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smart sexy cool  japan Lived on the Inside.  Seen from the Outside.  



Brought to You by Japan, Inc., et. al.

This massive light box hovers over escalators inside Kyoto Stn. I guess to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about its sponsor, OMRON. For scale, those are silhouettes of two human (or possibly android) heads coming down, frame right.

WARNING: Luddite Crossing.
Unsolicited speech to you squirreled away in labs, hurtling the world headlong into AI: No matter how smart you are, or what your Prof tells you, or what you know or think you know or how failsafe you make it...there are going to be problems. Mistakes, Unforeseens, Black Swans.
Someone is going to be the engineer who leaves the iPhone 4G at the bar.
Go watch
The Matrix movies again, or read some Asimov or something. And slow it way down.

I am learning to meditate... get straight like the Buddha.

...and it's very hard to quiet my mind; you'd think that just doing nothing, like absolutely nothing, would be the absolutely easiest thing there is.  But it's massively difficult.

I met a guy in Northern California who lived off Skyline Drive with his wife in an old yellow school bus on a beautiful piece of property they owned and on which they built a gorgeous barn for their business, which was finding, documenting, selling and educating about seeds.  His area of keen personal interest and research was the psychotropic and hallucinogenic plants of Central America.  This guy was a big Castaneda fan.

He meditated on a single potted plant, every day.  Sitting there staring at the same living plant about a meter away.  He told me that after you can settle in and really drop out of everything but the mediation, things change.  He said that now this plant hums & vibrates back and forth communications with him.  He was using no hallucinogens for this, either.


21 dogs and 1 bone:

her bikini small, heels tall.   she said     she liked     the ocean.

--back in the day   w/ LL Cool J



to summer...

ouch!  lookout! there be ninjas about!

  and now it's Mazda with the braking problems...


in an apparent homage to the akihabara otaku slasher (copying, the sincerest form of flattery) this displeased former worker went batshit joyriding over coworkers on a circuit of his own design (see red line) through the mazda factory where he had temped for like 8 days.  headline reads that there were absolutely no brake marks to be found anywhere along the route, implying this cat was pedal to the metal from jump street.

the face of disgruntle:

"She's a pretty good mother and all, but if she's watching TV or talking on the phone to her friends, Tyler* could run by on fire and she wouldn't notice."

(N.B. photo at right for illustrative purposes only and no judgment should be inferred from its close proximity to above quote.)

*not toddler's real name

This hard young mom on the subway was a real piece of work.  She left that toddler unattended in the station for about 8 or 9 minutes, an entire cycle of trains, while she ducked off to make an untraced call on the pay phone or shoot crack between her toes or something.

A complete stranger of a grandmother type allowed her own train to come and leave while she looked after the kid (sort of with me), told the mother when she returned, and got on the next train.  The Yanki got in my crowded car to immediately take up 3 seats with her kid, bags, shit, snacks & slouch.

the Yanki mother, or Yan-mama plies her trade of causing some public discomfort.

Yanki Attributes: 

many to most have: smoking hot bodies, children too young, bleached hair, kitty-chan slippers (for outdoor use), bad attitudes.

few to none have: black hair, high school diplomas.


salariman coming correct! on the p.m. out of osaka.

smoky blues al fresco. a dose of small-town free entertainment.  her voice was slinky sexy...much like herself.

real tree; fake flowers. nice idea.

about everything you need to know about Japan today.

He chooses to walk this side of the street over that, and spends the whole time looking across to see what he might be missing there.
and the cobbler's child goes barefoot...

a professional English teacher, with credentials, teaching rudimentary English to a few hundred Japanese students a week at universities and so on, showed this text to his 1st Grade son, who read the hiragana (ohayou gozaimasu) no problem.  asked if he knew this English word repeated 4 times down the left, it's an important, high-frequency word, etc.  No, he didn't.  Could he at least read the letters?


Oh dear.  Sounds about time for the home schooling to begin.  Suggest they do a language exchange, father to mixed son, English for Japanese, start at, say, 45 minutes per. 

This imbalance in literacy is the norm in mixed marriages.  The Japanese mom spends most time with the children, usually speaking Japanese; then the kids enter the J school system...hear, learn & use Japanese.  Soon only really need English to speak with Dad, and frankly, how fun is that.  and with the fathers getting by on a little charm, wit and foreignness...don't really need (though it'd be nice) to speak Japanese.


...in bite-sized bits, like sushi.

right: the Crucifixion or Passion Flower, laden with Christian symbolism. Caught blooming in suburban Osaka, not far from a Buddhist temple, actually.
once a day, tell someone "no".



to growing old...

trade all your goods and memories of this world for another 10 minutes of youth...


Goodferras...and their molls.  The guys told me that they were "Japan gangsters". Also, that their masks were not there to protect against flu nor hay fever.

(after every shot they'd run over beside me to engage the LCD screen on my D40 like the Yanomamo did their first mirror.)


Cheesecake. Designed in America. Made In Japan.

best not be trying any of the above shenanigans in the pachinko parlor.

do drop by...



first round's on Ichiro.



just fcking punched out...

Better to be 5 weeks early than 1 day late.  

Advice from the world of financial investing, oft unheeded, applicable to Life in many arenas.

Like most of us who've been a while in the trade, I have private English lessons here and there, including a couple rich older women on Saturday morning.

This Saturday morning, for no apparent reason, I've thrown up and diarrhea'd in my pants, which is, you know, never a good thing.

En route (in spite of) to the lesson, I get a frantic phone message: her ancient mother got rushed to hospital by ambulance this morn, prognosis dire, must cancel lesson; mercifully, I am to return home. Now, The Maker alone knows our hour, but if the old woman is to die on a Saturday, it might as well be this one.

real tree; real flowers.  also nice.


sometimes things get complicated

yeah, this guy's picture was better:


as I stated earlier a major publication found & contacted me through the japandemic site--which, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing--but they went with this picture (by not us), which, as the above title makes clear...

some day will be our day in the sun.


© not japandemic...sigh.

these macho guys & their girls were turning all points of the compass...

I probably could have helped them, but sometimes I just don't feel like engaging.


after seeing videos of the deadmau5 head at coachella, I think there are real applications for it in the arena of language teaching.  good for accentuating mouth movements while teaching pronunciation.  plus it's just totally sick...and I'm not even such a fan of the music.




Little sailors on leave.  

Kyoto is a destination for not only foreigners but most Japanese high schools will take group field trips here at some point.  these school children will look as lost and befuddled as random Michiganders and Bavarians...but, in their favor, they can read the maps.


a tall cold one on the train.

going on to somewhere without me...and that's just fine with me.

looked up at that plane and for the first time in my life did not want to be on it, going somewhere not here.

into the blue between the clouds, into the trees.

All Aboarrd!...as awkward and troubling a Display of Public Affection as I've ever seen in Japan.  Permutations of this entanglement went on for quite some time.

all the world in a glass of beer...

Today I Went Pro...

I was running late for work, but stopped my mad pedal to the station to take a shot for this site, knowing I would be late for my train.

I was 2 minutes late to the station; my train was 3. 

I believe that if you are doing the right things--following your bliss as Joseph Campbell would say, pursuing the right vocation/action as a Buddhist would say--the Universe conspires to support you.

Please continue there, Universe.

Thanks again.



it's really a big burger...(jackass for scale).

The Great White Monster.

precisely the fear of gatekeepers to massage parlors, foreign combatants, fathers of japanese daughters.

smoking Winstons, just like Kid Rock...a Great White Monster of a different sort.

good imitate, great steal.

--attributed variously to pablo picasso, oscar wilde, tommy smothers, mark twain, russell simmons, quentin tarantino.


fellow readers: if you like this site please spread the word like human manure over an Edo Period rice field.  doumo arigatou!!!

posting a link to this site also much appreciated and good karma for you. 



...time's a-wasting

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