Who Wears the Pants in Japan?

“Ken? Ken! Wake the hell up! Meet me at the station.”

I sat up in bed, and realized it was not my bed. Words like this are why Ken Seeroi does not answer his iPhone after 11 p.m. The dreaded Yoko was on the line, and I was in her bed. Well, at least she had a bed, and not a horrible futon like I do. Either way, I really gotta remember to turn off that ringer.

“Ah baby, I’m kind of asleep,” I mumbled, “and it’s pouring down rain.”

“I forgot my umbrella,” she said. “Bring me one.”

“Yeah, just stop at 7-11. They’re like five bucks.”

“Never mind,” she said. “I’ll just get wet. Forget I asked you. Don’t worry about me.”

I could see where this was going, so I tried to use my sweet voice. Continue reading “Who Wears the Pants in Japan?”

How to Teach English

One of the things I like best about English class in Japan is how much Japanese I learn. Like the other day, I was in Nakamura Sensei’s class. He’s the English teacher in my middle school, and his English is arguably better than mine, since he actually knows stuff like what “a pronoun” is. I thought it was just a really excellent noun, like maybe when you take cat and turn it into meerkat, or popcorn into poop corn. Those are great improvements, so pronouns I figured, right? Well, apparently that was the wrong answer to give in front of forty students. Whatever. I still think they’re nice pronouns. Continue reading “How to Teach English”

Is Japan Safe? Not Quite…

The Importance of Knowing What to be Afraid of

One of the things I like best about Japan is that it’s so incredibly safe. I mean, sort of. Like, you can stumble half crocked up to the ATM at midnight, take out a couple hundred buck’s worth of yen, and then float your way to a darts bar without a care in the world. That’s a bar where you play darts, which I guess is kind of dangerous in its own right, especially after a few cocktails. But at least it’s not the U.S., where you have to barricade yourself into your house with an assault rifle, to protect yourself from everyone else who’s got an assault rifle. But you know, price of freedom and all that. Continue reading “Is Japan Safe? Not Quite…”

Four New Rules for Running in Japan

Japan’s a reasonably good place to head out for a little exercise, assuming you’re into that sort of thing. I personally enjoy indulging in “the fitness” myself, as I’ve found that it burns off potato chips while simultaneously making beer taste all that much better afterwards. So that’s a win-win. At the same time, I feel it’s my civic duty, as President of Japan, to point out some real dangers associated with running here. Continue reading “Four New Rules for Running in Japan”

Japan Wins Every Sport in Winter Olympics

Last week, I ate school lunch in the staff room, sitting at a table with plates full of mini omelets, rice, daikon salad, and some goo of tofu mixed with beans, which is rather redundant, if you think about it. Well, probably best not to think about it, actually. Plus a slice of orange for desert.

“Seeroi sensei,” asked the school nurse in Japanese, “Do you like green tea?”

“Yeah sure,” I said. I mean, who doesn’t like tea?

And they all laughed. Continue reading “Japan Wins Every Sport in Winter Olympics”