"Child Hazard"

by Naoki Nishidate
---this story was originally published in
the january 2000 issue of the "phonebook" manga, Shonen Ace---

This is a self-contained short-story. if you're familiar with Rumiko Takahashi's "RumikWorld" or "RumikTheater" or "One or Double" graphic novels, then you'll know know what i mean; this is one of "those" kind of stories...
An important part of this story is understanding the concept of the japanese phrase "ohayo gozaimasu" or "good morning" as it's translated in english. in japan, wishing someone "good morning" has a much stronger conotation than it does in most western countries. when one says, "ohayo gozaimasu!" to a person in the morning, one is acknowledging the other's existance; more than that, you're happy that their existance is part of your existance and you're wishing them continued health throughout the day...basically, there's a spiritual "under-meaning" and sincerity that i find lacking in the typical english "good morning".
the bottom line, is this: by choosing to not wish an acquaintance "ohayo gozaimasu" or even simply "ohayo" is considered rude. it's especially rude when somone wishes *you* "ohayo" and you don't reply. this concept of "ohayo" is especially noticable in the school experience...when the japanese wax nostalgic about their high school days, "o-ha-yo!" ranks right up there with school uniforms, homeroom, and lunchtime battle royals for "cutlet sandwiches"!
because "ohayo" has such a deeper meaning than "good morning", for the purposes of this story i did not translate it, but left it as "ohayo" you can consider this story yet another opportunity to enjoy the "japanese experience"!

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