The Three Parables: the Chicken, the Architect, and the Dog

Reflecting on Early Fall in Saitama Adjusting to Japanese cultural norms and expectations has been extremely difficult. I want to simultaneously respect my own individuality and rebelliousness and still respect the culture. Perhaps that is partially why I have had a hard time with my current work situation. About the Japanese workplace… In Japan, being overly…

Four Seasons in Japan: tiny things live and tiny things die

Let me introduce you to the birds, the bugs, and the bees. I am surrounded by curious children. If they see anything small and alive: lizards, grasshoppers, tiny frogs, singing cicadas, fuzzy caterpillars, irritated chickens, then they feel like they need to catch them immediately. These small creatures are enormously attractive to children, but their relatively short lifespan…

time to move on

I am ecstatic to announce that at October’s end, I will be meeting up with my good friend and fellow Reedie Mick Song to WWOOF on a nearby farm. We’ll be commiserating, traveling, farming, and sharing good experiences together for an entire week! My island destination. After that, I’ll meet my future host in Tokyo…

Dear Carolyn,

I found the loveliest kimono shop today. There are darling silk scarves, cut from scraps of kimono cloth. They are traditionally worn around the nape of the neck to add extra flair. I need to go back and get you one for Christmas! Today was the best. I wish you were biking the streets of…

Tokyo Daze

A couple weekends ago, I visited Harrison Salton in the great bustling city of Tokyo. We had loads of fun, hopping from Harajuku, to the famous crosswalk in Shibuya, to the Golden Gai bar district in Shinjuku. I even got a chance to stroll through the gorgeous grounds of the Meiji Shrine, a stone’s throw…

exhibition nowhere

Walking home at night I can hear the warning ding of the railway crossing, hear the clack-clack as the train rolls past, and when I look up, I see the stars. — In the distance low rows of negi stretch into the horizon. When I close my close I feel the wind and hear the…

Subterranean Japanese Youth Culture: Fighting Conformist Style

In this blog post, we’ll explore a few youth groups that deviate from cultural norms by heavily investing in rebellion, deviance, and individualism. They risk social approval and at times, a steady job.   Crowd Their faces move in stillness. In the shinkansen, at Shinjuku Station, during peak travel hours, bodies press, compress, and lift…