Showing posts from September, 2008

Customs and etiquette in Japan/Hiroshima Carp

For those of you who are curious, here is a link to what it is like to be polite in Japan. This includes things like bathing, bowing, eating, drinking, gift-giving, letters, hospitality, work, celebrations, etc.

Click above to view photo album
Went to a professional baseball game Saturday night in Hiroshima City.  It was the Hiroshima Toyo Carp v. the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.  This was the last of 3 tournaments between the major leagues that determined who was to go on to the Japanese playoffs.  Apparently, this was an especially important game, because it was the last game that the Carps would be playing in the Hiroshima stadium before it was to be demolished, and rebuilt in a new location.  I was surprised to see international players on both teams--Americans who likely were a little better than the minor league, but not quite as good to go pro.  Apparently this is quite common, and generally the advanced Japanese ballplayers go to the states to play pro for American teams instead.  T…

Diametrical Opposition

I am back in Japan, and you may be surprised to know that I do not really have a whole lot to say about it this time around.  I know that all of you keep checking up on me to see what is new in J-land, and in my most honest description, it is as simple as feeling like I have returned back to a familiar comfort zone.  Japan, to me, is no longer a foreign land.  It has lost its sparkle and it has lost much of its fresh and foreign mysticism.  I did not come back here to rediscover that jaded utopia that captivated me last summer, or the honeymoon-like atmosphere that wrapped me warm last winter.  I have realized, after arriving here again, that those emotions are things that come with any new territory.  My relationship with Japan has not fizzled by any means; it has just become more realistic, and maybe even a little more sincere.

It wasn't until the other day, while we were down by the pond in the park, sprawled on a blanket, reading, and writing, that I realized Japan is no diffe…


Last Chance at Redemption

Stucco walls are never flawless.
Running hands over roughness and touching
the art of humanity upon elders' faces.
Deep trenches have stories to tell.
Chasing dreams of the late 1940s-50s,
when parents were born to war-torn grandparents,
and brass tunes were always a golden memory.
Skirt twirling oldies with a dash of salt and pepper.
Red rose lipstick and soldiers dressed crisp, away
and forgetting the Mrs. home alone in bed.
Where bourbon speaks and cigarette holders need filling.
Spilling burlesque lies from dance moves,
mincing minds around curvy thighs and lingerie.
Gin and tonic with a twist.

Now, in a time where current politics could never represent
the epitome of the then, and war generations in close passing
lower their heads and wish that money had heart,
and their grandchildren could save the world.
Their one last chance at redemption is left
for stories told at the dinner table, and memories
not as sharp as years before have left lasting
impressions of gratitude for a generation that
is al…