Make Japan (or Japanese culture) an element of your story.
Posted in Narrative on Mar 24, 2023
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✍️ 39 stories
“Grateful Nuisance” by Olivia Lake
Arigatameiwaku: when someone does a favor for you that you didn’t want or ask for, and the favor causes you trouble, but social customs require you to express gratitude regardless. A Japanese word made up of ‘arigatai’ (‘grateful)’ and ‘meiwaku’ (‘nuisance’). “I’m going to help,” said Doug. Melanie could almost hear him beaming through the phone, proud of his own selfless offer. “...
“Yuuna’s Ghost ” by John K Adams
Suggested by, ‘101 Zen Koans,’ by Secret of Zen. Riku’s young wife, Yuuna, became ill. The doctor’s tried everything but told Riku to prepare, her death was nigh. Riku loved Yuuna deeply. Seeing her suffer tortured him. He gladly tended to her smallest need until she was gone. When she became too weak to stand, s...
“Expat Stories: An Auction in Osaka” by Scott Christenson
In Osaka, during the first week of my new job, the only work I’ve done is to buy flowers. The rest of the time, I sit inside Ishikawa Real Estate’s small and crowded office, waiting for something to do while flipping through a manga under my desk, studying Japanese, and trying not to bother any of the real estate agents.The owner walks in. Everyone sits up at their desks. Like a commanding general, Mr Ishikawa has gray hair, rock solid posture, and an aura of extreme confidence. He looks amused each morning to see an Ame...
“FALL SEVEN TIMES, STAND UP EIGHT” by Susan Catucci
“What’s that?”“I don’t see anything.”“There! It’s right there! Look! It’s green!”“Corey, it’s nothing. It’s probably just parsley.”“I can’t eat it.” “Honey, this is a very nice restaurant. They made this especially for you. It’s just pasta and butter.”“Then what’s that green thing?”“Here, let’s just take it out.”“But it’s already touched everything!”
“Road Rage in a Cul-de-Sac” by Tommy Goround
Trigger Warnings: the story includes some characters that have coarse language, domestic hardships and the changing of a season.::::::::::::::Each spring, the wives of Hildeath Lane take away the cell phones of their children and husbands and say, "It is time to reinvigorate the Earth."Well, some say that. Others say, "Get your hairy asses out to the cul-de-sac and start raking."It's like a chain gang. The same ritual is practiced in Yokosuka, Treblinka, from the Aisle of Wright...
“Killer Capuchin” by Graham Kinross
Wearing a fur collared kimono (which in Japanese refers to all traditional clothing), Shigeru braved the snow biting at his face. Fuka-gatsu, boots woven from barley straw kept his feet warm as they left deep imprints in the white powder. Looking up from the pristine ground before him rewarded Shigeru with a snowflake in the eye. He flinched, slipping on ice beneath the snow. His chestnut brown eyes blinked as he caught himself. Bone chilling cold snuck through his gloves in a heartbeat. Jumping back up, the hunter brushed the snow...
“even your mistakes” by Geir Westrul
— whoosh —The 12-foot tenkara fly-fishing bamboo-rod whipped through the air, releasing the thin line that touched down in the stream over twenty feet away.The rising sun painted the sakura cherry blossoms in the rose color of dawn, reflecting a light pink sheen in the old man’s steel-gray hair.The old man knew the water was too cold for the trout to be active and biting, but he loved the sunrise,...
“Wildflower” by Kristin Neubauer
Jenny steadied herself with her left hand as she squatted among the rubble. With her right hand, she tried to push aside a slab of siding jammed against the remains of the patio table. She’d taken off her work gloves when the insurance agent stopped by, and then plunged back into the debris, forgetting where she’d set them. With shards of glass covering the ground, she moved cautiously. But she thought she’d seen a famil...
“Lost Moment” by Manmohan Sadana
Travel by Tokyo Metro is an experience. Initially it looks very confusing as compared to the metros in Paris and Stockholm, but once, one gets a hang of things it is indeed a pleasure to travel by it. The Tokyo Metro has come a long way since Tokyo Underground Railway Company opened the first subway section between Asakusa and Ueno. I feel that one can get a bird’s eye view of Japanese society on some sectors, while travelling in the subway trains. Tokyo Metro’s Ginza, Kyobashi, Toranomon, Gaienmae and Aoyama...
“Sakura's Spring Festivities” by Darene Staniszewski
Once upon a time, in the beautiful country of Japan, there lived a young girl named Sakura. She was named after the beautiful cherry blossom tree that blooms every spring in Japan. Sakura had always loved this time of year when the cherry blossoms would start to appear, and the entire country would come alive with festivities and celebrations. Every year, Sakura would eagerly wait for the cherry blossoms to start ...
“A Whisper Amongst the Petals” by Sage E. Seever
(A side-story to: Might as Well Have Been Wind in the Bells) I only came to the village for a look, fraternizing with humans has been highly discouraged throughout my life. But I find myself standing stock still, just outside town. Something’s calling to me, an electric feel in the air. I can’t place it. My keen eyes flicker across the landscape, searching for the source. The sce...
“Nozomi” by Douglas W. Carr
David O’Meara was a successful advertising executive with a large marketing firm on the east coast. He was well liked by his colleagues and subordinates, but outside of work he had no social life. He never married, rarely dated, and had no children. Most everyone knew David kept to himself. In fact, outside of a few random encounters in the park with colleagues, he wasn’t seen.David lived a mostly moderate life and never did anything in excess. He lived in a modest apartment albeit ...
“ The Heart of the Art Thief” by Marcellus Brown
Part I: Blushing PetalsUnder the cherry blossom trees, the streets of Tokyo were abuzz with life as the blooming season painted the city in soft hues of pink. Hikari, a talented photographer with a penchant for capturing ephemeral moments, found solace in the delicate petals. Her camera hung around her neck like a trusted companion, each click preserving a memory.Hikari had always been captivated by the art of capturing moments in time. As a little girl growing up in Tokyo, she would often play with her father's old Pola...
“Masami Ko Japanese Bounty Huntress” by Eugene Barnes
Settlement in the early American West was not without its’ challenges. An extraordinary expanse of habitable land lay waiting for the taking. Therein lay the rub, the taking. The Western Promise was fraught with surmountable yet daunting threats. Water wasn’t easily accessible, wild animals roamed to one’s detriment, highwaymen ravaged the unsuspecting, and Native Americans refused to consent to t...
“FIVE POUNDS OF FOOD” by BRUCE MARTIN
The Big Texan is a ranch and restaurant in Amarillo, Texas. It was founded in 1960 on Route 66, serving the finest Texas barbecue, but moved to its current location just off Route 40 in Amarillo in April, 1971. The owner originated the 72-ounce Steak Challenge, and when the new facility opened, the Challenge became famous. It...
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