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Thomas Dillon
COMMUNITY / Voices / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Mar 18, 2015
Japan desperately needs more little monsters
The lack of future taxpayers presents a chilling scenario for a nation with lots of debt on one hand and lots of pensioners on the other. The nation needs more hands.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Feb 18, 2015
Time, gentlemen: When it's time to bid sayonara to Japan, what next?
I ask my departing friend the biggest question of all: After decades in Japan, just how does he plan to earn a living back home?
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Jan 14, 2015
Worst-case scenarios make good sense but can lead to silliness
Worst-case scenarios make good sense to too many people in Japan, and in turn influence decisions in ways that can only be described as . . . silly.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Dec 17, 2014
Hitting 60 in Japan offers a chance to start over, so don't waste time looking back
If one measures life in a 60-year cycle — and if you use the Chinese zodiac calendar, you do — then age 60 marks a new beginning or birth: You can be a child once again.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Nov 26, 2014
This teacher's seen more ESL acronyms than you've had hot dinners
Even after long years teaching English in Japan, he still views himself as an avant-garde teaching artist, as can be seen by what insists he now be called: The Adjunct Instructor Formerly Known as Bob.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Oct 22, 2014
Silver City: one man's dream of growing old in English
My friend dares to dream of a whole city for aged foreigners in Japan where everyone speaks the lingo.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Sep 17, 2014
Fear of flying: What to do when trapped next to a weirdo?
Airlines advise us what to do in in-flight emergencies, but what should you do if you get seated beside a nutter?
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Aug 20, 2014
Dreaming of shoveling snow in high summer
Yeah, I know. The thermometer is shooting for the moon and the humidity makes each stride forward seem more like a breaststroke.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Jul 16, 2014
Ten tips for shaking stage fright, aka 'the American disease'
Ten tips for stage fright, aka 'the American disease.' Americans supposedly fear public speaking more than anything — spiders, sharks, or even heights.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Jun 22, 2014
Until some bright spark works it out, we’re just bathing in the dark
We bathed in strobe light for six months until the fateful day arrived: Our bathroom light had entered that great junk pile in the sky.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
May 25, 2014
A new and unexpected twist to life in Japan: tornadoes
Japan, which so loves its seasons, now has another time of year to highlight: tornado season.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Apr 27, 2014
Tokyo: what not to do and when not to do it
Here it is: Tokyo — all the must-miss spots that might ruin your day, if not your entire visit.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Mar 28, 2014
Spending decades in Japan has made a mascot out of me
Japan loves mascot characters, part of its unholy obsession with anything "cute."
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Mar 14, 2014
Nonsensical slogans point to a surreal 2014 baseball season
Spring is a time of two things: hope and . . . baseball. And — unless you are a Chicago Cubs fan — those two often go together.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Feb 28, 2014
One boy, one peach, but hold the kibidango: 'Momotaro,' the movie
The Oscars are upon us, and I have this idea for a Hollywood screenplay — 'Momotaro! The Peach Boy Of Japan'!
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Feb 14, 2014
Time to nip this growing plastic tumor in the bud
I find myself swamped with cards. And not just the e-money variety. Member cards, discount cards, hospital registration cards — my wallet has so many damned cards, it's like a plastic tumor bulging from my back pocket.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Jan 31, 2014
Japan's cops: keeping the nation safe, in their Keystone kind of way
Most Japanese have a good cop/bad cop view of their law-enforcement services. They see a sinister side — one of smoky back rooms, coerced confessions and trumped-up charges — and they see a soft side: those helpful cops-in-the-box dotted throughout the land.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Jan 17, 2014
Fortune, fame or betrayal? It's all in the omikuji
All Japanese shrines have omikuji (fortune-telling sticks) — just like all McDonald's have fries.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Jan 3, 2014
It's the Year of the Horse, so bring on the feedbag
2014 is — according to the Chinese zodiac — the Year of the Horse. Born in a distant year of another cordial horse, we thus celebrate the spin of the 12-year cycle. This year is our year!
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHEN EAST MARRIES WEST
Dec 20, 2013
To tap tourist yen, think train-packing, plastic grub and sumo
I think it is time for some up-to-date experiences — ones that the waves of tourists due to flood Japan up through the 2020 Olympics might savor more than those that revolve around traditional Japanese culture.

Longform

Akiko Trush says her experience with the neurological disorder dystonia left her feeling like she wanted to chop her own hand off.
The neurological disorder that 'kills culture'