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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blogging State Of The Union

Did you know that I've been writing a daily whatchamacallit for this blog since January 28, 2011 - and I mean every single day?

I know,  I should get a life, but this blog is pretty much it as far as excitement goes, so I get to perform verbal masturbation as my express form of release.

Bragging, I suppose...

I know this blog had been going on since July of 2009, but I wasn't publishing everyday.

Just prior to that January 28, 2011 date, I had actually stepped away from the blog for several weeks... but that was the push I needed.

That breather (take a deep breath) was what I needed, and when I decided to come back (I wasn't sure when I stopped that I was coming back), it was with a renewed energy.

I didn't care who read the blog or how many people read the blog, but just wrote because I enjoyed writing.

I had always said that as long as even one person wanted to read my stuff, then at the very least I would write for that one person. I still feel that way, though my ego does thank its lucky stars that there are still a few more than just one reader who will read either my rambling thoughts on relationships with and in Japan, as well as my researched encyclopedic scratchings on historical subjects, and sometimes even just my bon mots on whatever hits my fragile eggshell mind.

It's on these rare occasions when I feel the need to deliver a state-of-the-union address, just to sort of say thank-you to you, the reader.

I love the critiques of my thought processes and the urgings to complete my diary (truthfully, if I presented it any quicker, I would have been done with it sometime in 2011 or 2012, and then how bored would you all be).

I think I've become a better writer... even a different writer since I began this blog... it was really only supposed to be 90 articles as a means of showcasing the original "It's A Wonderful Rife" articles I had written between 1990-1993 - and then that was going to be it...

Then I had to write the introduction to the blog... which I still think is one of the better things I ever wrote... only because it made me step outside of the familiar and look inside myself.

"I didn't want to go to Japan. To be perfectly frank, I was just trying to get laid."

That summed up my whole feelings about my upcoming trip to Japan. yeah, I wanted to get sex, but I wasn't thinking about Japan as an ends to that dry means.

Who writes a 2,652 (including this) chapter story about Japan when they had no real interest in even going there? Me... and that me is someone who arrived in Japan with next to zero knowledge of the country—thank goodness, because I didn't allow anyone or anything to color my experience.

It's why I am always intrigued by readers who are looking at blogs to get a better idea of what to expect in Japan... my advice remains the same - stop reading, and just go and experience it for yourself.

I swear, I lose more readers that way, but I mean it. I'd rather lose readers than spoil your very individualistic experience involving Japan.

Yeah... Japan is weird and wonderful, confounding and exhilarating, sexy and ugly... but I bet we could say that about whatever country WE are in right now... the problem is that we haven't had the opportunity to adequately experience it yet, what with work, school or parental requirements getting in the way.

Look at me (please)... I live in Canada... the second-largest country in the world... and I can assure you that I know very little about my adopted home because it is vast and different.

I have driven across from Toronto to Vancouver... and have been out to the Atlantic through the Maritimes... I've met lots of people, and while all different, are the same... but there is no way in hell I could ever get a handle on what it is like to be a First Nations Canadian (even though I went fishing with a Mohawk chief), or an Inuit (do not call them Eskimo) community just because I own several sculpturs, including a whale baleen one, or think I understand a westerner, from a Quebecer, to a Metis, to an Acadian, to a Newfoundlander or Nova Scotian or an Edmontonian relative to a Calgarian.

It's impossible.

It's the same thing in Japan as a foreigner/gaijin. You and I can observe, participate in, and even live within, but we'll never completely understand what it is to be Japanese without actually being Japanese... and I include foreigners born in Japan and who have lived their their entire life.

You're never fully a part of the community.

I had deceived myself numerous times while in Japan, to feel like I was part of this community or that community simply because I was treated so well by the entire city of Ohtawara in Tochigi-ken.

While I do believe that was a bit of a small community looking after one of its guests... you'll note that I didn't say that they were simply looking after one of their own.

And that's okay. I'm good with being a guest. I'm good with being a part-time cog in the community.

Do I miss Japan? Yes. It's probably why I write about it so damn much, but perhaps it's nostalgia talking.

Still, I can't think of one instance while I was in Japan that I wanted to leave it - drunken, crying stupors aside (twice with women troubles).

Oh well... thanks again for reading,

Andrew Joseph

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