Why are Japanese so Skinny?

Why are Japanese so Skinny?

The crazy thing about working in a Japanese office is that, while knowing absolutely nothing substantial about your co-workers, you can still observe their most intimate habits. But maybe that’s any office, actually. I mean, when I worked in the U.S., there were a lot of folks I didn’t really know either. Although it seems…

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Casino Theme Parks: Is Japan Finally Giving In?

Casino Theme Parks: Is Japan Finally Giving In?

or, How I Became a Japanese Mercenary Last Tuesday around midnight, I found myself in a little Japanese bar, although I had to work Wednesday morning. I have no self control, basically. A couple seats down was a Japanese salaryman, and since the place was empty, we started chatting, until he suddenly hopped up. “Watch…

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Why Your Japanese Sucks

Why Your Japanese Sucks

It’s not Romaji That’s Evil—-It’s Hiragana I have a new co-worker, who just so happens to be white. It’s very exciting, finally speaking with a real foreigner. I really gotta practice the English more. I think she’s from some place like Kansas, probably because she reminds me of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, albeit…

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Crime in Japan

Crime in Japan

You never know what the day will bring—that’s the exciting thing about waking up. So this morning, just as I was heading out for a fresh can of coffee at the corner 7-11, I noticed somebody’d pasted a scary Japanese note to the windshield of my car. “Contract parking place!!” it said in large, crimson…

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One Japanese Book You Must Read

One Japanese Book You Must Read

You should think twice about taking any advice Ken Seeroi’s got to give. I mean, we’re talking a guy who ditched a sensible life in a first-world country for a freezing, tiny apartment, sleeping on the floor, and eating rice with sticks. So, really? Well, it’s not so bad once I move the shochu boxes…

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How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

I don’t go to a lot of cocktail parties. But somehow when I do, I always meet people studying Japanese. Maybe it’s just me. Or more precisely, people who’ll eventually stop studying, only they don’t know it yet. Here’s how the conversation goes: “Ken! I’m studying Japanese! I’m stoked! And I’m completely serious about improving….

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The Easiest Japanese Food

The Easiest Japanese Food

Every once in a while, I discover something in Japan so amazing that I’m compelled to share it with the world. Fortunately, that feeling passes after a few beers, so I don’t actually have to do any work, which I’m allergic to. I’m pretty sure that if I was ever given a job involving something…

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Fantasy Japan

Fantasy Japan

2004, now that was a great year. It was the Golden Age of Japan. I was on my seventh trip here, crisscrossing the nation by high-speed shinkansen in search of small, traditional restaurants, ancient temples, and women with long black hair and short skirts. By then, I figured I knew the country pretty well, spoke…

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Japan Versus America – Who Wins?

Japan Versus America – Who Wins?

Every year, I like to play a little game called “Could I Ever Live in America Again?” That’s where I board a plane in Tokyo, have about ten tiny in-flight wines, watch every movie ever made, then get off in sunny California and ask myself, “Well, how ’bout it, Seeroi?” It’s a pretty self-explanatory game,…

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Sleeping in Japan

Sleeping in Japan

Going out Friday night is great, because it’s like your weekend is three days long instead of two. That’s an extra 80%. I use math to make all important decisions in my life. So late one Friday night, I found myself going to a club with Dave and Eri. Dave’s super power is speaking English,…

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