So what is pitch accent? Let’s go to the self-proclaimed 上手 of it all. Or at least in the English-speaking world.
Kevin O’Donnell (who goes by Dogen [see below]) is certainly メッチャペラペラ. No argument from me as to how hard the man worked to get where he is today. He teaches you pitch accent. For the government-approved dialect of Japanese.
I get a bit irked by his choice of pseudonym.
Dōgen, also called Jōyō Daishi, or Kigen Dōgen, (born Jan. 19, 1200, Kyōto, Japan—died Sept. 22, 1253, Kyōto), leading Japanese Buddhist during the Kamakura period (1192–1333), who introduced Zen to Japan in the form of the Sōtō school (Chinese: Ts’ao-tung). A creative personality, he combined meditative practice and philosophical speculation.
(Reference: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Dogen )
I see what he did there. He’s just the same as the person who brough Zen Buddhism to Japan! A religion that redefined many Buddhist concepts, and still has around 5 million practitioners today. A religion that had effects on Western thought and philosophy.
But nah. It’s just a goof, bro. A marketing technique.
Also the comedy sketches are usually about what he doesn’t like in Japanese society. It has a colonial vibe to it. I’d be upset at someone Japanese coming over to Canada and criticizing our crappy society problems. It smacks of the “you are a refugee, but I am part of a diaspora” mentality.
Getting beyond my irritation, I guess it’s time I try to approach his course systematically. Then I’ll have some more feedback later. We’ll see how well recording myself speaking will work.