Unfortunately, in years of studying Japanese, I had never learned the suite of vocabulary required for this situation. Not one lesson had covered “Your tyre is stuck in a drain, do you have a jack in your car so we can leverage it out?”
As the car rounded hairpin turns and glided past unguarded drops, we contemplated our mortality and considered the eventuality that the last sound we might hear in our short lives could be the jubilant melody of Germanic Ducktales.
In a murky pond a stone sculpture of a grand ship with a proud, emblazoned sail appeared to float upon the water, with its portly dwarfish crew captained by a stout samurai.
I had entertained the thought that being cloaked in the appropriate apparel would make me feel more involved, when in fact I felt far more self conscious and fraudful.
On one of these many colourful cartographies I had found something called the ‘Totoro Forest.’
Received wisdom about bear encounters conflictingly suggests running, standing one’s ground, or playing dead; a selection that seems fatally incompatible.
Mountains are quite often used to connote that which is fixed and enduring, but in reality there are few things more changeable than the mountains.
Once in the wake of a contact lens delivery I came back to find a thin cardboard parcel sticking out of my door like someone trying to eat a pizza box from the corner.
Thanks to simplified biological diagrams, a lack of experience of in situ viscera, and a general naivety, I had previously thought of the oesophagus as a clear drop to the stomach, like a stone well to some distant cavern below. It wasn’t until an unwelcome object needed to make the journey through my digestion that I came to realise how ludicrous this image was.
One day Nakano-sensei asked which of the elementary schools is my favourite, and it’s possible that I answered a little too quickly with “Matsuyama.”