The Japanese Convini Is Where Your Dreams of Convenience Come True

Why do I love Japan so much? To be totally and horibbly honest, it’s the fact that at 3 in the morning I can go to the nearest brightly lit convini (convenience store) and buy a super noodle cup, a candy bar and a lemon chu-hi. The convini is there for me like a good, good friend that never lets me down.

Okay, maybe that’s not why I love Japan so much, but it certainly helps. In the US, your local convenience store has nothing but questionable taquitos rotating in a grisly slow death on a filthy grill and nachos whose cheese comes from a ‘bladder.’ Oh, not to mention liquid meth energy drinks and frozen pot pies. Continue reading

6 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Japan

I was sitting in a hotel dining room in Marshall, Missouri, kidding myself that I was working (working on watching YouTube videos, more likes!). Two of the hotel staff were cleaning up the continental breakfast fixings and having an ‘I’m gonna quit this town’ conversation. One of the ladies asked the other, ‘Where do you want to go?’

‘I dunno,’ the other said, ‘Some other country maybe, like… Japan.’

‘Japan? Well, that guy over there with the computer lives in Japan.’ Continue reading

Jail in Japan Is No Hanami Picnic

Disclaimer – I’m not a legal expert and this is not legal advice. The purpose of this article is to entertain and inform. If you have legal troubles in Japan, please seek certified legal help.

In June 2012, Govinda Prasad Mainali was released from a Japanese prison where he’d been held for 15 years and returned to his home country of Nepal. He had been wrongly accused of murder in 1997 and new DNA evidence had set him free. Although there were many men who had encountered the murder victim in her last days, he was the only foreigner, and on top of that he was a day laborer and dark-skinned; in other words, the obvious killer. Continue reading

Tornadoes in Japan

I saw the news this morning and it looked just like something from my hometown – an evil looking sky with a swirling tornado in it, bearing down on the countryside. Smashed sheds, upside-down farm equipment, twisted trees and electrical poles lying horizontally on the ground. It looked like springtime in Missouri.

It turns out that on Sunday afternoon, twisters ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture. One hit the town of Tsukuba where a friend of mine used to live. One 14-year-old was killed and about 40 people were injured, with lots of houses destroyed and other damage. Continue reading

How to Tell If Your Japanese Sucks

Japanese people are exceedingly kind. They’re so kind, in fact, that they won’t tell you honestly if your Japanese sucks.

Let’s take an example from my home country, the ol’ U. S. of A. If you walk into one of our fine fast food establishments and order your triple quarter pound meatwich with anything less than the most perfect American, the cashier is likely to lean toward you sneering and go, ‘HUNH?’ Continue reading