Disappearing Japanese.

With English as the lingua franca, I find more and more Japanese words I took time to study and learn have either been replaced or are in the process of it. I’ve made a list of the ones I can recall right now. (Note that in official/professional language, the original words are still often used.) Continue reading


How to impress the locals.

As I’ve said before, I learned Japanese the wrong way. This means I often find myself having to improvise, especially when trying not to look like a jabbering foreigner. Thus, I offer a few tricks to seem knowledgeable, even if your Japanese is, shall we say, half-ass. Continue reading

Time Will Tell.

While walking to the barber today, my playlist landed on “Time Will Tell” by Utada Hikaru. Despite being a Japanese hit in 1999, I didn’t hear it until the early 2000s (probably ’03 or ’04, but I can’t really say). At the time, Japan was still a fairly new interest; moving here hadn’t yet crossed my mind.

Fifteen or so years later, on a lovely spring day, that song transports me back in front of my computer, surfing the web while listening to AOL’s “Japanese Pop” station, entirely unaware I’d one day be listening to it where it came from.

Neighborhood 外人.

After a year of walking down to Heiwajima Station to catch my train — and almost four of walking down するがや通り for various reasons — I’ve noticed that I’m finally starting to get noticed by the neighborhood locals. More than a couple older guys will intentionally try to catch my eye as we pass so they can say hello. The couple who run the deli on みはら通り will say hello any time they see me walk by, despite me only having ever bought from them once. The guy who runs the corner ramen shop will wave or bow if he sees me, and I’ve never even been to his place. Most everyone still keeps to themselves, but I seem to have become familiar enough that I’ve gained a small measure of acceptance. It’s kind of nice.

Bits of Japan.

This post will detail interesting points about Japan (or at least things I find interesting). New additions will “bump” it to the top of my feed.

  • The muzak version of the Olivia Newton-John song “Have You Never Been Mellow” is weirdly common here. I’ve heard it as hold music and store background music more than once. Continue reading