渡り鳥

posted in: Japan, Journal, Life In, Musings | 27

(In January, 2012, my site was catastrophically hacked. I managed to get most of the content back, but unfortunately all my Japanese posts and comments have been rendered illegible. This was one of my best-loved posts, with some of the … Continued

Table Manners

posted in: Japan, Journal, Life In, Musings | 2

With winter approaching the chances to meet flights of wanderers along the streets of Tokyo would seem to die out with the passing of the summer birds. Summer holds the tickets to all the comings and goings that we do. And yet this last weekend I ended up with three days of encounters: my Friday night dinner with former students, the day long celebration of eating and peeking, and then yesterday, most unusual, a chance meeting with two hikers at an outdoor store.

Fear of Jiggling

posted in: Japan, Journal, Life In | 0

For the second time in two days the giant catfish upon whose back the inhabitants of Japan live (as the old tales tell) shivered with the deepening cold, and set our teeth on edge as walls prepared to turn to jelly and the floor jumped like the hide of a scratching dog.

Fading

posted in: Japan, Journal, Life In, Tokyo | 2

The days are noticeably growing cooler. The songs of the crickets have lowered into a sluggish pitch as the musicians struggle against the temperature. For some reason the non-native Rose-Ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri), with their lime green, winged javelin-like bodies, have been congregating around the telephone wires and tall Zelkova trees around my neighborhood, and the mornings and evenings have been punctuated by their piercing shrieks. Parrots and parakeets most definitely belong to the area above the forest canopy… when you see their darting, vigorous flight it is hard to imagine them pent up in a cage ever again.

Spittle

posted in: Japan, Journal, Life In, Musings, People | 2

On my way home from work this evening a sweating, smelly Frenchman, wearing a bright yellow shirt and bug-eye glasses, his face a cloud of hoary grey and brown beard, decided that since I was another foreigner waiting on line for the train, it was perfectly normal and acceptable to just come up to me and start talking as if I was his parlor room guest.

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