Tag Archives: Musings

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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Escher’s Dream

Like a hundred thousand pieces of a living jigsaw puzzle, we walk in silent columns, men in black suits and white shirts going to the Company, speckled with a few women in colors. In the other direction come the elementary … Continue reading

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A Tip for Working Your Stupid, Crazy Gaijin Image

My friend Kelly from China who’s lived in Japan for many years gave me a trick for when I want to seem like a really stupid foreigner, to get rid of unwanted attention. Instead of saying “Nihongo wakarimasen 日本語分かりません…I don’t … Continue reading

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Where We Live

Where we live, the streets are almost empty of people. There are signs of people everywhere–clothes hanging on the balcony, children’s bicycles in the bike parking area, cars that appear in and disappear from the parking lot, the sounds of … Continue reading

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Did Degas Paint the Sky Today?

Not all colors in Osaka are pastel. The leaves and grass are a deep, rich green, and tonight the still almost full moon was a deep burnt orange as it hung low over the monorail station. But the light feels … Continue reading

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