The Crime of Carrying Scissors in Japan

Weekly reports of mass shootings out of America are worrying. But the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzō in Nara a few weeks ago reminded everyone that such things aren’t limited to the United...

Latests Posts • 最新ニュース

Banking Woes for Foreigners in Japan

A core requirement of many grown-up activities in Japan is having a savings account. But there are some adults—law-abiding, financially stable Japanophiles—who not only don’t have a Japanese bank account, they are...

Visiting the Little Museums of Japan

Japan is famous for its rich and enduring culture. And hey, you can’t just keep all that culture bottled up. You need to put it on display. What better way than to put some of it in a museum for people to enjoy. About...

World History is Different in Japan

This past Sunday, I visited an English-language church in Tokyo. After the main service, they had an adult Sunday school class where the teacher spoke in part about the First Jewish-Roman War. Starting in 66AD, near the...

When the Honeymoon with Japan is Over

When foreigners first move to Japan, they typically enter the “honeymoon” phase. During those first months or years, “God’s in his heaven—all’s right with the world!” The food, the culture, the anime and manga, castles...

Figuring Out Stoplights in Japan

I’ve always found traffic lights in America to be pretty easy to understand. The solid red light means stop, the solid green means go, and the solid yellow means go real fast, there’s still time. (You should check that...

Boku and Shimobe, The Humble Servant

I often dream of a day when I can sit down in front of a TV in Japan, flip through the channels, and understand completely what is being said on every program. Except for repeated news stories about the coronavirus or...

Visiting Tokyo During a Pandemic

When I moved to Japan a few years ago, I expected to engage in local tourism: visit thousand-year-old temples and castles, take in a bit of sumo or Noh, ride the bullet train to the far reaches of the country, have my...