Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Will Miss/Won't Miss

One of my favorite blogs is "1000 Things About Japan...that I will miss and won't miss when I eventually leave." It is written by Sheri Custer, a dedicated blogger (she also maintains a Japanese snack blog that I do not follow). Sheri is a 46-year-old American woman who has lived in Japan with her American husband for more than 20 years. They live in a small apartment in Tokyo, both teach English (her husband goes to an office; she teaches private students in the apartment), have no children. That they are a childless American couple who have lived and worked in Japan for so long makes them fairly unusual. They are planning to return to the US in the foreseeable future, and when they made that decision, Sheri, who had been blogging about Japan in general, decided to identify the things she will and will not miss when she leaves.

By its nature, the blog is an eclectic collection of relatively short observations. The subjects range from the significant to the trivial, and Sheri is usually able to include a picture as an illustration. To suggest her range, here are some recent things she will miss: Japanese women who cover themselves entirely to protect their white skin; a kind of Japanese citrus/vinegar condiment; empty Japanese rooms; Japanese "soft cream'; national self-restraint; the "bottle-keep" system; and WYSIWYG restaurants.

She won't miss handwritten Japanese; a lack of charitable spirit; toilet paper paranoia; being a leaning post on trains; "it's Japanese" when it's not; earthquake sickness; or Japanese keyboards.

Sheri points out that her observations and opinions are entirely her own; she is making no grand pronouncements on Japan, the Japanese people, Japanese culture. But I find that what she says is almost always interesting and provides a unique account of items and aspects of Japanese life that for natives are too ordinary to mention and for tourists too small to see.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your very kind post, Wally! I'm really looking forward to delving into your blog!