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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

December Edition

There’re less than 17 days left before the end of the year and the days have gotten shorter and colder, I sleep in more just to keep warm.  I don’t want to run the heater just yet; the warm blankets do just fine for keeping me warm for now, but this mattress is starting to cause a little discomfort lately. 

I have been nurturing this little Shikuramen on my little wooden stool for a week now; watching it as the little buds start to unroll.   This type of plant thrives in the winter, yet it hates moisture.  My apartment windows are full of condensation in the mornings because I leave my hot water pot on all night plus the extra carbon in the air from my breathing adds to further create the type of moisture  this plant hates.  Since it was a gift I try to take extra care of it.  I’ve  never had a green thumb for growing anything,really.  I either over water something or don’t water something enough. 

Later I came to find out that the best way to raise a plant is from a seedling, by first  placing  it in a very small pot by itself, and then providing either some artificial light or natural light.   I wonder how many life lessons I can learn from planting flowers?

One lesson I have learned over the years is that this is Japan and that no matter how outdated some of its cultural practices are, in the end, these practices are what make Japan unique.  As a result,  Japan will always have the best social practices and the best of everything in between, in my opinion.  I love the idea that the customer is god when I’m the customer.  In America this same notion of the “customer is god” also exist, but not from a cultural sense like it exist here in Japan.  I come across hundreds of Japanese students  every year who return from overseas and tell me that the Japanese way was always better, and that after several years of living overseas has taught them that the grass was never greener on the other side.

When Westerners visit Japan many of them get swept away with the country’s sub-culture; things like manga, figurines, and made cafes.  There’s also Asakusa and Tokyo Tower and Akihabara which also attract certain geeky type people who love tech stuff.  Since when did a sub-culture come to dominate the truest essence of Japanese culture?     I shun the modern day sub-culture of Japan and make my opinions about it perfectly clear to anybody who asks me.  I do not like it at all.   Instead I’d rather focus my creative energy in nurturing relationships with real people – human beings.   That doesn’t mean I’m a people person, though.  In fact, I am as anti-social as they come.  If the possibility of a true and fulfilling relationship is possible then I can be the warmest person in the world.   I’m an epicurean without the need to surround myself with people.

The other week I had this Jukujo over at my apartment.  She was sitting in my office chair and chuckling on about her recent trip to Korea.  She went there with a tour group to visit some Korean idol named (bong-yon-hon. Egg Fu yong), I could care less how his real name pronounced.  I was just disgusted that she was telling me this story and rocking back and forth in my chair like she achieved something great by flying her ass all the way over to Korea just to meet some Korean idol, what a fucking retard she was, I said to myself, and she’s sitting in my chair with a Hinomaru draped across it.   Her hobbies are watching B rated foreign movies and dining out at expensive Italian and French restaurants.  She never once mentioned anything about her own country’s cuisine being delicious, she even hates nihonshu too, which is a major sin in my book.   She was in her early forties I think.  A few days later she sends me  this e-mail asking if I could take her out to a movie and dinner.  Of course I didn’t.   She must’ve skipped ‘how to be Japanese 101’ class when she was in primary school.

A couple of weeks later I met two new Jukujo down around Sugita, actually three!  The one that was hot I accidently gave her the wrong e-mail.  The other two were decent looking, in fact one had a very nice chest and legs.  She showed me where her office was located and gave me both her home and cell phone number.  I had asked her if she had had any children from a previous relationship and she told me maybe, with a devlish grin across her face,…..and then laughed at me.  I quickly retorted and said, can I be your big son!? She chuckled at me again and told me to call her as soon as I got home.   No ladies and gentleman I haven’t called any of them yet and it’s been over a week now.  Don’t know why…. 

I’ve been focusing a lot on freelance work and my own Jukujo English club in Yokodai.  I’m in the process now of redirecting my life, guess.   The last Jukujo I met was a Chinese lady who actually made a move on me first.  I was on bus #158 in route to Takigashira when she made the initial greeting and how are you.  I haven’t called her yet either. 

The term “Jukujo” is exclusively for Japanese women only, and is a term generally used to describe a ripe and mature JapanEse woman in her 30s to late 50s, so a Chinese woman wouldn’t bare this label.   The term itself is degrading for most Japanese, but then again, in a nation where there have been many incidences involving old Japanese men who prey on young school aged girls, and where the birthrate is at an all time low, nothing would surprise me as to what Japanese men find sexually attractive or disrespectful these days.

I have even gone as far as to deify women of this caliber, Jukujo,  and do not think it’s a derogatory term at all.  I think the word sounds sexy and alluring, a far cry from the pigeon toed fruit cocktail drinking shy types who have no national pride.  Not nationalistic like this one. 
  
( Pentax K-1000)
The best years of a Japanese woman’s life is called 女盛り[ onna-zakuri] and this is at an age where she is at the height of her physical, emotional, and mental maturity, and that’s  called 女つ振りor onna-tsuburi, which usually starts at around the age of 38 and then continues on, for American women it’s much earlier.  Often times though a lot of women here get stuck in the Disneyland mentality where they think that  everybody all over the world is fun loving and friendly to everyone and that Americans for some intrinsic reason love each other regardless of race.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

In North America there’s a similar term called “cougar,” which  describe American women in their 40s who prey on young men-ask Tiger Woods.  However, the term cougar has a more sensual and sophisticated ring to it whereas in Japan, the term Jukujo, from the stand point of a Japanese person would come off as a bit negative and disrespectful. 

Again, in a country where prepubescent and anorexic air headed Japanese women are idolized as the ideal sex objects and where men abstain from sex because they lack the balls to approach a real woman, or when they sit down just to take a pee for womanly reasons, I say to hell with all of that!  Love the Jukujo.

Lately, there’s a 25 year old very sweet and extremely cute Japanese girl student who’s constantly on me in a major way.  There’s no way I’m going to even try, especially as she keeps begging me for lunch and dinner and private time together.  I refuse.  I am a Jukujo Boy!  I really enjoyed the nikujaga she made for me tonight, though.  I’m such a hypocrite sometimes, aren’t I?
fukui girl

Anyway, another thing that gets my goat is Christmas,which has become somewhat of a novelty in Japan over the years.  If you know how I am from my previous postings, I hate this time of year, especially the  Xmas music.  I hate the sentimentality it creates in the atmosphere, that’s why.  Slow and long drawn out melodies  that make you remember things you’d rather forget.  Bus #113 was all decorated up last night.  I was surprised to see this as it was the first time Yokohama City decided to decorate its buses for the holidays.  Nice touch I have to admit.

In class  yesterday I had fielded the question about Xmas music and was surprised to find out that many of the girls didn’t like it since many of them would be spending Xmas alone this year.   I might hang out with Andy Hayes from Oregon….Or have a double chili-cheeseburger with Neil Duckett, who knows…? Shane Sakata won’t talk to me anymore, and neither will Narrative Disorder….for some reason.  Maybe I’m too Japanese for them.

Yesterday afternoon I made a couple of phone calls to Hokkaido to  inquire about this years crabs.  I was disappointed to find out that most of the crabs will be coming from Russia this year.  Apparently, there’s a sushi boom going on there and many Russians prefer to eat Japanese style cuisine, including crab.  As a result, Japanese fisheries are starting to raise their prices on crabs and other seafood domestically.  It’s going to cost me a bit more to get crab this year than last year, and it’s going to cost even more to get the crab from Japanese territorial waters.   Luckily, the Chinese haven’t developed a taste for delicious Sea of Japan crab, yet.  Thank god.   When they do then it’ll be time for me to commit seppuku.

Russian merchants damage their crab hauls because of sheer ignorance and lack of knowledge on proper storage techniques for crab.  They  freeze everything they catch and then try to sell it at high prices.  Japanese fishers never freeze their crab hauls.  They speed their hauls  back to port for auction, fresh and alive. 

These final weeks of December I plan to stay home and appreciate Japanese seafood at its finest.  I have to research a work around for the crab and see if I can get it cheaper and at a lower price.  I know one more distributor in Hanasaki.  There’s also more sake to drink, too.   I have a lot of catching up to do.

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