Sometimes the simplest reaction can feel like the hardest.

Despite having a huge number of social media followers, Utada Hikaru doesn’t post all that frequently on Twitter. Utada did have something to say recently, though, sharing a conversation with the J-pop megastar’s five-year-old son.

“My son suddenly said to me ‘I don’t like being called ‘handsome,’’ so I told him ‘Does it make you feel embarrassed? If someone says that to you, all you have to do is say thank you.’

‘What? Why didn’t anyone tell me that earlier?’ he angrily responded, so now I want to tell everyone who doesn’t enjoy being complimented.”

Saying thank you when someone pays you a compliment might sound like something so obvious it shouldn’t require any explanation. In Japanese culture, though, classical manners dictate that when praise is given, the recipient should always deflect, if not outright deny, it.

▼ Video for Utada Hikaru’s “One Last Kiss”

With Utada’s son being raised in the U.K. by a parent with an internationalized lifestyle, he’s not bound by quite the same conventions as someone growing up in Japan, and even in Japan not everyone in modern times agrees that it’s bad form to accept a compliment.

Still, feeling flustered by praise because you feel like it’d be impolite to just accept the positive observation about you as a fact isn’t something that’s exclusive to people living in Japan, and it’s nice to see Utada teaching her son that he’s not under any obligation to try to change someone’s favorable impression of him. Hopefully it’ll come in handy the next time someone says he’s handsome, or that he’s done a great job filming a music video.

Source: Twitter/@utadahikaru via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Hikaru Utada
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!