Today, when I asked my third-grade class to write their names on the whiteboard, I noticed for the first time that one of my brightest girls is actually left-handed.  I was so surprised.  It is not common to encounter lefties in Japan, because traditionally they are trained out of it in early childhood (and if I’d had a left-handed child – which I don’t – I probably would’ve done the same thing).  A “leave them alone” trend seems to on the rise in modern cities, but it’s still really unusual to encounter them here. 

Therefore, I really was surprised to see someone unabashedly writing with her left hand.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that since my NZ days. 

One of my Japanese cousins is naturally left-handed, but was trained out of it when he was a kindergarten student.  He ended up becoming ambidextrous, and once bragged to me that he could hold a pencil with one hand and a pair of chopsticks with the other.  Apparently he got really good grades at school because he could eat and study at the same time, thus saving a lot of time and effort.   I can see the merits.


2 comments on “Southpaw

  1. Karen says:

    Well, left-handed people are pretty much the minority in all cultures, aren’t they? I wonder why? There must be some evolutionary reason for it. I looked at Wikipedia, and there are all sorts of theories, but none of them hold up that well.

  2. Miko says:

    Part of the reason that Japanese schoolkids are trained out of it because they are expected to use brush and ink for calligraphy lessons in school, and doing it lefthanded leaves a nasty trail on the page. One thing I noticed in NZ was that all my leftie friends were incredibly artistic. They also had incredibly messy handwriting!

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