4 thoughts on “Lost in the Japanese countryside

  1. A tranquil and lovely choice for a photo, accompanying the well-written account. If it’s any consolation to the Oginosato ‘newcomers’, 10 years seems to be the norm, before one can feel at home in a new town/small city. Children and their school-centric activities help in the speed of integration.

  2. Since when has Francisco felt like a foreigner in his own land? Hasn’t he spent all of his adult life living as a foreigner in foreign lands? The United States, England, the Netherlands, etc.?

  3. I agree with some of the comments on the IHT site…if you compare that to the almost complete lack of social interaction between neighbours, the people of this small town may not seem so crazy. I also lived in a tiny town for 3 years before moving to Tokyo, and I noticed that even in the cities those from well off families or with the highest levels of education stick to this pattern of seasonal gift giving/salutation.

    As for the “mandatory drinking”, anyone with a little cultural experience should know how to get around it without it becoming a faux pas. Them being Japanese you’d expect them to be more savvy in the ways of 遠慮 and 建前.

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