Japlish




I have a language problem, not because I find it difficult to get on with the Japanese language but to do with English.Please don’t misunderstand me. I appreciate all the efforts our Japanese hosts have made to help us around…

The invisible Gaijin




Nothing seems to phase us, Gaijins, as we skillfully skip past that seventh pool of vomit; not that mass of people racing towards us like world-class athletes nor the high-pitched ringing of that bicycle trying to weave its way through…

The sneeze




I am not easily startled out of my commuting reverie: the laughing school kids, squeaking shoes, mobile phones melodies and dozing salarymen on my shoulder do nothing but instill in me a sense of the familiar and safe.That was until…

Roppongi




I have been in Japan for over six months now, and in my sunnier moments I like to think that I’ve integrated into the culture. I can converse somewhat in Pidgin Japanese. I know that Ichiro Suzuki now plays baseball…

Chit Chat




When on Monday morning I normally ask my colleagues what did you do for the weekend I always feel I am making a cultural faux pas: chatting to my colleagues during company time. Having been in Japan just six months…

Banking in Japan




No wonder there’s a banking crisis. Step inside the branch of a Japanese bank and time stops. Staffed with teeming legions behind all manner of countertops and desks, the placid soul who comes in for a simple transaction is still…