Recently, I received a question about how many Kanji characters do I know. My answer was, "I don't know"...Honestly, I couldn't even guess about how many. I think this kind of question is almost as difficult as how many English words do you know? I wonder how would you answer?
There was an amazing answer I've heard one time when I was a college student. It was my close friend who immediately answered this question when we were talking about how many English vocabularies one has to learn at university in Japan. He said, "Oh, I know at least a million words." "What?" I asked him again. And then, he slowly started to say,
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, night, ten, eleven......hundred......thousand......ten thousand...hundred thousand....one million...."
I always liked his sense of humor as well as his smartness. Since I learned his unique answer, I've shared this idea with my students who came to learn Japanese language.
It' been ages since my friend came to visit me here at Koloa, and this morning, to my surprise, I found him on the internet! I am so happy to know he is now medical director of his new clinics in Yokohama. I was also moved to read his interviews (in Japanese) with both laughter and crying, in which he mentioned me, too.