For some reason I just remembered a funny incident, with my grandfather, on my birthday (as a boy). He bought me a water colour paint set with Japanese brushes. The brushes had Japanese symbols on them. I said "Look Opa (grandpa) the brushes have Japanese writing on them". He puts on his glasses and pretends to speak Japanese. I said "Can you speak Japanese?" He said with a smile "Of course I can". "Then what does it mean" I said curiously. He said, "Wash brushes after use".