Life in Japan

Life in Japan · 22. May 2020
Our School in Lockdown Abe’s sudden announcement of school closure for the first 2 weeks of March threw our school into turmoil. Abe’s announcement came on the Thursday night. All public schools would close from the following Tuesday for 2 weeks. We mirrored the public policy. We held lessons until Monday evening and then closed. Interestingly, our students self isolated before the lockdown. Our lessons were sparsely attended. Because Abe’s announcement was so sudden, we were
Life in Japan · 21. May 2020
Life in Lockdown I advise my kids to savor the moment, because life is always changing. Life has certainly changed now. Like everyone, we locked down suddenly. We shut our four English Schools and moved online. Golds’ Gym, our regular hangout, shut. Our boys’ soccer and kick boxing, closed. Piano and guitar lessons moved online and their Junior high school shut. We are now a family unit spending 24 hours a day together with no end in sight. Sounds like a nightmare? Curi
Life in Japan · 15. May 2020
At the end of March 2020 we moved to an apartment near our old rental house. The backdrop to this move was the growing Covid 19 epidemic. On our return from Christmas in the USA, news of the virus still lingered.  After 25 years in Japan, we finally took the plunge and bought our first (and final) property. We were enticed by the huge roof balcony overlooking the bright lights of Saitama Shintoshin. We brought in builders to renovate the place before mov
Life in Japan · 02. October 2019
I was scheduled for surgery 2 weeks after confirmation of pre - cancer cells in my cervix. The surgeon would remove all the bad cells (more on this later). The surgery required a 3 day stay. I have no doubt that in the US, the surgery would be a day procedure. Japan errs on the side of caution with these things. (One reason behind Japan's long life expectancy?) The first day, check in was from 14:00. There was not much to do. It was a bit boring. Thankfully, Leon came wi

Life in Japan · 02. October 2019
I do the free yearly medical exams provided by the Japanese national health system. I believe in catching any problems before they become bigger. This year, I got a call from the gynecologist to pick up my pap smear results. From past experience, I knew this was a bad sign. If they call, it means there’s a problem. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when the gynecologist said cells in my cervix were at the stage before cancer. There are 4 pre-cancer stages. This was the 4th stag
Life in Japan · 20. May 2019
It was meant to be a quick trip to the eye doctor. Leon had missed his annual school eye exam because of headaches. So we were instructed to visit a clinic. I wasn’t even planning on staying—just dropping Leon off on the way to work. (For those not in Japan, this is common). But Leon was behind on math (because of the aforementioned headaches) and I could help him in the waiting room. Leon kept being called back into see the doctor.

Life in Japan · 13. May 2019
In 4th grade, both our boys were, to our great surprise, picked up by the Urawa Reds academy. This was after 5 selections and 2 interviews, being whittled down from 150 to 9. Before you get too envious, our younger child has since been dropped in the transition from elementary school to Jr. High School. Our elder child (now Jr. High School 3rd year) is still on the team but he'll find out in June whether he makes it to the High School team or not. It's difficult being dropped from

Life in Japan · 04. March 2019
A close friend of ours, Seiji Nakayama, died in Urawa this January, aged 47. The funeral hall was over whelmed with mourners.  Approximately 700 school friends, students and soccer teammates waited outside on a cold dark February night to pay their respects to his wife and family. He drowned rescuing his son and his friend. The extremely cold water caused a heart attack. Difficulties exiting the water, taking over 40 minutes, resulted in Seiji’s death.

Life in Japan · 13. February 2019
Dave and I went to the wake of our dear friend, Seiji Nakayama yesterday. He died aged 47, saving his and another child from a river. He was a great guy. Loved by everyone. Unfortunately, we don't think the wake did him justice. 500 people came to pay their respects, but only 20 could fit into the tiny room. Everyone else crowded on the stairs or huddled in their hundreds
Life in Japan · 18. May 2018
We’re often asked by family if we miss America / England? The honest answer is no. We love living in Japan with our two kids. There is so much about their childhood that their cousins back home can’t have or do. #1. Freedom: Children in Japan have freedom to go out on their own without a guardian. From the age of 6, children walk to and from school by themselves. After school and on weekends, they play

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