| Jun 18, 2011

Becoming one with spiders and snakes

If you stay on a small island in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea long enough, you will become one with nature. Mainly because there is nothing else to become one with, except for maybe alcohol. Being one with nature isn’t just convening ...

| Jun 11, 2011

How I saved ¥40,000 doing it myself

The day I leave Japan, the country will be worse off for it. The Japanese will have lost a cartoon character in their comic strip of life. Once I am gone, who will they laugh at? I am here to ensure the entire country ...

| Jun 4, 2011

Navigating your way around Japan

Ever since I moved to Japan I’ve heard the Japanese say, “Nihon wa chiisai kuni desu” (Japan is a small country), with the underlying meaning that this fact is responsible for many of Japan’s weaknesses. Foreigners are quick to point out that England is ...

Here comes the rainy season boot camp

| May 28, 2011

Here comes the rainy season boot camp

It’s May and Kyushu has already officially entered the rainy season. The rest of Japan is not far behind. What, no spring? Well, we all know what happened to spring this year. It headed to the Middle East: The Arab Spring. Let someone else ...

| May 21, 2011

Sunny today with a chance of margaritas

When I first moved to the “Harenokuni Okayama (Sunny Okayama)” prefecture, I couldn’t help but imagine how lazy the weather forecasters must be. I envisioned them laying in hammocks with margaritas in their hand while spewing out the weekly forecast — “Sunny every day!” ...

| May 14, 2011

Life as an ambassador

“An American yacht has come into the port. They don’t speak any Japanese. Come help.” Ah, the first call of spring! As the resident foreigner on our island, I was appointed ambassador 14 years ago to represent the citizens of Yachtland, a kingdom ruled ...

| May 7, 2011

Pillow for the fairy tale princess discovered

Breaking news: Pillow belonging to the princess of the tale “The Princess and the Pea” by Hans Christian Andersen has been found. I was hoping that this discovery would be reported by the Duchess of Cambridge upon her recent marriage to Prince William. But ...

| Apr 30, 2011

The case of the ¥300,000 blanket

My husband is taking me to court. I guess I should have seen it coming. There had been problems all along, but I ignored them. And recently, with the late arrival of spring, we have all been forced to deal with the cold weather ...

| Apr 23, 2011

Rolling blackouts: The virtue of silence

The rolling blackouts in Tokyo meant interruptions in watching TV, running computers, stereos and electric heaters, not to mention recharging cell phones and electronics. While some have suggested the rolling blackouts will merely reconfirm the need for nuclear power in this country with so ...

Earthquake relief: Little people doing big things

| Apr 16, 2011

Earthquake relief: Little people doing big things

Prime Minister Naoto Kan took out nearly a full-page ad in the International Herald Tribune last week to thank the international community for their kizuna (bond of friendship), regarding Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster on March 11. It was a stirring tribute to those ...