His name was Zack.

We were really good friends when I was probably 6 and lived in Germany. Gosh, Zack and I were really good friends. We would hang out in school, which used to be a Nazi hospital but they changed it to a school, and then we would also hang out a lot after school.  We would go to the “poop platz”, this area everyone would take their dogs to poop, as opposed to letting the dogs just poop all over the place, and we would hang out there and break bottles and things.

We were really good friends.

Then, one day, Zack and I got into an argument about a game of dodge ball.  One thing led to another and he punched me in the head. So I, of course, punched him in his dick, then his head, and then he kicked me in the stomach and face, a lot.  He was a year older than me and we were not friends after that for a while; like perhaps a whole month.


Roger was another friend of mine in Germany. We were friends when I was seven or eight I think. Roger was not standard issue and he used to steal electronics from people and take them apart in his room.  He did this often and some people thought he had issues.  Well, he and I were pretty good friends, despite our collective pathological problems, until this one time he decided to elbow me in my gut, really hard, during a game at school.  It totally knocked the wind out of me and I collapsed.  He thought that was funny. I spent all afternoon thinking about punching him in his teeth. So, after school I followed him while he was walking home.

“Hey, Roger.” When he turned around I had put about five feet of quality runway between he and I and managed to get a very decent crow-hop in.  My golden hay-maker whipped around but good and I nailed him right in his braces.  Holy shit, to this day I clearly remember how incredible that felt.  I clocked him as hard as I could then I did an immediate about face and walked off.

I was really on cloud nine at that time.  But later Roger brought his Mom over to my house and they complained to my mother.

I lost my buzz.  I also was no longer friends with Roger.


Later on, in North Carolina, my best-friend’s name was John. Geez, he and I were good friends. We did everything, everything that mattered anyway, together.  One time we bought a ton of cheap fireworks from this toothless hobo driving an old pick up truck, which smelled like piss, selling watermelons and fireworks out of the back.  Well, we bought a bunch of them and lashed them all together, put them in a paper bag, lit it on fire and threw it into a 7/11.

We had all kinds of fun together like that. It seemed it would never end.

The end came when one afternoon John got angry with my little brother and shoved him into a wall in John’s garage.  Even though I helped him get ice on his face afterward, after I belted him in the nose, when I would call his house his Mom told me “Well, he is still kinda sore about the whole thing.”

I was the one who used to punch everyone.

We throw the fireworks right over there.

You can tell I learned a lot real early about how quickly friends can just not be friends anymore.

As I got older, although there was less and less of the vanishing of friends due to violence, the vanishing continued none the less.

As we all got older friendships seemed even more important but became even less stable.  Any imaginary slight could totally destroy what you thought was a sure thing.

“Did you get your hair cut?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“I mean did you get it cut like that on purpose or did they fuck it up?”

I really was asking; I couldn’t tell.

And just like that we aren’t talking anymore.

“Hey bro, how long has your Mom been pregnant?”

“Dude, my Mom’s not pregnant.”

“Oh shit, really? I just meant she looks like it.”

I actually thought she was pregnant.

Another one bites the dust.

Things just got worse once girls got involved.  I suppose they got worse because everyone loves girls so much. Well, except for the guys who love other guys, they don’t love girls but then again it seemed like even those guys were really into the girls there for a while.  The point is that girls made everyone far more sensitive and they themselves, the girls I mean and I was surprised too, actually had feelings and got sensitive about things too.  It’s an enigma inside a quagmire wrapped in a hyper-color t-shirt; you don’t get it and neither do I.  That understanding of a lack of understanding didn’t stop people from letting friendships go to the dogs based on really small stuff.



So I figured out that people come and go. I figured that out early. It doesn’t really help though, this knowledge, as seasons pass and years roll by.

The Military seemed different somehow, and perhaps it was.

There is no place with a more densely packed collection of lunatics and maniacs than the Marine Corps Infantry.  There’s a great line in Ocean’s 11 where Danny’s ex-wife played by Julia Roberts says “You know what your problem is? You’ve met too many people like you.”

That was the Marine’s for me.  Violence and random wanton destruction no longer derailed friendships; these cemented them.  And where else and under what circumstances could you one day be running through the dessert putting rounds down range while things exploded next to you, and the next day be laying in your rack, literally all day, drinking gin and juice listening to RadioHead and Social Distortion albums?



I left the military pretty ingloriously but for years I stayed in touch with many of these people. Since then, some of them have died, some just disappeared but others are still basically around.  But something isn’t the same.

In the end it hasn’t seemed too different than everything else and here I come to the point.

As I get older it seems harder and harder not only to make new friends but to keep the ones I already have.

Articles are written about this.  Apparently millions of seemingly well off, well to do men in their 30’s and 40’s simply have no friends.

Not only is it difficult but awkward. As mentioned in the NY Times article, meeting or even maintaining friendships in my late 30’s is less about “Hey, you look dumb, lets wrestle,” and much more about “I understand you’re sensitive about the following long list of topics so I will completely avoid them and only discuss the meaningless nonsense, a list of perhaps 3 things, which offends absolutely nobody, nor challenges any idea or concept held by you, or anyone, regardless of how idiotic it is.  Can we set a play date now?”  Several years ago I didn’t give a shit about meeting new people, I mean men, because it was not an issue. I met guys all the time; some I clicked with and others I did not.  Some face punched me and we had bro-mance, others liked the same dirty jokes and were cool visiting me in jail.  It was easy come easy go.  Now, I feel myself getting nervous when I meet a guy who is not a complete fuckwit.  Yes, I actually get nervous. Why? Because meeting a new man who I think I might get along with and have something in common with is such an incredible rarity.

Somehow, this picture isn't saying what I want it to say.

Somehow, this picture isn’t saying what I want it to say.

I know at this point in my life that doing things out doors or in a dojo/gym with other men; physical, challenging and sometimes dangerous things, has been a cornerstone of all but 3 of my male-male friendships in the last twenty years.  So, why can’t I just whip up some new buddies who are still interested in the things I am? And where have the people gone who used to be interested in them?

A long time friend, a female, recently messaged me the following:

I also started trying to date again…. that is a completely other drama… but let me tell you… there are some seriously FUCKED up gaijin men over the age of 40 here. O.M.G.

Yeah, I completely get it and understand. What’s more, I actually empathize with you on what I thought would have been a purely female (homo) issue a few years ago.

As my Facebook friends list grows and grows the list of people I actually feel excited to see gets shorter and shorter.  I don’t like this.

Perhaps it’s all me.

After all, my early models for the construction and maintenance of friendships was clearly not based on sharing and gold medals for everyone.  But presumably, guys around my age, neither were theirs. So, fucking what gives?

Why is it so damn hard to meet a decent man in this city?


Proceed with Grindr jokes in the Comments.


gaijinassbannerHalloween is over and forward we go into sweet November.  But how sweet is it, really?  On one hand there’s the beginning of the holiday season starting, traditionally, from the Thanksgiving day weekend.

But what does one do in the nebulous limbo beginning from the garbage strewn streets of Shibuya post All-Hallows-Eve running up to the premier soul sacrificing capitalist orgy known as “Black Friday”?

Consort with criminals?

Corn soup and and an existential crisis?


As we can see the options are limited  and bleak.  The following are particular pitfalls the savvy Tokyo-ite will go to links to avoid at all costs.  Be forewarned.

5.  Wildly Premature Christmas Festivities

“But people do this in _______ too!”

Sure, they do.

But the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, seriously damaging the US Navy’s fleet, and make no mistake about it: They’ll bomb the shit out of your sense of holiday timing with just as much maniacal zeal.


Technically, the Christmas caterwauling began even before Halloween. People were walking into franchise coffee shops and were assaulted by some B-class singer/song writer crooning into a microphone about “Santa Claus, Baby.”

Then Frappaccinos were ordered.  Because those are really good.

So, like most things the Japanese adopt, they just went way overboard; too much, too soon and too…JAPANESE.

Avoid this November pitfall by lecturing everyone you meet on the benefits of prisons and work houses decreasing the surplus population.  Or, better yet, teach this as your only lesson this holiday season.

"Who wants to go on a school trip to the PRISON?!"

“Who wants to go on a school trip to the PRISON and WORKHOUSES?!”

4. Bi-Polar Weather and Heating

It’s not too hot but it’s not too cold it’s…Tokyo!

When the thermometer read 23, it was all t-shirts and booty shorts. When it moved to 22 everyone put on mufflers, caps and over coats.  Then it was 23 again, now it’s 20, but now it’s 24.  For me, little changes.  I dress like it’s summer time until the temperature falls below 20.  However, for the natives, even the slightest hint of a chill in the air can cause instantaneous cold related injuries or, based on local panic, DEATH.

22 degrees.

22 degrees.

People have different internal thermostats.  So perhaps the girl on the train platform wearing an overcoat, a muffler, a knit cap and mittens, while I stand next to her in shorts and a t-shirt, is actually really cold and not just an idiot.  But is that really any reason for every single train car and shop in Tokyo to have their heaters on?  I can finally walk down the street without bringing a towel to mop the sweat away with but if I walk into a store I am blasted in the face with a wave of stale hot air.

Damn you, Tokyo. Can I not enjoy even a moment of comfort?

Things will just get worse as the days on the calendar tick by.  This actually brings us right up the the gates of number 3. Sort of…

3. Tsunami of Slutty Santa’s

Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi: You name the night district and the slutty Santa girls are already there waiting for you.

She doesn't want milk and cookies.

She doesn’t want milk and cookies.

She wants your wallet.

These little nymphs are at all the “girl’s bars” and “oppai pubs” and have been since the day after Halloween.  Strolling down the streets of West Ikebukuro one fine evening, as a gentleman does, I even heard one of them butchering jingle bells from the door step of what appeared to be a filthy (read: enticing) brothel.  I took a moment to look at the shit-faced salary man ogling her ample endowments as she murdered that Christmas classic then shook my head and let go with a sigh, “Ah, Ikebukuro” and continued on my merry way.

“Bro, what’s the problem with sluts in Santa costumes?”

Don’t call me Bro, Chief.

And the problem isn’t the sluts in Santa costumes it’s simply a matter of timing and aesthetics; the season has not yet begun!  These hookers are jumping the Christmas gun and I simply won’t stand for it.

That having been said, there are worse things on the streets of Ikebukuro than Yuletide harlots.

2. Crows

They know my nightmares and they all speak fluent terror and November seems to be, unequivocally, their month.

I give you the secret rulers of the Ikebukuro streets: the CROWS.


KNEEL before your Avian rulers humans.

They talk, they plan and they remember who you are and what you did.

Run. Just fucking run.

1. The Inevitably Ill-conceived Thanksgiving Dinner Variation

It’s rapidly approaching and if you were in Minnesota, New Jersey, Prince Edward Island or where-ever, your mouth would likely be beginning to water as you imagine the coming feast.

Thanksgiving hedonism.

Growing up in a middle class family a la pax Americana in the heart of the freedom-spewing US of A many an epicurean feast have been observed.  The quantities and proportions are now lost to the annuls of time and toilet but let me tell you, I ate a shit ton of good food.  So did you.  This is why whilst far and away, and we do it every year, we try to recreate these Romanesque days of yore here in our adopted home of miso soup, pickles and rice balls.

The problem here, is that inevitably it goes wrong; horribly wrong.

It's my Mom's recipe.

It’s my Mom’s recipe.

One year I caused a ham to detonate in someone else’s oven (#falseflag).  Another year half the people at a dinner ended up getting violent diarrhea due to a horribly flawed attempt at sweet potato casserole.  I stood by, helpless another time, as a  sweet blonde girl from, I think Oregon, nearly started crying when her rhubarb pie had the consistency and flavor of second hand urinal cakes.  She internalized it and saw all her tattered relationships with men staring back at her from that vengeful failure of a holiday staple which had become her void.

I saw a guy nearly choke to death on carrot sticks and dip.

The carnage.

But we keep trying.  We keep on trying every time because what’s the other option?  Oden and dried squid?  More highly over carbonated and wildly over-rated Asahi with some week old 7/11 “furidu potatosu”? Simply put, there are are no other options.  Living as we have chosen we’re doomed to experience this holiday over and over, never quite getting it right but treasuring it none the less because the alternatives are too bleak to contemplate.  I suppose the only thing left to do is embrace the madness, scream TORA! TORA! TORA! and Kamikaze the hell out of this coming weekends Thanksgiving efforts.


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Ninja, Futuristic Robot Warrior, ET, a Green Beret and a Ranger.

These are all Halloween costumes I can remember wearing at some point.

I hated the ET costume. My mother got it from some other woman and it’s emasculating effects were dazzling.  I felt like a little Halloween homo stuffed in that hot sack of humiliation.  I won the best costume award at some event and other mothers took photos of me.  Other children whispered filthy insults and pointed at me. Others gnashed teeth.  The jealousy and politics surrounding best costume awards among eight year old children is pretty impressive.

The futuristic robot warrior was a costume from, oh Jesus, France.  It sure looked like it too and by that I mean it looked like something you might see in a gay pride parade on some tranny, rapidly OD’ing on the dubious combination of poppers and mescaline.  I sure thought that costume was hot shit, though. Oh boy, did I. In fact, I tried it on multiple times and went prancing around the room I shared with my little brother.  Anyway, half way through the evening while trick-or-treating the elastic band on the flamboyantly colored mask snapped and after several failed attempts to re-tie it I just said “Fuck this French mask,” and continued on, noticeably receiving less candy than my peers from that point forward.

I hate the French.  They continuously disappoint, as we have mentioned before.

Except for the cheese.

They make amazing cheese.

Later, as a teenager, I took responsibility for my own happiness and used Halloween as an occasion to throw raw eggs, and rocks, at people and steal candy from younger and easily manipulated pre-teens.  I also made out with this girl named Lindsey on Halloween one time and I was just terrified our braces would get locked.  I saw that on a show. It didn’t happen though.

Lindsey later told everyone we never kissed.

Duplicitous lying slut. Because we totally made out.

Another time, I lived in the desert.  It was really hot all the time and there were rattle snakes and crazy desert hobos with HIV living all over the place.  I spent that Halloween cleaning a bunch of disgusting toilets.

Thanks Marine Corps.  I could have been in Palm Springs getting my drinks spiked by overly muscular homos and waking up with strange wads of cash in my pockets. But no…

…in the end I have spent Halloween in various locations.  Some better than others.  But this year, something bizarre has occurred.

Japan, I applaud you.

This is not something I say often. Not these days, anyway.  After eleven plus years in Tokyo my grain of salt is more like a brick and the never ending chopstick compliments have lost their luster.

The jade is strong with this one. 

I sneer and sneer often. You know; I’ve written about it at length.

But right when I was getting ready to really huff and puff and blow Tokyo’s house down, it decide to fight back.

And it fought back with the sweet black magic of a Japanized Shibuya Halloween.


Much has been said in Japanese media over the last few days condemning, actually ravenously attacking, October 31st, 2015.  The outcry from the stuffy, over 30 talento ilk has been angst-filled and the intensity of the GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU DAMN KIDS has been hilarious.  TV personality after useless TV personality have made the same comments and these have been force fed to a population which lives and dies by the gospel they are injected with in mega daily doses via mind numbing “Variety shows.”

These kids are out of control!

These people don’t have any idea about the origin or meaning of Halloween!  

They are just going wild!

It’s all just nonsense! Nonsense I tell you! Nonsense grrrrrrrr!

Get off my fucking lawn you damn kids! 

Women dressed as nuns pose for pictures during Halloween celebrations in the Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter - RTX1U3FW

First of all, the powers that be in Japan couldn’t give a sloppy wet donkey shit about the Japanese people “understanding the origins” of any foreign custom or culture.  Christmas in Japan is an absolute abortion.  It’s so bad it sent me into a dark tail spin only to resurface three weeks into January sans long stretches of memory and with suspicious credit card debts and welts.  Just like, welts.  On my ass and inner thighs.

As a side note, if this is ringing any bells for you please message me privately because I would like to know.

Valentines in Japan has been carefully crafted to give zero fucks, about anything, and hence spawned another useless marketing demon in “White Day.”

Here, choke on these cheap cookies and die, whore. Now you know all about “White Day.”

Japanese English on shirts and in advertising and the never ending bastardization of western concepts goes on day to day completely unfettered while THE MAN keeps telling the Japanese how “difficult” English is yet how much they need it.  Nobody here cares, at all, about how things are supposed to be.

So just like, spare me, man.

Secondly, these kids are not out of control.  Rather, these kids were remarkably well behaved.  Thousands and thousands of costume glad young drunks concentrated in a very small urban area and what happened in the end?  Some people made out. Some people passed out. Some people fornicated and some people lost their ifucks.  I saw some girl jerking a guy off next to the Stay-puff Marsh-mellow man.  I saw a 20 year old sexy cop girl making out heavily with some guy wearing an “older English teacher” costume.

The horror.

Imagine this any place else.  I can do it easily.

This on the streets of London? Fires and pillage.  This on the streets of Los Angeles? Riots and cops shooting people willy-nilly.  This on the streets of New York?  Murder and more riots.

The point is simple:  with thousands of drunk youth all converging on one area, nothing really bad happened. In fact, something genuinely cool and legit occurred.   Halloween night in Shibuya this year was just a huge unplanned costume party and THAT is what is pissing off the establishment so much.  Nobody had control.  That fact alone is enough to get the boss hogs in a sweat.  Lots of people came out, got together and had a good time without anyone’s permission.  After a million people protesting TPP in the streets went utterly ignored by the fascist Abe government, the disenfranchised decided to do what they felt like and just had fun on their own terms.  Obviously, the establishment isn’t keen on this.

But Gaijinass has a simple enough conclusion which he will now share.

Fuck Christmas illumination and giri-choco;  Tokyo had a win on October 31st, 2015.  


You bought your new home! Congratulations!  Few things in life can be more satisfying than finally, after all that hard work and careful consideration, finally moving into the house you’ve always dreamed of.

Now that you and your family are moving in, some ideas begin to develop in your head  regarding decor and really putting the ole’ personal touch on this dream home, and why not?  You likely already have a long list of ideas and detailed mental pictures of exactly how you’re going to make this new home your personal palace.  However, before you start shelling out your kids college tuition for that hyper unique blend of fantasy and breakfast nook synergy you should remember that too much, too soon and too wrong can Shazam your dream home into a palace of nightmarish bad choices with like, relative ease.

Keep the following in mind when home decorating….we beg you.

Your Home is NOT a Theme Park

No really, we get it- you like Pirates of the Caribbean but for the love of all that’s sane and reasonable, if anyone over the age of 8 inhabits a room decorated, built in the guise of pirate ship, the impending unraveling of the universe as we know it is their fault.

“Anyone over the age of 8 and we all die.”

Although some amount of “theme” might be acceptable in a kid’s room, your dinner guests might feel uncomfortable dining in your decorator’s original reconstruction of Frankenstein’s dining room.  Contrary to what some progressives have put forward decorating your entire living room like a Vietcong prison camp will not facilitate a healthy family atmosphere and the only time a sitting room should have little model ships all over with a giant gold plated ship’s wheel mounted on the wall is if you can actually look out the window and see your boat waiting for you in the water.

The Bottom line:

A few matching Disney posters in your daughters room aside, over done themes are a big no-no and scientists in Uganda have found strong correlations between this and erectile dysfunction in men later in life; except for when the other dude is wearing a Mickey Mouse mask.  Then a dog wouldn’t even chew on it.

Better than Viagra.

Better than Viagra.

Your Toilet is, also, not a Theme Park

The toilet.  A central and necessary cornerstone to any home worth purchasing.  We all spend time in the bathroom and we all commit a certain amount of time to sitting on the can.  For some (D-A-D-S) the toilet is a sanctuary within their castle and the only place where they can get ten minutes of peace.  That doesn’t mean however, that your homes toilet needs to look like R2D2’s soul mate or a cast member from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat.

“Pick One: He’s never coming to your house again or, she knows she’ll never make it out alive.”

The Bottom line:

A toilet, and the bathroom it is housed in, should serve a simple purpose and be composed of four simple yet critical components.

  1. A functional, flushing toilet.
  2. A collection of clean surfaces.
  3. A door that locks.
  4. Some place to clean off your hands.
That’s it.  If you want ambiance, a simple rug, not a toilet rug, placed in front of the toilet and perhaps a tasteful candle on a shelf or window ledge should be sufficient.  In the toilet use the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it Simple, Seriously.  Nobody wants to deal with Hello Kitty while they are barfing up last nights tequila bender.

 Clutter and Knickknacks are the Enemy

We don’t even know what the word “Knickknacks” means or if it’s really a word, but we know that having a bunch of junk lying around makes your room/garage/home look like a yard sale gone horribly wrong.

You might have the worlds most impressive collection of first edition kid’s meal toys, but that doesn’t mean you need to display them all, all the time. To you it might be great fun, but to the uninitiated house guest it’s a terrifying glimpse into your warped and sinister mind which they will henceforth summarize to friends and acquaintances as: Completely Fucked.


Storing your collections away and then occasionally putting particular pieces out is tasteful and interesting. It will livin’ up your room and start conversations when you have company, before the raping really gets going, but these displays shouldn’t dominate the space too much.

Just like “knickknacks” (whatever that means), general clutter and junk should not be left out. Put your hockey gear in the closet, those work files in the file cabinet and your clothes either into the dresser or the washing machine.

The bottom line:

Clutter taking up space is a good way to make your home feel small and cramped and it contributes to stress. Use tasteful storage concepts to keep things simple and stream lined. A clean home is a relaxing home.

Exposed wires look horrible

Where as a collection of vintage Pepsi cans, although insanely tacky, might be mistaken for a classy decor maneuver, computer cords and stereo wires all over the place have no facade to hide behind.  They look horrible.

Thanks, Technology.

“Technology, a spiteful little minx.”

These days cords are absolutely bloody everywhere. With the wave of “wireless” devices becoming more affordable and dependable we finally have some options, but who hasn’t walked into a friend’s room and literally grimaced when faced with the rat’s nest of cords, wires and antenna creeping behind their PC?
Take our word for it on this one if you’ve developed some sort of paranormal immunity to cord infestation; It’s not attractive and can conjure up all kinds of unpleasant images.


“Unpleasant” wink-wink.


The bottom line:

Get rid of the damn cords. You can tape them together, you can used zip cords, you can hide them behind furniture or put them in a decent looking basket or box. It’s called a disguise. Whatever you do, don’t leave them out to ensnare guests or molest your sensibilities. Wires and cords running all over quickly turn your home into another victim of the evil professor technology and his cronies.

Too much furniture

We all like nice furniture.  This sofa here is highly conducive to the writing of this article and that table there is doing a fabulous job of being a table.  Furniture is a good idea and if you’ve ever spent time with out it you might cherish it even more.  Sleeping on a cold floor is only fun for as long as your stuck in that third world prison.  Furniture.

The problem though is that sometimes we have this impulse to pack more furniture into a room than that room is actually capable of comfortably accommodating.  This is bad.  When you have to become a contortionist just to get across your living room, that is too much furniture and it really makes your house angry.  Nobody likes being bloated.

“Mommy! The house is hissing at me again!”

The bottom line:

Only purchase and place as much furniture as your home/room can comfortably accommodate.   There is nothing wrong with some open space.

Once again, Japan takes things too far.

Once again, Japan takes things too far.


Lighting and the proper employment of it is one of if not THE single most critical component within a room.  An open room with only one chair and a simple coffee table can look like designer fare with the correct lighting.  That same chair and table can also be made to resemble accommodations within a prison cell under ugly fluorescent lights.

Case in point.

Case in point.

It is important to identify the function of a room before making decisions regarding lighting.  Is this a relax space or an office?  The area you work in should be well-lit and conducive to concentration.  That black light was  the shit in tenth grade but it might not suit your office now.

Skype Meeting? Can we just, uh, conference call?

Skype Meeting? Can we just, uh, conference call?

The bottom line:

In a living room or den however, softer lighting with an emphasis on making things cozy and comfortable should be developed.  Particular lamps or fixtures in different parts of the room can direct attention where you want it to go and relatively simple hardware, such as a dimmer switch, can allow you a versatile means of changing the atmosphere in a room in seconds.  Dimmers are also great if you find yourself working, eating, sleeping and entertaining all in the same room.  Or if you agoraphobic.

People not Devices

One thing I learned from my mother: Never design a living room around the TV.

Or the center of a crack house.

Or a crack den. Did not learn this one from Mom.

This goes for more than your boob-tube.  Any kind of electronic device be it your computer, your smart phone, your tablet, you smart watch or your smart glasses, see here’s the thing, nothing and I mean nothing beats human connections. And that’s the point of a living room: face time with an actual organically breeding meat sack i.e. another person.

The bottom line:

A living room should be set up so people can interact with each other.  This is why people have an office, to do office shit in.  The living room is not an office so avoid allowing it to be dominated by an array or bright screens vampire sucking your life away.  The worst offender is still the television set however.  If you heed nothing else do so with this warning:  do NOT allow your living room to be set up to perfectly accommodate TV viewing. This is a cardinal sin.

Sometimes a TV dominated room opens hell's gates for all kinds of decor insanity including #8 on this list "Anything remotely like conventional Japanese living."

Sometimes a TV dominated room opens hell’s gates for all kinds of decor insanity including #8 on this list “Anything remotely like conventional Japanese living.”



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You missed one: The douchebag gaijin who tries to start a conversation with every foreign person he sees.


 Eye Contact.
He’s 195 centimeters tall, if not taller, and he smiles broadly and lifts his arm to wave and I give a small nod of my head then look back down at my phone.  It’s a sunny morning and I feel congenial and the guy is fully on the other end of the train carriage so why not smile and nod.  I’m being so affable.  It must be the combination of cold meds mixed with the remnants of the few drinks from the night before.
A bad combination.
I only allow myself the bottle on Friday night and Saturday these days and I covet those allowances dearly.  That having been said despite only three or four drinks last night, today my head feels like I’ve been on Mescaline for a week.  It feels fried.  The edges of my consciousness are popping and then fading out.  Perhaps this explains my good mood.
Smash cut and suddenly, like in a horror movie, the ridiculously tall middle-aged black man with two weeks worth of salt and pepper beard is standing directly in front of me and is gesturing toward me.  He’s moved across the train carriage to talk to me.
I look up from my phone and smile.  I then remove my ear buds, and ignore all the people in the entire train who are now staring at us, and I say “What’s up?”
“I usually avoid big people.” He says.
“Is that right?” I’m still smiling.  The Japanese guy next to me on the train is clearly uncomfortable.
“Yeah, I usually avoid Big people. They intimidate me.”  He says, looking down at me.
I stare at him smiling for a moment.
“I’m just kidding. You American or Canadian?” He says smiling now.  I consider lying but don’t.
“I’m American.  You?”
His head twitches sharply to the side then back.  “I’m American. From New York City.” Right.
“I’m from upstate. Syracuse.”I say and then I notice he’s wearing a blue back pack.  I notice he’s holding a clip board with no papers on it and an old English text-book.
“Syracuse. They had such a good ball team.  (someones name I didn’t catch) was incredible.” He reminisces.
“Yeah? I don’t follow basketball at all.”  I’ve decided I am just talking to this guy.
“They just couldn’t ever pull it together. You know? They never were able to pull it together. Never able to win a big one.”  And then there’s silence. About thirty seconds.  He has a layer of black hair, almost fur, covering his ears.  His glasses are dirty.
I speak up.
“I was a wrestler.”
“Oh. Like…W…?”
“No, more like collegiate wrestling. Like Greco-roman.” I finally push my ear buds into my t-shirt.  This will continue.
“I went to watch one of those. My brothers friend was a wrestler. I didn’t get it. I mean I didn’t understand it.  It was hard to watch.”
He stares at me and I at him. I’m still smiling.  People on the train have decided he and I are friends and are just ignoring the two huge foreigners having a chat.
“Sure. It’s not the easiest sport to just walk in and watch.  Most of the people in the bleachers are either parents of wrestlers or former wrestlers themselves. It isn’t like basketball or something.”
“I’m not contesting the athleticism…”
“Sure. I know, I know. It just isn’t the most alluring of spectator sports.” I say this nodding. I understand him. I nod.
“…I just never liked it at all.”
Eye contact; he makes eye contact with me deliberately.
“Most foreigners here, I see ’em, I look right at ’em and they just…” He mimics looking away or looking down at a hand-held device.
“They just hide. They don’t speak.”
“Black or white. It doesn’t matter. I’ve been here 13 years and most of ’em just hide away.  They consider me a threat.”
His eyes are changing now.  What were fairly placid and dull have no become bright and are ogling, if that’s a word.
His eyes are ogling.
“They just look away and walk off like they can’t speak English or something.”
“Maybe they just, like, perhaps they have no time?  It probably isn’t personal they just have someplace to be.”  I shrug. I smile. I shrug and smile and he’s already shaking his head “no.”
They feel threatened.  See, back home in wherever they were nothing…” He emphasizes this by gesturing with the clipboard. “…nothing.  But here they are a big time guy.  They’re the teacher or the…guy.  Whatever.  See, everyone here has their own little territory. Like, their own kingdom, and if anyone tries to come into their area they freak out.  They get intimidated.”
This man is by no means the craziest person I have met on Tokyo public transit but he is the craziest today and I do the math, I realize that if he takes this much further this will be quite a scene.  His volume is rising.  We’re almost at my station.
“Well, I dunno man.  Something tells me it isn’t as uh, sinister, as all that.  I just think people are busy and shy.” Laugh a little. “Hazukashi, right?”  He stares at me hard for a moment as the train pulls into the station.
“So, how much do you bench press?” He then asks as we de-board.
“Ah man, that’s my weak lift. I’m more of a dead-lift guy.”
“Dead-lift…”  He doesn’t know what this is.
“OK man, well, it was good to meet you.” I extend my hand. He takes it and we shake hands.
“Yeah you too.  See you next time.” He says and waves to me with the clip board and text book.
Next time.




“You gotta shave that beard.  In Japan, a beard is the kiss of death.”  Grizzled-know-it-all teacher douche.

Yep and then I went on to find a better job and full-fill my dream of being a pro-athlete in this country, with all kinds of facial hair, and I think he was arrested for having an affair with a 14-year-old girl.  The lesson here? Beards work?  No, the lesson is that Douche bags can be found everywhere.  This is a list of some of the worst expat douche you can encounter in Tokyo.  Some go above and beyond eventually multi-leveling and combining two, three or even four of these classes into a Voltron-esque collage of failed dreams and bitter angst.  If you live in Tokyo, you know who they are…who you…are…

7.The Doucebag Recruiter

You know who you are and so do the rest of us because you never shut up about work and “the office.”

You’re also wearing a suit and tie at the HUB and are lavishly buying everyone a round, during happy hour, and keep texting your “guy with the coke”. You started in this “industry” too late; the bubble popped long ago and for the first year you actually LOST money while literally slaving away doing mind numbing grunt work for the promise of a big payoff someday soon.  A pay off which still has yet to come.

You regularly have “huge” nights in Ginza, spent entirely at 300 yen bars, and get so brutally intoxicated you can’t make it to any event that isn’t connected with work.

You’re finally making enough money to support your alcoholism and gambling issues but you’re slowly figuring out that if you take your foot off the gas for a split second this is all going to fall apart and you will have no money to support your fake Wish-I-was-in-Finance lifestyle you’ve locked yourself into. But the thing is you didn’t have the skills, education or experience for finance anyway, so here you are and forever trying to FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. Problem is, you’re not enough of a sociopath to ever really make it anywhere with this.

This is not you. At all.

This is not you. At all.

But hey, anything to avoid teaching ENGLISH, right? Right???

6. The newbie Eikaiwa/ALT teacher Douche

Conbini beers and Karaoke!

Japan and I will love each other forever!

Japan and I will love each other forever!

The deterioration happens within months:

“It’s just so gratifying, working with the kids.”

“I just wish the Japanese teacher in the class was more supportive.”

“Jesus God, that one class is full of animals.”

Fuck these kids and their incompetent useless parents and the teachers can all burn in hell.”

You did it! You got to Japan and now you’re living the dream! Ninja on every corner! In fact you just signed your English teaching contract telling you one of two things, if you’re an Eikaiwa douche, you have learned that you have no Japanese holidays because “Hey, You aren’t Japanese.” And you have none of the holidays which you cherish and look forward to because “Hey, this is Japan, Fan-qui!” If, on the other hand you are an ALT, well good news! You get ALL the holidays, you just don’t get paid for any of them. Great deal. This will leave you plenty of time to be a part-time DJ (for free), work on your modeling career (good luck, fatty), finish your first novel (riiiiight) or simply frequent absolutely every 100yen bar in the city, nightly, till your liver implodes.

Not even Christmas?!

Not even Christmas?!

When you first got hired you spent the initial six months telling people who used to be you how magical it all was and then the last six months how much you loath everyone and that Tokyo is a horrific place.

You ended up in this category for one of two reasons: You showed up with no plan or the plan you showed up with failed. If you let it break you then you’ll either end up managing other suckers in this indentured servitude or you’ll just throw in the towel and leave. If you can drive through, you might find a life outside of ENGRISH or you might just someday become…

5. The Douchy miserable suburbanite

“Whoa, your rent is how much? I only pay 50,000 yen per month for a 10 bedroom, 20th floor condo in THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING NO WHERE.”

God knows what you were thinking, because I do not. You were 28, employed, decent wage yet you decided to live deep in the forests of Saitama. You decided it was a better idea to live in bustling Ibaraki prefecture. You thought getting a big place with ocean views 3 hours outside Tokyo on the Izu peninsula would be magical. Then winter came.

But baby, you can stay over. Please! Please don't leave me alone!

But baby, you can stay over. Please! Please don’t leave me alone!

Let’s face it, if you want to live in Tokyo then LIVE IN TOKYO. That’s what you tell all your people back in Minnesota. That’s what you tell your boys back in Detroit. You tell everyone back in Smallville “Yeah bro, right in Tokyo. It’s crazzzzy.”

The thing is you don’t and you hate where you live. No girl you’ve ever met wants to take the last train to your place from Shibuya at 9:30 PM. Girls, rarely but it happens, ask where you live, you tell them and there is an empty pause and blank look and then she says “Where?” or “Oh yeah my Grandmother lives there.” Then she never sleeps with you.

“Bro can I crash at your place?” You have multiple variations on this one because you NEED to use it regularly if you are actually gonna drink all the way through happy hour.

Sober, you spend a hardy amount of time trying to convince everyone that wherever you live is actually “Really neat.” But after a few drinks you spend large segments of time, yours and ours, bitching openly about how much you hate it and how you haven’t had a guest over in two years.

Because JR line doesn't offer this service yet.

Because JR line doesn’t offer this service yet.

Eventually, years later you will move into Tokyo and then lament the fact that you spent your prime time single years sequestered on a mountain side someplace all in the name of saving a few thousand yen, which you used on the move anyway.

Welcome to the party. Just be sure you know when to leave…

4. The aging party guy/girl Douche

“Holy Fuck this is Awesome!”

But actually, no it isn’t because you’ve done this over and over for 25 years. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook albums with hundreds of pics of you smiling you post; again. It doesn’t matter how many IG vids of you lost and drunk in the middle of a concert on some island you post; again. It doesn’t matter how many times you pose with younger chicks at the same bars you have been going to for over a decade; again. None of it matters because you never got the memo.

You Sir/Ma’am, are getting OLD.

J-girls. I get older but they stay the same age.

J-girls. I get older but they stay the same age.

Maybe you’re 35 and, in that stream of Russian boyfriends, have yet to find your Prince Charming. Maybe you’re 45 and picking up random women and embarrassingly taking them to social gatherings at which they feel wildly uncomfortable is just making you look like a date-rapist. Maybe you’re 50, and living “the Single life” is where it’s at but suddenly you’re 62, living in a shoe box, alone, with nothing but a six-pack and a shit ton of HUB card points to keep you happy when you can’t spend all your money on travel in order to escape reality anymore. Some people are actually supposed to be alone forever, I know one or two, but if you’re reading this and it stings, you are not one of them. It might be time to settle the fuck down and go all in with someone.

45 year olds do not need to go to all night, all you can drink karaoke just to wake up in a pile of their own vomit Sunday morning on a side-walk in Shimokitazawa. The mature thing to do is to wake up on your living room floor, sans vomit, on Sunday and have breakfast with the family hiding your hang over with some Advil and a stiff screw driver because nobody can smell Vodka, right? Get with the program.

In the meantime…

Conbini beers and Karaoke! FOREVER!

3. The Douche who is always about to leave but never does

“I’m outta here. Yep. Just six months left and I am gone.”

And six months later yet here I still find you. Probably at Hobgoblin.

It’s a good plan and you’ve been perfecting it for decades; finally leave Japan and go on to what will surely be your perfect existence in wherever, doing whatever. It’s an incredible plan because you’ve been holding on to it, polishing it and telling everyone about it for myriad years.

The thing is, you’re never really leaving. It’s like the douche who is always talking about starting his own business and never does or the wanna be novelist who never writes a damn thing or the musician who never plays for anyone or the boxing gym warrior who never actually gets in the ring for a real fight.

“No bro, I just spar.”

It’s all douche bullshit and so is your tired old yarn about leaving. Just put your chips in and make a life here. You are ALREADY HERE ANYWAY.

Then again you could always actually leave Tokyo and enjoy grueling hours and shit pay painting farms in the Australian outback. So, there’s that. Shoot for the stars.



2. The Japanophile DOUCHE


Which is, so you know, wildly douche behavior.

You also go to Izakaya and immediately sit in seiza. You take Ikebana classes and tea ceremony classes and Japanese flute classes and taiko classes. You suck at all these activities. You own, at the minimum, one Japanese sword (and nunchakus) and you can talk about how it was made: The sword; the nunchakus you found in the garbage. You know 3 billion kanji. You know more Kanji than your Japanese girlfriend who is the most Japanese looking person the world has ever seen. She’s more Japanese than Yoko Ono.  She’s more Japanese than KFC at Christmas and dick festivals just because.

Yes, even more Japanese than this.

Yes, even more Japanese than this.

You know how to put on a Kimono. You know how to help women put on kimono. You like natto. You purchase natto.


For you Japan is never wrong and the Japanese are never at fault. None of US get it but YOU do. We would connect so much more if we read manga, watched Japanese TV, hung out (unwanted) in small bars near Golden Gai and did Judo for three months then quit. Essentially, nobody understands Japan like you do, not even the Japanese and you can prove this by talking about popular Japanese cartoons with six-year olds who don’t want to talk to you anyway.

You are the Japanophile DOUCHE and you are abhorred.

And finally…

1. The Irrational Hater Douche

Jesus, why can’t I buy peanut butter here?”

“Why the hell don’t these people just shake hands?”

“Fuck learning Japanese, I’m leaving soon anyway (refer to #3)”

“Japanese girls are all stuck up and fake.” Because they don’t like you.

Meet the bizzaro world doppelgänger for the aforementioned Japanophile: the foreigner who lives and works in Tokyo yet irrationally hates everything about the place and cannot wait to tell everyone, all the time.  Japanese train precision? “Hell no, my train was five minutes late!”  Japanese women don’t want to listen to your nonsensical uninformed rants about their culture? “Stuck up crazy bitches!”  Japanese music? “Shit.” But you can only name 3 bands and all of them are named SMAP. This is the irrational Hatred Douche bag and he/she tops our list.

Granted, your hatred is making more sense now.

Granted, your hatred is making more sense now.

Japanese Values? “Not mine so they don’t matter!” But tries to bullshit an answer anyway.

The Japanese put a lot of stock in how one looks out and about? “Stuck up materialistic assholes.”

Many of these particular douches are or were douches in other categories and have simply grown into this most coveted breed. Their own self-loathing, ignorance and inability to actualize their dreams/desires manifests itself in a ripe and often burning hatred for basically everything that doesn’t qualify or flatter them. In this case, the sprawling foreign city encompassing them and all it’s people.

“Why the fuck isn’t everything here exactly how it was in the country which I came from?!”

Honorable mentions:

  • The super douchey and overly judgmental blogger who has “Seen it all” in Tokyo, been a few of these already and trolls others from afar via his little known and highly under-rated website.
  • All foreign models

If this wasn’t good enough for you, try these:

Chong Dominatrix in Japan white hostess Groper Train Sato
Advancing Feminism via Porn Interview with a Japanese Dominatrix White woman Japanese sex Groper Train Search for the Black Pearl Interview with Adult Model: Erika Satou

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