Tag Archives: Musings

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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Hefei Heist, or July Gets What’s Coming to Her

I’m back in Osaka, after two weeks in London, Berlin, Shanghai, and Hefei. I should probably start with the lovely countryside inn I stayed at outside of Berlin, on the way to Brandenburg–golden fields of ripe grain dotted with white … 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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The Neba Neba Boom

The cafeteria at work served okra again today. I’m Southern, so you’d think I’d be a big fan, but the sliminess makes me gag. (Though a large dose of cajun sauce might change my attitude.) “You should eat neba neba … Continue reading

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Empty Nest, Osaka Style

I landed back in Osaka today after three weeks of home leave in California. It’s still hot and humid here, though cooler than when I left, which isn’t saying much. And it’s quiet. Every trip, I forget how quiet the … Continue reading

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I’ve Finally Been Published!

By somebody besides me, I mean. One of the building managers, in the standard beige, many-pocketed jumpsuit, came into our office a few weeks ago. He bowed politely as he entered the room and made a beeline for Takeda-san. He … Continue reading

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Gaijin Space

Gaijin space, if you don’t know, is the space left on the sides of foreigners on the train seats. I’ve experienced it plenty. Often people will stand rather than sit next to me. One time a fellow, even though there … Continue reading

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The U.S. South Is Japan in Disguise

Okay, well, some things about the South and Japan remind me of each other, such as people not always saying what they mean or meaning what they say. But here’s further proof: My nephew, an upstanding young Southern gentleman, just … Continue reading

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