One of the defining features of the Japanese as a people is that they are generally kenson (KEN-son), that is, humble and not boastful. If you've ever tried to compliment a Japanese person on something such as their English ability or how smart their kids are, you may have experienced a strong denial that can be confusing to Westerners. I was reminded of this during the San Diego Comicon a couple of years ago. While setting up our booth I happened to see a Japanese-looking girl with a badge that read Junko Mizuno. Being a complete idiot, I didn't realize it was the artist herself, and I actually said, "Oh, you have the same name as that famous artist, how interesting." The girl, who is so small-bodied she could have passed for a sixth grader, blushed red that anyone would think her famous, despite her many published works all around the world. One word the Japanese use when receiving some kind of compliment is okage-sama de (oh-KAG-geh sah-mah deh), a phrase which literally means "thanks to you," which is a little weird since the person doing the complimenting probably had nothing to do with the acquisition of the skill in question. Often when you say something nice to a Japanese person, they'll turn the kindness back onto you with this phrase.
The spooky but awesome works of Junko Mizuno.