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The Third Emperor

May 5, 2019

The Japanese calendar is determined by the reign of each emperor. The first time I moved to Japan it was the year Showa 62 by the Japanese calendar. I lived here for a year and then came back summers and holidays while I was in college. By the time we left Japan it was the year Heisei 2 – The Emperor Showa (called Hirohito in life) died over winter break my freshman year of college in 1989 beginning the new Heisei era under Emperor Akihito. I think I may have already left to go back to school, but Kira was in town. She remembers going out with my sister on the day Hirohito died and Akihito was enthroned and she says that the city of Tokyo was quiet that night.

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May 2, 2019

I celebrated my birthday in Tokyo for the last time today. As with most things in my life it was all about the food. I had lunch with Kira at our local Soba shop, 蕎麦酒房・千年 , which as best as I can translate means Thousand Year Soba Shop. In addition to the great Japanese comfort food they serve (tempura soba, katsu curry, etc) they are always playing random American music from the 70’s and 80’s. We are just starting to be regulars at this shop and I believe the owner recognized us today. I hope to go a few last times before we head back.

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The New Minuteman

May 1, 2019

With all of the things going on as we count down or last days in Tokyo there was some news that probably didn’t get the fanfare it deserved. Michael has accepted his admission to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will start there in the fall!

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Final Acts

April 28, 2019


The last performance of the ASIJ’s 2019 Spring Musical, Urinetown, was on Friday.  Theater been a big part his experience here and watching him in a show has been our main excuse to visit the ASIJ since Sarah left for college. There is still one more choir concert to get out us back out there before graduation, but this marks the end of Michael’s high school theater career. Read more…


April 20, 2019


Kira and Marty in Hama-rikyu garden

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Lots of Lasts, Again

April 7, 2019

mvimg_20190401_081720 These days in our lives “last” or “the last time” is shorthand for “the last time I will do this before I leave Japan and possibly ever again.”

We are racking up lots of lasts these days. Read more…

Fool Me Twice

April 1, 2019

About half the reason I started blogging again this March was so I could establish a pattern before April 1st. If I only post a blog on April Fool’s Day no one will believe what I write for my joke post. In years past I have worked hard to craft a post that is about something incredible, but mostly believable. This year we have so many amazing things happening that I couldn’t think of anything believable that topped the posts I’ve been writing about our real life. I spent more time than I should have trying to come up with something but didn’t think anyone would buy in. So rather than writing a real post I give you the top ten UN-believable ideas I thought about writing as an April Fool’s: Read more…