Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – My Adventures in Japan … (Part 1, with links to Notes 1~ 50)

in japan •  3 months ago  (edited)

During my final months there, I kept thinking ... “Wow! I’m in Japan. This is so cool.”  And that was after I had already spent 17 years in the country.

Indeed ... “Wow.”   

Below is an index to Part One of my “Notes from Under the Tatami Mats.”  
(It comprises the Intro and 50 individual posts, with separate links to each post.)
(For Part Two, see link at bottom of this post. )

Intro – Notes from Under the Tatami Mats (Introduction)      
  (Right-click to see my original post)    (Image source)

"Things I’d loved, laughed, and cried about ... pondered, wondered and marveled about ... feared and loathed during my wrong strange trip into the heart of crepuscular gloom in the Land of the Rising Sun."

1 – Top 3 Reasons for Staying in Japan  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"An enticing blend of ancient traditions with ultramodern contraptions and amusements. ... And women. ... And money."

2 – Top 3 Stages that Expats Experience after Arriving in Japan  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"An even-tempered love–hate elationship with the country."


3 – Top 3 Appropriate Nicknames for Japan  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"We smiled ... and continued watching the floating world drift by."


4 – Top 5 Ridiculous Comments by Japanese about the Outside World  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Home of koala bears and kangaroos ... Canada?!?"


5 – Top 3 Ridiculous Questions by Friends Back Home  
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"Damn, this country is pretty screwed up."


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6 – Top 3 Exceedingly Overused Japanese Words  
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"She was cute enough, but she severely lacked any conversation skills."


7 – Top 5 Myths re Things Japanese  
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"It’s safe to say that Japan’s population does not comprise only pure Japanese.”


8 – Top 3 Weird Excuses for Japanese Behavior  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"People who are normally quite gentle and polite engage in rude and vindictive behavior."


9 – Top 4 Disorienting Aspects of the Japanese Language  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Maybe” probably means “no,” but it might mean “yes."


10 – Top 3 Disorienting Aspects of Living in Japan  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Where the streets have no name."

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11 – Top 3 Worst Ways to Celebrate New Year’s  
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"Virtually snowbound and housebound, in a remote, nondescript town in the far north, with nothing to do but watch a boring marathon on TV."

12 – Top 3 Fields in Which the Japanese Have Achieved Perfection  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"A chance to relax, cleanse, and invigorate yourself."

13 – Top 3 Fields in Which There is Room for Improvement  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The most shocking thing about the man with the bad dentures . . ."

14 – Top 4 Persistent Illusions about the 25-Year-Long Recession  
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"All the hot springs in Japan will freeze over before Japan changes its immigration policy."

15 – Top 5 Expropriated Islands that Should Be Returned to the Original Inhabitants  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The Japanese stole Hokkaido, subjugated Okinawa, and rented Hawaii, on a long-term basis."

16 – Top 4 Brilliantly Novel Uses of Concrete, Concrete, and More Concrete  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Hmm, maybe there's a connection between the ownership of the companies and the tons and tons of concrete."

17 – Top 3 Ineffective Anti-Terrorism Measures  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"These exercises are typically pointless and futile … but they are de rigueur."

18 – Top 3 Dirty Politicians and Bureaucrats  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Japan ranks 20th in terms of corruption, just two places below the US (‘nuff said)."

19 – Top 11 Stars I’ve Been Told that I Look Like  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"It was kinda nice to hear that I looked like a stunningly handsome movie star. But it was wrong."

20 – Bottom 8 Stars I’ve Been Told that I Look Like  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Even on a good day, this Steemer is definitely not as good-looking as any rock star."

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21 – Bottom 3 Japanese Cults  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Wreaking havoc by killing and spreading poison in peaceful neighborhoods."

22 – Top 3 Missing-in-Action  
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"He had to adhere to the Japanese Imperial Army code of never surrendering."

23 – Top 3 Kidnappings  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Those sickos seem more deranged than your typical psychopath in any other country."

24 – Top 3 Crimes against Humanity Suffered by the Japanese  
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"You can never know the horror unleashed at that moment ..."

25 – Top 4 Crimes against Humanity Inflicted by the Japanese  
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"Experiments in poison gas and germ warfare … human vivisection … rape, torture, mutilation, and slaughter. ... Not to mention obliteration of a fine, womanly character."

26 – Top 4 Reasons for Japanese to Commit Suicide  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Bullying by adults is loathsome. ... Organized and well-orchestrated bullying by adults in an office environment is loathsome and reprehensible."

27 – Top 3 Ways to Commit Suicide  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"In no other nation was ritual disembowelment practiced.”"

28 – Top 3 Reasons that Japanese Employees Are Never Fired  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The unwanted employee was given a not-so-subtle hint that it was time to leave. ... Now. ... Go!"

29 – Top 3 Excuses by Japanese Employers When They Ignore Contractual Obligations to Foreign Employees  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Japanese rules are made to be bent. ... Until you snap."

30 – Top 8 Reactions of Japanese Scumballs When Caught Red-Handed Doing Something Stupid, Repulsive Or Illegal  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Psychopaths who are perverse enough to engage in such despicable behavior."

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31 – Top 4 Insane Japanese Criminals  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"If only those crimes did not have such a terrible impact on the victims and on the families and friends of the victims."

32 – Top 3 Ways that Overworked Single Ladies Spend Their Days Off  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The humor about the overwork simply wore off, and it just became sad and pitiful."

33 – Top 3 Oddly Memorable Dates  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

While we were dining, she interrupted the conversation to ask me, “By the way, what’s your name?"

34 – Top 2 Expressions of Love on Greeting Cards Received from Women  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"You'll have to accept me as I am – still miserable, and still very much alive."

35 – Top 4 Bedtime Companions  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Rub-rub” means “reciprocal love.” Or maybe "reciprocal rubbing."

36 – Top 3 Reasons for Japanese Women to Consort with a Foreigner  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"I was pleased to do my part to promote inter-cultural awareness."

37 – Top 4 Reasons Young Japanese Women Have for Going Abroad  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Young Japanese women would spend armfuls of money on clothes, souvenirs, gifts, more clothes, more souvenirs, and more gifts. And more clothes."

38 – Top 2–3 Dozen Most Insane, Obsessive Women  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The ratio of weird women to wonderful women never varies much."

39 – Top 3 Cycle Accidents, Experienced by Me  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"I survived my Japan adventure. Albeit not intact, and albeit permanently scarred."

40 – Top 4 Cycle Accidents, Experienced by Friends  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"These accidents provided me and my friends with plenty of amusement."

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41 – Top 7 Japanese Novels  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Murakami’s novels will have a staying power similar to that of the greatest Beatles albums."

42 – Top 6 Novels by Westerners about Japan or Japanese Characters  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"For those who have an interest in Japan, all of these books are relevant, fascinating, and thought-provoking."

43 – Top 4 Foreign Writers Writing about Japanese Society or Culture  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"From the idiosyncrasies of the culture, to the banal shenanigans of the bike gangs who feebly 'terrorize' quiet neighborhoods."

44 – Top 3 Books on Japanese Government and Bureaucracy  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Chilling revelations about what happens in the halls of power. ... Not for the faint of heart."

45 – Top Book about Japanese Cooperatives  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The poor people of Hokkaido’s fishing villages in post-war Japan struggled to free themselves from the clutches of the usurious money lenders."

46 – Top 8 Possible Titles for a Great Novel about Life in Japan  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Ai, ai, ai! That’s a Strange Kinda Love. (or) How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bimbos."

47 – Bottom 2 Worst Foreign Columnists in The Japan Times  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Shameless and pointless name-dropping.” ... "Atrocious juvenile tripe."

48 – Top 3 Foreign Columnists in The Japan Times  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"An ideal balance – mature, but with a fine sense of the absurd."

49 – Top 5 Very Effective Marketing Campaigns  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"The choco-capitalists started by selling marshmallows to be handed out on March 14, but it proved to be a supremely ludicrous marketing strategy."

50 – Top 4 Phrases Translated into English that Needed a Bit of Editing  
  (Right-click to see my original post)

"Summer is here, and we are looking for a place to stick it in."

          Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – "Part Two – Notes 51~87"  
Images sourced from Google Images, unless otherwise indicated or unless my own.
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