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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tom Hanks Knows Everything About Japan

So… Tom Hanks—movie and television star and voice-over animation actor—was visiting Japan back in September and has decided to write his own informational blog.

It’s called Gaijin in Japan. Or it will be.

I don’t know what I find more galling… the fact that a guy who has spent all of several days in japan feels like he has enough knowledge to properly write about Japan, or the fact that the blog title “Gaijin in Japan” is STILL available as a blog title despite the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of blogs written about Japan.

My blog, this one: Japan—It’s A Wonderful Rife, is of course a parody of a movie (It's A Wonderful Life) starring that other famous every-man star. No, not Mickey Mouse, but rather Jimmy Stewart.

Tom Hanks is a very good actor—and I loved watching him on TV in Bosom Buddies (1980-82)—but he ain’t no-no-no Jimmy Ssshtewart, and I think Tom is a gentleman enough to agree, but secretly hate that others are aware of the fact.

According to Tom - you don’t mind if I call you Tom, do you?

Mr. Hanks says he hasn’t actually begun his blog yet, but the first topic du jour may be “Top 10 Ways You Shouldn’t Use Chopsticks”, with future topics perhaps being “The 10 Types of Gaijin in Japan”, and “Japanese People Should Stop Generalizing Foreigners.”

Excellent, Mr. Hankie, sorry… Hanks… perhaps a Top 10 List on Top 10 Lists featuring a Japanese subject.

Okay… I admit I am intrigued by the 10 types of Gaijin, as I can think of more than that, but it really depends on the subjective style he wishes to follow.

The key, is to not really know what I just wrote, but just to accept it as fact.

That’s what Mr. Hanks will hope for, too. Unless he’s getting fed information directly from his translators, rather than experiencing it directly for himself… and really… he’s Tom-frickin’Hanks… how can this guy experience Japan when he’s sheltered by handlers? And has an itinerary where he is actually told about the itinerary, and the itinerary is followed perfectly.

When the heck does that ever happen to the average foreigner in Japan?

Anyhow, Tom Hanks, sorry… Mr. Hanks has also taken video of himself… or maybe he’s had others film him… I mean, wouldn’t you, if you were a movie/tv… IE film star… and is thinking of creating a gaijin YouTube channel.

By the way… the article on Mr. Hanks in Japan… and his plans to start a blog… it was from The Rising Wasabi… a bilingual, satirical publication on news from Japan.

I really should have looked at the name of the publication first. Wasabi... Onion... damn... a parody publication.

So… while it may be true that Tom Hanks visited Japan, odds are really great that he’s not creating a blog about Japan.

I didn’t know that when I sent the original story (HERE) to my buddy Matthew who was just touching down in Japan with his son to visit the boy’s sick grandfather.

It’s funny only because Matthew commented to the story writers as though it was serious… still, I do feel bad… I didn’t know it wasn’t true, either, at the time.Of course, I hadn't actually read the article until after I sent it to Matthew - having just gleaned the headline figuring Matthew might enjoy reading it while on the train(s) to Ohtawara-shi.

My intentions were good, even if the end result was funny for at least one of us.

Gomen, ne,
Andrew Joseph


  1. Andrew - always check the source before re-posting. Don't be like those politicians who quote the Onion. ;)

    As for Mr. Hanks - he may not be a gaijin but he played on on social media....

    1. Damn right, Pat! Still... it makes for a better story. I did try to write it it like it was a real deal... but you know what gave the Wasabi story away? It was the fact the blog name wasn't taken. That was really it.... it made me question everything. Stupid, but true.