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Fun / foon Tokyo
Friday, January 21, 2005
Decades in Japan---How did you do it?
Topic: Me
Q: Taro, you've lived decades in Japan; how did you do it?

I'm chemically unbalanced, hee, hee.
Billions of folks' brains are pumping depression juices. Not me.
Prenatal -- I was calm and non-kicking.
As a baby, I was all smiles, gurgling and never cried.
Grade school-- I was a happy camper.
Teenage flew past me by without any angst and college was a breeze even when I was being arrested at protest marches.
Now, I live in a concrete slum with salary zombies and I'm smiling---- See. Unbalanced, hee, hee.

Ok, here's the box score on 23 gaijin that have worked for me, with me, and preceded me for the 30 years my office has existed. You do your own odds.

Escaped in less than week 3
Escaped in less than 12 months: 7
Left under heavy medication in 5 years: 8
Suicide: 3
Retired: Me, goofing off on the job right now.

I'd say the odds favor "escape" as the best option for gaijin in Japan.


Posted by trek/taro at 2:33 PM JST
Updated: Friday, January 21, 2005 2:49 PM JST
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Friday, January 14, 2005
Yep, I am a paid Japanese transvestite.
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Me
In Japan, every foreigner seem to have a side scam. I have a lucrative business consultanting job for a foreign fragrance company one evening a week.
One hard part of the work is to find Japanese people for their fragrance focus groups and product evaluations. Therefore, I am called in the "sample-n-evaluate" their new products for them. On fragrance surveys I have to emulate the responses of their marketing target, 20-something Japanese female. Yep, I am a paid transvestite.
Fragrances go into all sorts of products that I test and evaluate. Besides getting paid for sniffing their Ty-D-Bowl Man having has way with Toilet Duck in test toilets, I often get paid for testing shampoo, hee, hee.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:11 AM JST
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 10:45 PM JST
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Thursday, January 13, 2005
Picture in your mind ....
Now Playing: Tom Waits
Topic: Me
My internal theme music for commuting to work is PURE Tom Waits. Picture in your mind ....

It's midnight in the Rock-Island Line switching yard on the Chicago South Side.

Steel-on-steel clacks out the back-beat as dioxin vapor rises off the the Sagg Canal off in the distance.

Marching towards the steaming sag piles and smoking their reefers,
the seven dwarves who all look like Tom Waits start chanting in the
minor key:

"Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's off to work we go!"

Heigh-Ho! (The Dwarfs' Marching Song) - Tom Waits Listen here.


I got the sizzle, but not the steak / I got the boat, but not the
lake / I got the sheets, but not the bed / I got the jam, but not the
bread / But, hey I'm big in Japan, I'm big in Japan/ I'm big in Japan,
I'm big in Japan

--"BIG in JAPAN", Tom Waits, in 'Mule Variations' CD (1999)

Posted by trek/taro at 9:44 AM JST
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Thursday, October 14, 2004
Topic: Me

War is Peace!
Ignorance is Strength!
Celebrate Homogeneity!
Hate Osama bin Taro!
Love Big Brother Dubya!
Winston Smith lives!

Posted by trek/taro at 4:28 PM KDT
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
The gaijin/gaijin complex
Topic: Me
Q: Why approximately 50% of you gaijins out there are inclined to give a head nod when passing a fellow foreigner and the other half make a bold and obvious attempt to NOT make eye contact.

A: Ahhhh, the "gaijin/gaijin complex" has been that way since the days Lafcadio Hearn. Basically, the presence of another gaijin on your turf "ruins" the special-unique power a gaijin gets from surviving and thriving in Japan.

The archetypical of this attitude was the original henna gaijin, Lafcadio Hearn, who went to great efforts to ignore other foriegners, wear kimono and act more Japanese than the Japanese to make up for his own inadequacies.

So when you are passing a fellow foreigner who makes a bold and obvious attempt to NOT make eye contact, be aware that it just because you represent a threat to their ?special? Japanese experience.

Me? After more than 20 years here, I literally say ?HOWDY? to everybody.
And if dat don?t it freak ?em out... I give ?em my laser-like Taro smile that?s known to kill anal-retentive salarymen at 50 yards and force obatarian to give me their seat on the train.
deadly at 50 yards smile

Posted by trek/taro at 2:38 PM KDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 2:45 PM KDT
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Friday, September 10, 2004
Topic: Me
Now available in the U.S.A.----stamps with your own photo on it.
My X-mas cards are now ready....

Posted by trek/taro at 2:02 PM KDT
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Tokyo: 'Blade Runner' on a Bad Day
Topic: Me

Syd Meade the "visual futurist" of film 'Blade Runner's said to me that the Tokyo's Kabukicho was his inspiration for Blade Runner's look in his set design. He said he was looking for LA gone bad feel and Kabukicho, Shinjuku area was "perfect."
He spent some time "studying" Kabukicho (since he's gay, Shinjuku 4-chome was "perfect" too).
By mistake, I got to interpret for Syd Meade at a Asahi Shimbun conference on the "Future of Tokyo" back in beginning days of the Bubble, 1985.

Posted by trek/taro at 2:40 PM KDT
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Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Dinner of Death VS death for dinner
Topic: Me
Quicktime movie of my "fugu" poisonous blowfish for dinner this evening in Kannai Yokohama.

A "while" back I wrote this about my first encounter with THE FISH OF DEATH, FUGU...

It?s another gray day at Japan Inc. It?s a gray Monday morning for moaning, stretching and staring at battleship gray metal desks and concrete walls .
Ah, but last night ...
I was thrashing in the middle of Roppongi crossing baying at the moon. Two hundred and fifty thousand yen flopped out of my back pocket and whirled about in the wind as my date was hobbling about in her red miniskirt trying to fetch the bills. I was howling - laying flat on my back I could see her see-through pink lace panties. I definitely had found a friend in fugu.
An interesting fish, the fugu ...
The CIA uses its poison for dartguns. Japanese girls feed it to their men to get them "inspired". The blowfish, which is what fugu is called in English, was sliced up to be eaten raw at a neighborhood bar. The terribly charming Emiko had taken me there for a little hot sake and English conversation. Between her giggles and my gropes, she ordered the night's adventure, fugu, from a knife wheedling cook who had full control over my life. If I died from the little rubbery fish hors d'oeuvres, it's the cook's legal right under Japanese law to commit suicide. It seemed like a fair deal to me.
After fugu, she poured four bottles of hot sake into me , poured me into her husband's 4x4 pickup and sported me down to Six Trees, Roppongi, Tokyo's partyland. We were snarfing a couple of cheeseburgers while watching a Hamasaki Ayumi video when the fugu took hold. I felt hot flashes and then full-blown menopause followed by metamorphosis and a big blur that eventually dumped me at my desk at Japan Inc.
Fugu! Who needs drugs when you can eat little slices of raw death? But sitting here in my gray uniform, sprawled prone on my gray desk top, surrounded by gray walls and my gray job,
Well there you have it. I've only a few hours here to catch some sleep at my desk.... I?ll have to prepare myself for the evening's meal of more sake and something safe like. shirokarai, fermented raw squid guts.

Posted by trek/taro at 9:20 PM KDT
Updated: Thursday, July 8, 2004 10:07 AM KDT
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004
How I came to Japan by mistake
Topic: Me
I studied Chinese not Japanese in grad school and when I graduated I landed a post in Shanghai Teachers College to teach linguistics. This is in the dark ages, 1983, when it was unheard of for a Lao Wai to be doing this. Nevertheless, I had a valid job contract with cash advance, assistant professorship slot, a rare ?Western" apartment and a paid R/T airfare with a short stopover in Tokyo to do couple lectures and to collect my work visa from the Chinese pseudo-Embassy in south Roppongi.
To make a long story short, I waited for my Chinese work visa one week, two weeks, three weeks*?. On the third week, Seiko-Epson asked me why I was still waiting and offered me twice my US wages. I smiled. Japan Inc. slapped me on my back and declared me their ?computer expert.? I?ve been here ?by mistake? ever since.

*It turns out that back in the early 80s, a ?parasite of society? like me (gimp) was not eligible for a Chinese work visa but nobody at the pseudo-Embassy was brave enough to tell me that to my face.

That's why I'm cadillacin' nowadayz! 8)

Posted by trek/taro at 2:40 PM KDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 4:52 PM KDT
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Sunday, June 20, 2004
Get's Guru!
Topic: Me

toy hammer cardtoy hammer, small

Posted by trek/taro at 12:40 AM KDT
Updated: Monday, February 7, 2005 2:34 PM JST
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Friday, May 21, 2004
What kind of gaijin tries to climb Mount Fuji 3 times?
Topic: Me
Q: What kind of gaijin tries to climb Mount Fuji three times?

A: Taro on crutches:
Once failed in a snowstorm; once failed with infected blister on my foot; and finally succeeded climbing Fuji-san in a TYPHOON after being detained for, "endangering society and myself."

Posted by trek/taro at 3:57 PM KDT
Updated: Friday, May 21, 2004 4:08 PM KDT
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Sunday, April 18, 2004
OMGWTfgBBQ: Mission Complete
Topic: Me
On Sunday April 18th down and across the street from Snob Hair...

BBQ Chicken legs, nachos, beer and fiberglass insulation was consumed in Mass Quanties.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:04 PM KDT
Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2004 10:43 PM KDT
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Sunday, April 11, 2004
"My name is Leagon for I am many."
Topic: Me

Here's a legion of bunnies that poop out Easter candy while I'm on vacation.

Posted by trek/taro at 9:03 PM KDT
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
taro friends
Topic: Me
My friends are more fun than this site....

Rob Pongi's lovechild,
Mo Kin
If that don't float your boat, there's always....

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Let's LOMO lucky!
Topic: Me
LOMO Climax Party
Sunday March 28, 2004
See: Let's LOMO lucky!Transendental LOMOtext
My car is charming texttext

See the entire Photolog at
tarotokyo photolog

Posted by trek/taro at 10:56 AM JST
Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 2:08 PM JST
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Wednesday, March 24, 2004
UFO sighted over Tokyo
Topic: Me

Stealth Starship sighted over the Land-o-Concrete!(tm)

Posted by trek/taro at 10:07 PM JST
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WTFFGBBQ! April 18
Topic: Me

Meet the TARO MUSEUM on Sunday afternoon, 1-ish, April 18, 2004 for the unofficial WTFGBBQ!

Cafe patio, gardens, forests, thatch-roofed Japanese village cum open-air museum, BBQ pit, and the modern art craziness of TARO! Razz And a surprise guest FG, "Kurohinge1", will be coming all the way from the Real World to visit. Taro will throw bento on the barbie as well as mad cows, sick chickens, cholera hogs and dead veggies but no natto ice cream.

TARO Museum info here

More Minka-en village open-air museum and BBQ forest info here

Posted by trek/taro at 4:06 PM JST
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Friday, March 19, 2004
My favorite gomennasai/sorry letter for Japanese bureaucrats
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Me
I had fun teasing young gaijin fellow I met last night at Somona Cafe about his expired for months Japanese work visa. :-)

THEN this morning I went down to get my ninth update of my Japanese "ALIEN Registration Card" and the ward office folks treated my to green tea as I waited....only to discover my ALIEN registration had expired. THEY apologized to me but requested I write a "gomennasai" letter. I quickly dashed off my favorite gomennasai/sorry letter from memory that I have used many times for the past 20+ years....

"I am so sorry I have to write this letter to apologize for..."

(It works every time on the suckers, hee, hee.)

Posted by trek/taro at 3:21 PM JST
Updated: Friday, March 19, 2004 3:27 PM JST
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