| May 25, 2013

The junkie and his fix

by Thomas Dillon

“Weird,” he says. “Give me something weird.” The menu boasts both fish sperm and odorigui — small fish you chew while they’re alive. But such food is not on his wish list. At least not anymore. My dinner friend has lived here for years. ...

| Apr 27, 2013

Carping on carp

by Thomas Dillon

Whenever you find someone tossing bits of bread into a pond, you have to assume this: Something’s fishy. “Fish?” the guys snorts. “These aren’t fish. They’re carp. Meaning they’re a lot closer to cows. Fat, stupid cows.” The water below him froths with the ...

Cheering for cherries

| Mar 16, 2013

Cheering for cherries

by Thomas Dillon

If the Grinch — that well-known wet blanket of holiday mirth — were both a betting man and Japanese, it wouldn’t be Christmas he was after. Nor New Year’s, nor the Emperor’s birthday, nor Golden Week, nor National Toilet Day (Nov. 10. Mark it ...

| Feb 23, 2013

Driving me crazy

by Thomas Dillon

Next to my house lies a carpet of land not flat enough to resist puddles and not sandy enough to attract cats. It just sits there. Empty. “Symbolic,” says a friend, “of the hole in your life.” He means the car I do not ...

| Jan 19, 2013

Signs of Kansai

by Thomas Dillon

At the end of lunch with an old friend, I point out yet another hole in my Swiss cheese knowledge of Japan. “I’ve never really understood this whole ‘Kansai/Kanto’ thing. I mean, sure, I’ve traveled to Kyoto, Osaka and so on. But I’ve never ...