand. Giccho carries negative connotations, which I suppose is within the context of a largely right-handed society.

When I was a kid, I didn’t realize the connotations. My parents always described me as hidari giccho, so when I had referred to myself by that phrase to a Japanese teacher some years later, she was taken aback, and had to explain to me that it was a derogatory term.

I am the only left-handed person in my family, and in my extended family as well. I supposedly have two cousins who had initially shown left-handed tendencies, but they were taught to use their right hand when writing, so now they are right-handed.

I’m glad that my parents didn’t try to force me to be right-handed, but it did create problems learning to write in Japanese, where the lines must be done in prescribed directions and order; and when I was learning any kind of craft like knitting or origami.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. You’re lucky to have avoided the experience of being forced to write right-handed. At the Catholic school I went to, the nuns felt that left-handers needed to be “cured.” I think it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

  2. oh man, Lila– I didn’t think they still did that in this day and age! It’s like medieval torture, isn’t it?!

  3. I’m glad that i’m left-handed. I always got my own scissors during craft time. There would be ten righty scissors and one lefty pair, and as the only lefty, i’d have no competition for cutting time.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: