The Nod

Tokyo | Summer, 1998 | 23 years old I once went to this roundtable debate discussion thing. There was this black guy there, and he was talking about “the nod.” You know what I mean when I say “the nod,” don’t you? I’d never given the nod, nor had I[ … ]

Listening

Niigata | Summer, 2002 | 20 years old Only twice did I encounter the underlying resentment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please understand, in Nigatta I was welcomed into a home sheltered in a traditional neighborhood where community is paramount and tradition is woven into the ordinary. Westerners hardly ever, if[ … ]

Intro

Lansdale, PA | Summer, 2005 | 20 years old Hi there, folks. My name is Greg, and I have a confession to make: I am a recovering Japanoholic. Back in my middle school days, I, like many other nerdy folks, absolutely idolized that little archipelago, with the conviction that Japanese[ … ]

Drugs

Tokyo | Fall, 2001 | 19 years old Before going to Japan, I was taught that social disapproval carries a much higher stigma in Japanese culture than it does in the United States. It was a recurring theme in the culture lessons in my Japanese language and history classes in[ … ]