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December 16, 2006

# 06 LEFTY #
Myojo 2006.12

Normally I think quite negatively and don't have much confidence in myself, but there is one unique thing that I can be proud of in front of other people. That's the fact that I'm left-handed.

In this society where a lot of people are pressured into being right-handed, the rare people who are still left-handed are thought of as being interesting. There are several right-handed people who notice that I'm left-handed when I write, eat or do sports and who envy me, saying, "Ah, I wish I was born left-handed too!" At these times, I can feel a bit superior. Of course, I myself feel that it's great to have been born left-handed and not have it corrected to being right-handed. In earlier times, being left-handed was made out to be a bad omen, and my grandfather on my mother's side hated seeing me use my left hand. When I was little, I was often told, "Get it corrected!" Even though my parents did try to make me use my right hand more, I stuck to being left-handed. It was worth doing that, if only because that way I could become someone left-handed who was envied by other people.

Most probably the image that the world generally has of left-handed people is that they possess the aura of a genius. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso and Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, the band I love, were all left-handed. Even though that might be enough evidence for the theory that all left-handed people are geniuses, those are just a select few, so that seems suspiciously simplistic even from my perspective as left-handed person. Consequently, the merit of being left-handed is, to be honest, just that you are being thought of as genius, there isn't much else. It's rather the demerits of which there are many.

First, I can't use scissors. It's not as if I couldn't use them at all, but when I try to cut things with scissors using my left hand, I'm forced to give up. That's why I have to ask someone when I need to cut something. And the hardest thing is that there are not many people who know about this handicap for left-handed people, so everytime, everytime I have to give the same explanation over and over again. This is something that really gets on my nerves.

Next, the ticket gate is on the opposite side. Right-handed people might not notice this, but the place where you insert your ticket into the ticket gate is always on the right side. Being left-handed like I am, when I want to pass the ticket gate, I'm always caught in the dilemma whether to put the ticket into my right hand or whether to twist my body so that I can insert it with my left. Mostly I insert it with my right hand, but it doesn't go in the way it is supposed to, and the gate goes pinpon, pinpon (<-- sound of the ticket gate when it closes). Just for this, the Suica card comes to the rescue of left-handed people, because you can use it instead of a ticket and it gets scanned as you pass the gate. There are lots and lots of other disadvantages, but the one time that I really regretted having been born left-handed, was when I read that on average, the life span of left-handed people is seven years shorter than that of right-handed people. Apparently, it is because of the stresses of everyday life that left-handed people feel in this society of right-handed people that shortens their life span. How about that. I don't know how this is in terms of compensation, but compared to their right-handed counterparts, left-handed college graduate students on average have a 26% higher salary. Money is not everything in life, but it's better to have it than not to have it, as it helps you out in various ways, and it gets you fulfillment. So, to live a long right-handed life, or to know genius as someone left-handed (though I really don't know if that's true) and expect to live a short, but fulfilled life. Well, I couldn't decide which option is better, but I wish this society which caters mostly to the right-handed people would try to make things a little bit easier for the left-handed people too

Small text: Katô-sensei who had summer vacation a bit late and went to Hawaii together with Koyama and Tegoshi. "Iya, it was really great! I didn't want to go home at all. But I was stung by a jellyfish in the sea, and when the right side of my upper body started trembling, I thought I would die..."

Translated by riccichan

* Do not repost/retranslate w/o permission *

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by Ran @ 8:46 AM  
  • At March 15, 2009 at 2:11 PM, Blogger hanade said…

    hi there ran~
    firstly sorry for commenting your past 3 years post so late ^^p
    this is because i didnt know that "KS" section is dedicated for shige's writing T__T my bad
    because i thought it s "RS" so i didnt browse through it ..

    neway i just red bout this lefty n i found it really interesting..m glad i get to know bout all those facts (e.g geniuses, 26% higher sallary, short life span etc.) from his wiriting.. n m liking it (yea..cuz m also a lefty ^__-)

    wee..~his writing makes me love him more n more~
    thanks for sharing this ran..n thanks for still keeping it in here after few years ^_____^

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