Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Tokyo: What's your worst Christmas memory?

Megumi Dobashi
IT worker, 44 (Japanese)
Every year is bad. Because I work in an IT company and we are always busy, finishing work late right up to the end of the year, I always end up drinking alone, with no one else around to socialize with. Every year is the same in IT companies.

Ryushi Ide
Student, 22 (Japanese)
Every Christmas is bad for me, so I cannot separate one from any other. I have only ever had a girlfriend in the summer — back when I was in high school — but never at Christmas time, so when I see couples out enjoying themselves at this time of year I feel so lonely.

Kathrine
Student, 30 (American)
We had a new kitten for my nephew and we were keeping it in my mom’s room. But, as it escaped two days early and he found it, my sister was mad. So, we came up with a story about Santa having to do animal drop-offs two days early because there are so many of them.

Yukiharu Inoue
Dock master, 36 (Japanese)
About 15 years ago I had a date lined up — concert tickets, everything. I was 19 from rural Fukuoka, she was 23 from Tokyo. I was so excited, but when I arrived at the meeting point, I waited and waited and waited — for three hours. She never came, so sadly I went home alone.

Yuki Honda
Logistician, 33 (Japanese)
I don’t like to dwell on bad stuff at this time of year. If I have a boyfriend, I will be with him. That is my best image of Christmas. If not, I will spend it with my family or colleagues, and to avoid any bad memories, I like to go out drinking in Shinbashi after work, if I can.

Phred Kaufman
Good Santa by day, 61 (American)
I go to four orphanages at the end of each year in Hokkaido where I live, dishing out around 200 presents, and have done so for at least the last 25 years. So, when I think of that and the kids, I can honestly see nothing bad in that.

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