Actually, this post is not so much about hazards in the Japanese workplace as it is about the second annual Aomori JET Culture Day. And it isn’t so much about Culture Day, either, since I spent most of the day in an exhausted daze. To start with, my wife and I had to drive three hours just to get to the venue (not complaining—it’s nice to get over $100 in extra pay in order to travel to a city we like to travel to anyway). Then, when we arrived, Yuko went shopping while I was left to muddle through sensory overload upon being exposed to so many young Westerners at one time. English is indeed my first language (or so I like to think), but I’m discovering that the culture shock of being surrounded by cosmopolitan youth is socially overwhelming for me. I must be getting old and disoriented.
Never mind, though . . . I still enjoyed the kendo presentation. Which brings me to another irrelevant point . . . isn’t it just a little too much in the eleventh James Bond movie Moonraker when a Japanese?! villain named Chou?! travels all the way from California to Italy in order to attack 007 while wearing a kendo outfit and armed only with a shinai bamboo sword? And why on earth isn’t James Bond carrying his Walter PPK in Moonraker? Yes, that’s right. I not only own and watch all of the James Bond movies, I get annoyed when the producers don’t get the balance of cheese and glamour just right. So there, I’ve stepped out of some sort of intellectual closet. I feel better now.