Nakamura-san was careful to close the windows before he left for work, in case it rained. And because break-ins are all too common in Japan, he made sure to close and lock the sliding veranda door. On his way out, he patted his pockets, checking for wallet, keys, and phone, then grabbed his briefcase and headed for the train station.
It would be four hours before a locksmith opened the door to his apartment, where he’d locked his wife out on their tiny third-floor balcony. She’d been watering small pots of basil and tomatoes. Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold, so she waited until she heard a neighbor moving about downstairs and then banged furiously on his balcony with a laundry pole. He called the locksmith who ultimately let her back in. When Nakamura-san came home, he and his wife had a brief argument about whose fault it was and then never spoke of it again. From then on, she took her phone with her when she watered the plants.
Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Marry a Japanese Man Either”
This is the Tree Test: Look at the picture above, and if it’s not immediately obvious why you shouldn’t marry a Japanese woman, then you shouldn’t marry a Japanese woman.
The moment Erick With-a-K saw it, he proclaimed, “That’s the most Japanese thing ever.”
“Close enough,” I said, “you pass.”
Don’t worry if this makes no sense. We’ll come back to it later, until it makes even less.
Domestic Violence in Japan
But my buddy Erick’s not the guy whose Japanese wife punched him in the stomach while he was sleeping on the couch. That’s Dave.
Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Marry a Japanese Woman”
When Asami wiped out on her bike outside Ueno station, she lay on the sidewalk with a broken wrist “and everybody just stepped around me. Not one person tried to help.”
She recounted this accident as we sat out at Starbucks, between sips of a Frappuccino with her left hand, the right being bound in a light blue cast.
“Japanese people are terrible,” she concluded.
“Maybe they’re just shy,” I suggested. Folks here love that excuse for avoiding anything difficult or unpleasant.
And yet, I knew what she meant. Japanese people are terrible. Some of the rudest bastards you’ll ever meet. Except for the nice ones, of course, Asami included. At least part of the time.
Continue reading “Real Japan: Why Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong”
“OK, you got me, why do they make things so difficult?” —St Germain
As a not-so-casual observer of Japanese girls, something I’ve always wondered was: Why are they so sad? They weave through crowds staring dejectedly at their platform shoes, or scrunch over their phones on the train, trying desperately to tune out the world. So I consulted Seina, since she’s got an answer for everything.
“Why,” I asked, “are Japanese girls so sad? That’s something I’ve always wondered.”
“Because they’re not happy,” Seina replied. I don’t know why I’m consistently surprised by the obvious.
“Well, why aren’t they happy?” I pressed.
“Probably they don’t want to be.”
“Who doesn’t want to be happy?”
“People who are sad.”
I could find no flaw in that geometry. You gotta appreciate a perfect circle.
Continue reading “Japanese Values”
Japan has no breakfast. That’s a natural fact. So a lot of mornings, I find myself munching down cold rice balls in the park, simply because there’s nowhere else to sit in this bloody country. It really speaks volumes about a place when it’s specifically designed not to provide seats at bus stops or even a low wall where you could just rest for a moment. But nope; throughout Japan, there’s a lack of horizontal surfaces. This keeps salarymen, housewives, and children in school uniforms shuffling forward, wandering the streets like an army of exhausted zombies. Well, wheels of progress and all.
Continue reading “There is No Japanese Breakfast”