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wild  sexy  fun  japan Lived on the Inside.  Seen from the Outside.  


sell the house sell the car sell the kids!

the recession econopocalypse* hits japan

but unlike the USofA, the japanese are and have been savers...and we don't stockpile guns with our Pop-Tarts, Bud Light & rage.

a scary comment, of many, (from a US financial site touting the value of owning gold in hard times): "...having my 30.06 and a thousand bullets is a better hedge IMHO."

tread lightly, peeps.
great word courtesy McSweeney's

from my 2nd Grade elementary school kanji drill book...one of the water drop mascots drinking sake from a bottle! (yes, 2nd grade in Japan is also for 7 year olds, just like where you're from)  

My kid could make that

a museum quality 16th century Japanese raku tea bowl. a clear example of the wabisabi aesthetic, stressing the beauty in the imperfect, incomplete, simple & pure. 

ninja pods!

these dastardly little numbers are the dried seed pods of a lake plant. they are hard as brazil nuts and sharp as they look. the crafty ninja used to drop them as they were being chased by samurai, etc., seriously puncturing the soles of the pursuers. 

( burn:  I spent $10 on a bag of these at a real ninja yashiki house in the souvenir shop, only to spend every summer since then stepping desperately around them all over the beaches along lake biwako.)


tug here for blessings

at a shinto shrine, this rope is attached to a loud clunky bell above; tug aggressively to ring the bell and wake up the gods. then clap loudly twice and say what you have to say. 

all these shenanigans are best preceded by tossing a 5 yen coin or so into the collection box behind the flowers.


 beers bikes & flammables

a winning combination.

 kerosene to the rear, beer up front, me in the middle. 

all I need now is some bullets & smokes.

the famous can chu-hi. chu means a type of alcohol, hi is short for english highball. a canned cocktail that one sees cemented into the grip of young and old alike in trains, down streets, before dinner, after hours. 

street legal at 16 proof

the 8% listed on the can is the alcohol content ( x2 = proof ). the 3.3% is real fruit juice (in this case, lemon) content.

as we learned earlier, chu means kiss. and if you drink enough of these, that can surely happen.

this poor monkey really has to sing for his supper. a veteran american street performer now based in osaka. I met him doing his schtick at a big mall down in the southern island city of fukuoka. the guy is super talented, juggling machetes while whizzing around on a 10 foot unicycle, catching blocks under, through, between his legs & behind the back, the hat on a rubber rope bit...whole dog & pony show. (note all the suits & ties staring down from the upper floor).  said that he was divorced, looked to be mid-40s, and when I left to catch my train, he was making real headway with a 19-year old J-cutie with big fake Chanel sunglasses, an IQ of 7 & a sweet giggle.  seriously, the guy has MAD SKILLZ!...but he never returned my emails so I call him a monkey & a prick.


photo: Venice Beach, CA © banksy

being an American & living in Japan, I am often reminded of how slim, trim & tidy the people are here, and in america, how not.

a musician I knew in LA drummed for a household name rock star (hint: he has his own Artist Signature Series Fender Stratocaster). after slogging out a long tour this guy came home sloppy overweight, so he decided to take up a heroin habit as a diet. (like I said, drummer, not rocket scientist).

after about 6 months or so he dropped by our studio looking great!...slim, cut, 0.04% body fat. better than I had ever seen him...but complained that no one at the methadone clinic really appreciated it.


tough all over

 some unwanted bling in the window of a pawn shop, ponto-cho, kyoto.

mother & child street crossing markers
better safety through cute.

you can find variations on these throughout the small towns



 to do



wear our ignorance on your sleeve...and chest.



japandemic T-shirts... coming soon! 

whenever I can read this sign--on the ashtray (!) mounted to the back of the passenger seat in kyoto taxis--I know my slothfulness has just cost me 500 yen (about $6) as I haul ass to cross the classroom doorway as the bell sounds its final chime.

oops, I did it again....

different station, different toilet, different day...same foul.

File Under: Good Luck You Sorry Bastard


10 minutes into the exam and this guy is coloring in the loops in all the number 6s. Even the smart students are going to need their pencils moving the whole hour.

"Regis, I'd like to use my Lifeline."

the second thing they did was start to clean up the water...the first thing they did was to put up a sign alerting people to be protective of all the healthy fish swimming around in their lovely clear effluent. then they went out & got some chemical cesspool reared, toxin-tolerant fish from China, throw them in the stream and skim off the floaters every few days, replacing them with a couple more china toxo-fish. I did not know about this, and for months would revel in the green & clean neighbor of a nylon chemical factory we had next door. (PHOTOS coming)

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 this space lying fallow 

to provide a richer yield 

next season


so young, so lovely,
so exhausted...
another train sleeperette



Oh, dear.



kyoto, japan: pretty nice place to be a college student looking for a girlfriend...here a group of lovely college girls exit a train station to meet the gaggle of dorks who will become the men in their lives.
FYI boxy pushy galjin: this will be your competition. 

if at first you don't succeed...

another shrine another rope another chance

(note the offering of beautiful fresh local cabbage)

 girl feeding gulls near ishiyamadera temple

it ain't always rice and fish

Aussie steak sandwich, crinkle cut Oregon chips & Polish kosher pickles in Kyoto...God Bless Global Exploitation!

MIRF Alert...at the local playground:

sketchy man watching slinky mom watching screaming kids. 



hey! I think this is our stop!

the route map as displayed inside the kyoto city bus.


don't       waste       time 

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