For several years now, I have been experimenting with writing as a hobby. I have never felt it good enough to share with the public, but I feel that time is close. Hence I need a forum.
This blog will contain several sections,
1. An Irishman's Diary
Whatever comes to mind....
Borrowing the title and concept of the long running column in the Irish Times, this is a series of essays on subjects that have crossed my mind in the years I have lived in Japan. Some people will agree with some of the things I say, some won't. Such is the way of the free world. I will try to write with an open mind. All I ask is that you read with an open one.
2. Where the Streets Have No Name
A memoir of my ongoing life in Japan
When asked why he had chosen to write his life story, Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers replied;
"I thought of Nikos Kazantzakis, the Greek poet [who wrote the story behind "The Last Temptation Of Christ",] who said one time: 'When a man dies, that particular vision of life which is his and his alone dies with him. It therefore behoves every man to tell his story."
This will be the story of how I got where I am today, as best I remember it, and what I have learned along the way.
As Jack Kerouac said; "and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell."
A collection of short stories, and even some novels, I may be inspired to write.
4. Anything else that may take my fancy.
To be updated as fate decides.
Wherever possible I will try to maintain an even balance of English and Japanese, but not in the same page, if only because I need the practice. (And want to show off!)
And as for the name...
Addresses in Japan are determined on a first come first served basis.
Within any particular town, village or ward, numbers are assigned to each plot of land in the order they are registered. If a plot is subdivided, each subdivision is given a new number which is an extension of the existing number.
For example, "Fujimi" is a common name for towns or wards ("Cho") in the Kanto region around Tokyo, because it means "overlooked by Mount Fuji" or "view of Mt. Fuji", which can be seen from most of the Kanto Plain, buildings and smog permitting.
If Fujimi Cho consisted of, for example, 5 large lots these would be numbered 1 to 5. If these lots were broken up into smaller lots, the numbers would be "Fujimi cho 1 - 1", "Fujimi cho 1 - 2" and so on. Thus addresses in Japan have their basis in the order of development of the property, and not in any geographical, or otherwise logic based system.
For this reason it is hard to find your way around in Japan if you don't already have a map, or a reasonably good idea of where you are going.
Many facets of living in Japan are like this. In the course of living here for twenty years I have learned a lot, through a mixture of going down blind alleys, getting lost and then retracing my steps, or asking directions when someone was around who knew the locality, or just plain guessing when there wasn't. Hopefully by sharing what I have learned, I can help make some other traveler's journey a little more pleasant.