If you look non-Japanese and for some reason are in Japan, you are 99.9% likely to enter this conversation within the first 30 secs of meeting a Japanese person.
If you look Asian, your name might get asked first. If it sounds non-Japanese or you can barely speak Japanese, you too will enter the below conversation. Because, this is the way THINGS ARE.
It is nothing personal, think of it as a ritual. A ritual that will continue to occur until you leave Japan.
Supplemental Notes on CC1
Some people will insist on elaboration in the “Where are you from?” question…
I think that this is a problem that many people encounter (especially from the US). Most people in the world have heard of major US cities and states and think that they have developed a solid knowledge of US geography from this. Little do they know that main states are not the only states and that even Americans have trouble locating and naming all parts of the US.
Being from a small state that nobody has heard of can be hard in Japan. You will have the conversation that occurs in the manga. And you will have it every time someone asks the magical question, “Where are you from?”
You will be asked about your dating/marital status
Japanese people do it to one another all the time. But, they save the topic of if you will do it with a Japanese person for the outsiders! There is no real aim in asking this (I have concluded). I think it’s supposed to be an icebreaker…
The chopstick question will never go away. Never.
As long as you are not from a country or ethnicity that primarily uses chopsticks; you are guaranteed to hear this question again, and again, and then another time for good measure. Do not despair, because this question is going to be with you from now on.
If you say vocabulary in Japanese, you are pretty damn good at Japanese. Congratulations.
Have you ever said “konnichiwa,” or “arigatou,” or “oishii”? Because if you have, good for you for mastering Japanese!