Tag Archives: Japan

Sakura Memorial

This week, April 10 Memphis time marked the one-year anniversary of my mother’s death. This week, the remains of the sakura blossoms snowed down on gentle winds, piling up in pale pink drifts, their trees gradually yellowing with growing leaves … Continue reading

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Tobidashi Boy to the Rescue

Tobidashi Girl, too! That was my first reaction on learning the most common name (飛び出し坊や) of the little traffic god-children who guard the intersections around my town of Minoh. Around towns all over Japan, too, it seems, but it was … Continue reading

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Two of My Friends Are Fighting

This weekend, violent protests broke out against Japan and Japanese businesses in dozens of cities in China. People are furious that Japan’s central government bought the Senkaku (Japan’s name)/Daiyu (China’s name) Islands. China’s State newspapers are fanning the flames and … Continue reading

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The Big Kusu Tree of Kayashima

“That tree’s not there because Japanese people love nature or eco or want green or anything,” said my colleague, who has been working in Boston for years. We stood on the Kayashima station platform on the Keihan line, the green … Continue reading

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Kumazemi Crisis

At the height of summer, I thought I couldn’t stand one more day of incessant, ear-splitting cicada screaming. “Miiiin min min miiii,” as they spell it here (pronounced “mean”). I noticed when I came back this week that the sound … Continue reading

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Singing the Osaka Dialect Blues

Last night I dreamed I was sitting across a huge conference table from one of my company’s high-level executives. He was in the place of honor in the middle, of course, and I was one chair off from the middle … Continue reading

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Let’s Twist and Shout Instead

Nothing gives you more insight into your own culture than seeing someone from a very different culture adopt it wholesale and express it as-is in his own language. Recently, a famous Japanese professor from MIT came to speak at my … Continue reading

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