Informant CS is a student at USC who is currently studying physical therapy. He is Japanese, born and raised in Japan, and went to school at an international school in Japan.
CS: “This is a really well known Japanese riddle that I don’t know if it counts as folklore but it’s more of a joke. [says something in Japanese].”
*later I found the original in Japanese: パンはパンでも食べられないパンは、なぁに？
Dude how do I even know what you’re saying
CS: “You can find it online for sure. Anyways, in english it translates to ‘bread is bread, but what bread is inedible?’. The answer is: ‘a frying pan’. Obviously that makes no sense in english, BUT, in Japanese, the word for “bread” is also “pan”, so, if you take that, it is a play on words and the riddle is actually ‘Pan is pan but what pan is inedible?’.”
Thoughts: I mean… that was amongst one of the lamest jokes I’ve ever heard in my life but I guess its a joke riddle so it makes sense. I know in Chinese there are a lot of riddles like that where the answer to the riddle is a play on the original riddle’s word. But when my friend he would tell me a riddle I was expecting something better than this…