Saturday, May 30, 2015



"Trash Big-Sister"

When I went to Japan in 2007, one of the things I wanted to do was see a Japanese baseball game.  My thought was to use the game as a "Rosetta Stone."  I already knew the rules of baseball.  Watching the fans at the game would help me understand Japanese ways of thinking better.  
I discovered various difference between the experiences of watching Japanese and American baseball games.  One difference I discovered was that of the "Trash Big-Sister."  
As during American baseball games, vendors will walk amongst the seated fans at Japanese baseball games selling drinks and food.  But there was one employee I saw that I've never seen at an American baseball game.  I called this person, the "Trash Big-Sister." 
I first noticed the Trash Big-Sister halfway through the third inning.  I was watching the visiting team take the field.  The woman sitting next to me gently tapped me on the shoulder.  When I turned to look at her, she handed me a cardboard box filled with crumpled paper.  
"What's this?" I thought.  The woman nodded toward something behind me.  When I turned around, I saw a young lady carrying a plastic bag, gathering everyone's trash.  This was the "Trash Big-Sister."  During the game, "Trash Big-Sister" returned three or four times.  By the time the game was over, the stadium was almost as clean as it had been when the game was about to start.  Impressive.  
This seemed like such a Japanese thing to me, I assume that all of the stadiums in Japan had "Trash Big-Sister."  Recently, I was talking to a Japanese member of my Japanese/English Language Exchange group.  She also had a part-time job working in a baseball stadium.  She told me that, at her stadium, they did not have anyone doing such a job.  Also, she told me she thought the term, "Trash Big-Sister" was a bit rude.  
It was, absolutely, not my intention to be derogatory about Trash Big-Sister.  I was using the term in the same way the Japanese call the young lady that presents the weather report on news programs as "Weather Big-Sister."  I've told the story about Trash Big-Sister as an example of Japanese fastidiousness.  I think it would be great if American stadiums did something like this.  
From now on, I don't think I'll use the term, "Trash Big-Sister," in conversation.  I would like to find another term, one that's fun as well as easy to remember and say, to use instead.  
Can anyone out there tell me what they would call someone doing this job?  


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