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Readers of my blog may still remember the article on a rather strange colleague who really had to leave our team here at work who, on his last day, displayed a black note book called “death note” on his table. I was wondering what this nonsense is all about, was it a threat? I eyed the gentleman closely on his last day, making sure I was close to him whenever he was fondling in his bag. You never know what goes on in the mind of people. Now a “death note” appeared one more time, in an office fun email coming into my mailbox, showing drawings school students here in Taiwan made in their school books (see image). Now I was beginning the think, what do Taiwanese people mean by “death note”? Do they think it is something like “last day notes” or whatever? Might be a cultural thing making “death notes” seem much less serious here in Taiwan.
Well, Google is your friend and the answer to this riddle is Japanese Manga. Wikipedia knows it all, there is a cartoon series where a guy has a magical note book and when he writes the name of his enemies inside it, they die. As Wikipedia knows, this magical note book has entered the minds of students in China and seemingly Taiwan as well, leading to school kids keeping their own little death note book and writing the names of their teachers and enemies inside it. The Wiki article mentions superstitious believes in China in this matter and they may not be totally wrong, because I know that people go to temples here to get magical words being written on a paper by the priest. If you keep it in your pocket, the note may protect you from harm etc.
"Death Note" drawings in Taiwanese school books, drawn by students
So I guess the colleague kept his death note book from school days and probably wife and I are inside it as well. Being a rather harmless semi-fun or student stupidity with a naïve worldview in China and Asia, it seems much more serious to Western eyes, at least Wikipedia mentioned arrests of students keeping private death notes at US schools.
Goddamned kids, they should rather deal with girls (the red things on the photo) than with Japanese magic mango nonsense, photo: Ludigel
Next time I know and overlook it. Well, hope that’s not the day when I have a real psycho
Hey, you are nobody until you appear in someone’s death book!
Related article in German: http://bobhonest.blogspot.com/2008/05/komischer-typ.html