If you’re a Kurt Vonnegut fan, you’ll know that homeboy urged us to:
please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
Which seems nice, and is easy enough to do back home. But how does one murmur that in Japanese?
Which brings us to the January 1st issue of Brutus Magazine.
Yo, what? Yes, that’s correct, it’s no longer January.
But BRUTUS magazine’s stuff attempts to be ‘classic’ rather than just timely, so if you’re in Japan you can get recent back issues at most big book stores.
Each issue is themed. An art issue, a Music vs. Rakugo issue, a movie issue, etc. And the magazine’s design is hot (compare their covers to those of American upscale men’s mags, 95% of which feature a large picture of George Clooney with weird hair).
In many of these issues they ask famous people what their favorite nani-nani is, and let them chat a bit about it. There’s pictures of the things the famous people like, so all you have to do is find some famous person who likes the same things as you, and then you can get their other recommendations, kinda like low-fi J-Idol Netflix for intellects.
The January issue is about books, and features Hikari Ota of the most excellent 爆笑問題Podcast .
He, like me, is a big Kurt Vonnegut fan.
In said story, Hikari quotes the Vonnegut line as:
A pleasantly idiomatic translation of, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
If anybody actually tries saying this around happy Japanese people, please let us know the results.