Gaijin Smash

A Picture’s Worth 6.0

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on March 5, 2009

Since the picture posts seem to be fairly popular, I decided to do another one. I guess to say thank you to all those who have been following me up until now – here’s some eye candy.
***
Broom Closet / 2
These are pictures of my very first apartment in Japan. As you can see, it wasn’t very big at all. In picture one, directly opposite from the “kitchen” is the unit bath – a room maybe the size of your broom closet with not only a toilet and sink, but the bathtub as well. With the proximity to the “kitchen”, I could theoretically take a shower and fry up some eggs at the same time if I so desired. The door leads outside. The second pic shows a better view of the…erm…room. There’s a veranda outside the window where the washing machine was. And that’s about it. What you see is what you get.
Also note that some of the stuff pictured isn’t actually mine – my predecessor, when it came time to go home, pretty much just said OK, got up, and left. Literally. No packing, no cleaning, just stood up, walked out the door, and he didn’t live there anymore. As I understand it, he really only used the place to sleep, and even then spent half the time sleeping elsewhere.
I knew that Japan specialized in tiny living spaces, but I wasn’t quite prepared for this. Aside from the small size, there were a lot of other factors that just made it a very undesireable apartment. I ended up changing my living arrangements about halfway though my first year – not a very common thing for JET’s to do.
***
Command Center
The teacher’s room at the School of Peace. It was on the second floor, and you’ll notice the big windows at the back, so in the summer it’d get pretty hot – I’d go outside and walk around the grounds because it was actually cooler than inside the room! You may also notice the air conditioner at the top left of the picture, and think “Well, that’s a wonderful invention! Why didn’t they use it?” I thought this to myself many times, but I think this may have been the fault of one of my English teachers, Mrs. S (who, I think, you can see sitting at her desk by the windows…). One day, she left the school to go attend some conference, and one of the other teachers, as he watched her car pull out of the parking lot, turned to everyone and said, “Well, she’s gone. Air conditioning?” Every teacher gave their agreement, so the curtains were drawn and the AC cranked up. For once, the teacher’s room was a suitable environment for human life.
If the other teachers were suffering for the sake of Mrs. S, its kind of scary to think about the dominion she had over the entire faculty. This is why I keep telling you – in the grand tier list of unstoppable forces we should fear, old Japanese women are broken. I just wish the US government would heed my warnings, because unlike Independance Day, there’ll be no crazy Randy Quaid to fly his jet fighter straight into a pachinko parlor to bring the horrible Obasan Reign to an end – we’ll just be fucked, and I’ll be the crazy guy who sits on his porch (what’s left of it) rattling off “I told you all! But you didn’t listen!”


***
The Captain
Me and Principal Peace. I consider him to be like a mentor to me in my 3 years as a school teacher. Last I heard he’d been reassigned to the Ghetto School. If anyone can bring law and order to that chaos, it’d be him. I also figure that’s an awesome drama/movie script that’s playing out in real life (Onizuka, eat your heart out), but I’m no longer there to witness it.
With Principal Peace at the Ghetto School, sometimes I imagine the Ghetto School has been completely reformed, and with his absense the School of Peace has fallen into chaos. …But I try not to think about that too much because it makes my brain hurt. That’s more or less stepping into the Mirror Universe. In the Mirror Universe, Ultimate Sweetness owns 47% of the Asian continent, and rules it with an iron fist. And her evil goatee, of course.
***
The Captain’s Chair
Yep, that’s blue ball is Principal Peace’s office chair. I told you this was an interesting guy. Aparently the students had also heard of it but very had actually seen it in person, so it was somewhat of a rumor/legend.
I hope to one day be so important, that I can have my very own office, and sit on big blue yoga balls inside of it. Its important to have dreams for the future, y’know.
***
Gossip Girl
This is from the last day of class of the academic year (sometime in March) in my third and final school teacher year. After the school had emptied out I’d just been aimlessly wandering around, and found these three girls in one of the classrooms. They were having a big year-end gossip session, and were kind enough to let me in on it. While I don’t particularly like gossip, I always liked hearing about the school from the student’s perspective, and all the things that just can’t be seen from the front of the classroom.
These girls were also kind enough to tell me, in itemized list form, all of the girls who had crushes on me. …So much for secrecy, eh? Women just cannot be trusted I guess. After breaking it down for me, they asked what I was going to do with the information…
Girl 1: So, what are you going to do about it?
Me: …What do you mean, what are you going to do about it?
Girl 1: I mean, like, are you going to confess? Ask any of them out on dates or anything?
Me: Um, ok, no. Ignoring my girlfriend for a minute here…they’re all 14! Junior high students!
Girl 1: Yeah. …And?
Me: (facepalm) That’s just wrong! I’m an adult and you’re still kids! Wrong wrong wrong.
Girl 2: Okay, then how about this. Get their email addresses now, and mail them from time to time. Doesn’t have to be anything serious, just say hi or whatever. Then, 5 years later, they’ll be older and you can date them.
Girl 3: Hey, that’s a good idea!
Me: Age aside, that violates pretty much every “abuse of authority” rule I can possibly think of.
Girl 2: “Abuse of authority”? What’s that?
Me: (another facepalm)
***
I Don’t Never!
Just some random girls from the School of Peace. A few of them appeared in the skit where the girls took of their blazer coats and just started to whip-throw them at each other. Yep, look at that picture, and then imagine one of those girls taking off her coat and flinging it with all of her might (and the appropriate battle cry) at one of the others. Women are scary.
One of the girls pictured is Velma Jr. As I said many moons ago, unlike her older sister she didn’t really give off the Velma Vibe, so you won’t look at her and think “My God, that IS Velma!” Her older sister…it was just uncanny. Frighteningly so.
***
Metamorphosis
Similar to Cherry Boy, I like this picture because it captures a forever-lost moment in time.
This is graduation day at the School of Peace during my second year. The girl on the left was a very quiet and shy girl. It seemed like she had a mini-crush on me. Sometimes she’d run up to me, touch me, and then just run away. Other times she’d openly ask for a hug, get it, then run away giggling. She often said she wanted to do her best in English in order to better talk and communicate with me. It was all very cute and sweet.
Was.
Maybe half a year later, she came back to the school to help out with one of the school band’s competitions. I almost didn’t recognize her. She had bleach-dyed hair, and her face looked as if it had been beaten by chemicals. I soon found out why – she spent ALL of the near-two hour bus ride to the competition site putting on makeup. By the time she was finished, she was slightly less appaling than The Joker. The quiet/shy thing was a thing of the past too – she talked constantly and openly badmouthed people she didn’t like. Aside from this day, I would occasionally see her at the train station, always hanging out with some guy who looked to be at least 5-10 years older than her. And always a different guy.
She wasn’t the only student, guy or girl, to have changed drastically, but perhaps hers was the most extreme. What a difference a few months make? I can’t say much about the behavioral changes, or the company she was keeping, but the hair and makeup – I don’t understand why many women are so obsessed with destroying their natural beauty. Yes, makeup and hair and what not can make a woman look better, and yes, there is a lot of pressure on women to look physically attractive. But more often than not, the hair/makeup choices she makes only make her look worse than if she’d done nothing at all. I feel this is especially prevalent in Japan, and I can’t understand why. …Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
***
Be It Ever So Humble
Front entrance to the Ghetto School. Doesn’t really convey the usual state of dilapidation that the school was usually in. The town I lived in was making efforts to build itself up – in the three years I lived there, they’d renovated the train station twice, built two shopping centers/malls, rebuilt the two major banks in town, built a new hospital, built a sky bridge from the station to…well…whatever was in front of the station, and even put a sun clock on the front lawn of the town office. Despite all that, it was never in the budget to throw the Ghetto School a few bucks for renovation. That was always a sticking point with me, but I suppose the other issue with the Ghetto School would have been that whatever nice new things they built or renovated, probably would have been destroyed by the bastard students within two days. Cest la vie?
***
Group Therapy
A class of ninensei from the Ghetto School. The two girls hiding their faces at the front are two of the Three Stooges. The one on the left is Curly, famous for randomly hitting boys and literally ripping a page out of OK Nurse’s book. The one on the right is Moe.
Aside from the Stooges, this was actually a pretty good group of kids. The boys on the right may look troublesome, and while they were plenty spirited, they weren’t bad at all, and were actually pretty funny/amusing.
***
Assemble The Troops / 2
The teachers of the Ghetto School. This was an end of the year “forget it all” party. We went to a fancy hotel in Kyoto, up on some floor number greater than 15 but less than 20. Forgive this old man’s fading memory. It was probably pretty pricey, but if anyone needed to forget it all, it would have been the Ghetto School teachers.
Despite the problems of teaching at the Ghetto School, in many ways I liked that particular group of teachers more than the other two. They made an effort to actually include me in things like this, where at the other two schools, I sometimes felt like an accessory. Technically, I was only an accessory, but its nice to have someone make an effort to include you at least.
Somewhere in the first picture, you can find Ms. Forehead. Somewhere in the second is Ms. Americanized and OK Nurse.
***
Bon Appetit
Although she’d probably kill me if she knew I was posting this (so if you don’t hear from me again in awhile, send out search parties to retrive my remains…), this is my wife on our first official date. I invited her back to my place and I cooked dinner.
Nowadays she mostly does the cooking…when we first starting dating, she actually couldn’t cook at all. Her older sister scolded her for it, so she bought a cookbook, and now she can make dishes on her own. I’ll still make dinner from time to time, especially when I want a taste of something that’s not readily available in Japan (such as southern food or Mexican).
Guys, I should not have to tell you how much of a pimp move it is to cook your date dinner, especially at your place. Its too strong. Unblockable, 80% damage ultra combo. Even if you can’t cook for shit, learn how to make at least ONE dish, and then offer to cook it for the girl you are interested in.
Hey, it got me married.

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114 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on March 5, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Dude, your wife is hot.

  2. Anonymous said, on March 5, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Dude, your wife is hot.

  3. Lena said, on March 5, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Just a note before – I’m on a year long high school exchange in Aichi-ken right now.
    It made me cringe to read about the gossiping girls, since I found out about two months ago that one of my friends is dating her English teacher from middle school. It doesn’t help that even though she’s 17, she looks about 12 or 13, and he’s 27. I’m fairly certain that if I met him, we wouldn’t get along well.
    Not to mention how every girl in my school dreams of dating out recently divorced world history teacher.,

  4. nick aweasomeson said, on March 5, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Great stories and looks like fun times. Would you do it again given the chance? Would you consider teaching USA schools now?

  5. az said, on March 5, 2009 at 1:26 am

    You’re awesome and my name starts with an az too. I’ve never commented on any website before and I’ve been reading your stuff for years. I wish you’d post something everyday! And your wife is adorable.

  6. Chief said, on March 5, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I really like these picture posts.
    Makes the places, people, and events you’ve talked about seem real.
    It may be weird, but after reading the blog for some time I almost forget that you’re literally writing and posting these inside of Japan. These pictures give it an ah-ha! moment (better than the band i assure you), much like you related with your picture of the Japanese flag.
    And yes, cooking dinner for your girlfriend is a strong pimp move (but not as strong as E. Honda’s pimp-slap technique). I’ve used it on my own girlfriend and it got her to agree to move in with me 🙂

  7. Kev said, on March 5, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Hey Az, I need your help? Are there any career opportunities for a guy without Japanese background to find work in Nagano? I know you don’t live in that area, but perhaps you have connections? I may have to move there this Summer with my gf.
    Nice pics btw 🙂

  8. Flinty said, on March 5, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Someone in the “Group Therapy” picture is giving the one finger salute :p

  9. Joe said, on March 5, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Az, you totally need to start teaching the Japanese about the formula to decide when someone is too young to date. As everyone knows, the lowest allowable is half your age + 7 (which as anyone can see means there’s no one-on-one dating until you’re 14).
    Of course, the creepy thing is that some teachers probably would keep the email for former students for something like that…

  10. Misty said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Wow, you cooked her dinner? That is just soooo sweet! I can’t cook either, to tell you the truth…. One of these days I gotta buy a cookbook and hope I don’t burn the block down.
    The metamorphasis pic is so sad. That girl is just so sweet. Yet to change in such little time. Trust me when I say this, but girls. are. bitches. Its bred in us or something. Its a sad truth I’ve found out in my own “going through my school years” career. And it holds true now in college. If it helps, I never wear makeup. I probably should though….
    Ghetto school reminds me of my old middle and high school. They were both really bad schools (among the wrost in the district). It didn’t help matters either that ALL the kids who went to the wrost middle schools in the city had to go to my high school. I guess that makes it a typical American high school though. But, thats why the antics of the ghetto school kids aren’t so shocking to me. Nor did the staff at my high school really seem interisted in actually dealing with the problem. Rather then actually get the students to behave, and punish them whenever they fucked up, they’d just forbid anyone from doing the activity that the person fucked up in doing and call it problem solved. Case in point, a shithead in the library one day got up and threw a chair through a window. The rest of the semester, the library was no longer open during lunch, and during the next year (and my last), it’d seldom be open during lunch. Up until the chair incident, however, the library was open at lunch every day except Wednesday due to some teacher meeting bullshit.

  11. draglancer said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Holy shat, she(your wife) kind of looks like Lucy Liu. No offense if that was implied in a derogatory term.
    I’m still here Az, Keep up with them editorials.

  12. Vidgmchtr said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Woo, I found a Ms. Americanized! :3
    Now, to beg her to try and do stand-up comedy in the U.S.

  13. 50 Cal said, on March 5, 2009 at 4:03 am

    ur so cruel.. i’ve been wondering about Ms. Americanized but u wont tell us which woman in the pic she is…

  14. Dzonis said, on March 5, 2009 at 4:30 am

    damn! your woman is one good looking..well..woman. grats for that 🙂
    and nice to see places you’ve talked about. It puts “faces” to all your stories.

  15. Mayhem said, on March 5, 2009 at 7:02 am

    I’ve got a reasonable idea who Ms. Americanised is, but I’ll cogitate some more before finally making a guess heh. And yeah I agree with the above comment, your wife DOES have an air of Lucy Liu about her, which is only a good thing 😉

  16. Radical said, on March 5, 2009 at 8:29 am

    OHHH MYYY GODDD YOUR WIFE IS SEXXXXYYYYYY , you bastard, WELL DONE.

  17. Seraph said, on March 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Ms. Americanized is either the one sitting right infront of the camera so we can’t see her face, the one giving that enormous grin on the right side, or maybe the one kind of standing up there. Don’t ask how I came to that conclusion, but something about her not turning around and just giving the “double peace” sign for a photo seems rather un-Japanese, as does the one just kind of half standing up with the “what the fuck do you want?” look on her face, although that might be the waitress.
    On a side note, Az, the only thing that could make your wife any hotter would be if she played Street Fighter IV; and was really good at it.

  18. w1r3d said, on March 5, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Good stuff dude. I cracked up at the “Unblockable. 80% damage ultra combo” thing. Keep it up man, these picture posts are too good. =)

  19. Ed Venture said, on March 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Good stuff, thanks for posting. I have to wonder though, is it mandatory in Japan that you must flash the peace sign or at least a thumbs up when you have your picture taken? If so, use the picture of your wife as blackmail material.

  20. Cbass said, on March 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Hey Az…
    Quite long time i didn’t post some comment here…in fact, i think this is the first one. This doesn’t mean I didn’t read all your entries since you started your life in Japan, I’m quite a fanatic of your adventures in the land of the rising sun. I’m glad to see you’re doing alright (judging by the pictures) and your posts are very amusing to read. Keep the good job here and hope you never get bored of it, it entertains me so much and many time offered me a time to relax and having fun.
    It’s interesting also to see all those characters you mentioned in your previous entries during your years you spent in the schools, and watch them actually in real picture, i know you posted few in outpostnine.com (i believe) but i never really tried to identify each one. But now it’s pretty easy guessing who is who according to the description you gave in your previous works.
    Please keep showing/writing pieces of your life there because i like the way you write and and the funny way to describe some situations specially the video game/movie related stuff.
    Well…the last advice is nice, priceless i should say, of course i cooked a couple of time for a couple of gf i had in the past and it surely works pretty fine if you want to get the girl of your interest specially if she doesn’t know how to prepare a dish.
    btw, nice pics too =)
    Take care man!

  21. Care said, on March 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Ha! It’s true. My hubby, then bf, cooked for me once. That was a good date. And the dish he made me, he now claims to not know how to prepare anymore & that I make it better. I suspect shenanigans. Good for you that you still cook once in a while for your wife, Az!

  22. Heli said, on March 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I also suspect the backwards one is Ms. Americanized, largely because I’m assuming the empty chair next to her is where Az was sitting before getting up to snap the picture.

  23. Gino said, on March 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    So I noticed in one picture there is a blacked out portion most likely done with paint. Would that have been your real identity Captain Gaijin?

  24. Polaryzed said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Az, these pic-posts are WIN. Its great to be able to put actual imagery with the posts I’ve been reading for years. Well done sir. Well done indeed.

  25. Paul said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve been reading since “My Kids Are Perverted”, and I just wanted to extend a word of thanks to you for sharing your experiences with us thus far. I can say you’ve become a major influence on my sense of humor and that you’ve helped shape my understanding of Japan. I wouldn’t be the same today had it not been for your writing.
    Keep it up!
    I’ll be sure to continue reading indefinitely.

  26. Caged_Penguin said, on March 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Yo AZ.. Yeah man.. the wife has the Lucy Liu thing going on. Lucky bastard. yer Wife is H double O TTTTTTT
    Yo man.. Whats goin on in your life though? Got another job? You gonna bake some bread with that wife of yours?
    Can’t wait to see how your little halflings turn out. Crystal Williams … Look out .. here comes Daughter of AZ.
    Don’t worry.. We’ll pray for a you a boy on the second go around 🙂
    PS. Follower for over 2 years now.
    I still need to get out there to buy ya a beer bro :p
    -Curtis Caged Penguin

  27. Anonymous said, on March 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    After 4 years or so of waiting I finally get to see Ms. Americanized! I’m sure sure she’s the one with glasses, because we had already seen a drawing of her made by one of the students and she wore glasses in it. If she did her hair differently she’d be real cute
    Also I bet gray sweater girl is OK Nurse… she looks OK after all, the other women aren’t quite good looking, excluding the waitress who looks very attractive

  28. Anonymous said, on March 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    After 4 years or so of waiting I finally get to see Ms. Americanized! I’m sure sure she’s the one with glasses, because we had already seen a drawing of her made by one of the students and she wore glasses in it. If she did her hair differently she’d be real cute
    Also I bet gray sweater girl is OK Nurse… she looks OK after all, the other women aren’t quite good looking, excluding the waitress who looks very attractive

  29. Xas said, on March 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Hmmm is it the photo or has your wife too much (and white) makeup on her face ???

  30. jhc said, on March 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    In the picture with the blue yoga ball, what is the wooden piece that is hanging from the ceiling in the foreground?
    P.S. I love to read your entries.

  31. Patrick said, on March 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Another good article. As for cooking, I do all right (I own 3 cookbooks, can make about a dozen dishes, learning when I have the money for ingredients.) and my spaghetti, pizza, and lasagna are the best in the family.

  32. charles said, on March 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    nice pics, very encouraging. i have been a long time reader and applied for this years JET program. I hope to get accepted and experience some of the cool things you have in japan.
    keep it up.

  33. Troy said, on March 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    oh man, if the gray sweater hottie were Ms Americanized. . .
    yeow!
    PS. I always wanted to do JET but now that I’m 40歳 I’ll have to settle for reading the great JET blogs like yours.

  34. Anonymous said, on March 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Finally, pictures of the teachers you’ve told us so much about! But, you give us no indication of who is who in the pictures, leaving it up to the obsessive readers (and those that will look at older posts) to figure out who is who.
    I’m guessing that Ms. Forehead is the one on the lower left of the screen, wearing the blue shirt. She seems to be the youngest woman in the picture, and the only woman that seems to fit the age range that you described (mid-to-late 20s right?). Furthermore, the hairstyle that was in the caricatures/drawings that the students made for the yearbook (that you put up a while back) seems to match up as well. Granted, that was the only thing I COULD discern from the caricature, since it was very… abstract.
    In the second picture, pointing out Ms. Americanized with any certainty isn’t exactly… possible. But I believe she is the woman in the white shirt on the lower right. She has the glasses (that match up with the style in the caricature) and the appropriately pale complexion that would lend itself to having the freckles you mentioned. She is also the only one that isn’t doing the peace sign; she’s so Americanized she doesn’t do that any more. Ms. Americanized seems the most likely to break the mold. Furthermore, I think you would be sitting with the English teachers, and there’s only one person between you and her…
    If I were actually right about that guess (not that you’d confirm or deny it), I would be really surprised. Eh, I’m probably wrong; she’s probably the woman in the back in the gray shirt.

  35. Paul Kisling said, on March 6, 2009 at 12:37 am

    These pictures are very nostalgic. I did a high school exchange last year in Honjo, Saitama. Please keep on posting~.

  36. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 2:43 am

    OK Az you must tell us now. Which is taller the Tokyo tower or the Eiffel tower?

  37. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 2:43 am

    OK Az you must tell us now. Which is taller the Tokyo tower or the Eiffel tower?

  38. NeN said, on March 6, 2009 at 6:54 am

    That teacher standing up on the right in Assemble the Troops 2? Yeah, that teacher looks hot.

  39. Camille said, on March 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    wow, I’m totally not seeing the Lucy Liu analogy here… can anyone either post a link to a picture where they look alike, or describe the similarity? Not that your wife’s not beautiful Az… but I’m just mystified by the comparison.

  40. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I think someone mentioned above, but I seriously must know: what is the deal with the peace sign in pictures thing? I used to think it was just a stereotype, but then I saw all of your pics here and I am just baffled. The only Japanese people I know are American by birth and have no idea about the peace sign thing. PLEASE, I have to know there is a reason behind it, otherwise I’m not going to sleep at night wondering.

  41. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I think someone mentioned above, but I seriously must know: what is the deal with the peace sign in pictures thing? I used to think it was just a stereotype, but then I saw all of your pics here and I am just baffled. The only Japanese people I know are American by birth and have no idea about the peace sign thing. PLEASE, I have to know there is a reason behind it, otherwise I’m not going to sleep at night wondering.

  42. Lance said, on March 6, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve been following you for… oh man, it’s been about 5 years now. I always wait in anticipation for the next update, a habit which started in your schoolteacher days. After all this time, it’s so awesome to see pictures of all these people and places you wrote about.
    Keep it up!

  43. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Ms. Americanized seems be the type that wouldn’t give a crap about conforming with the crowd. With that being said, I say she’s the one not turned to the camera.
    Az, if she is, just say so. It’s not like you’d be giving away her identity. =)

  44. Anonymous said, on March 6, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Ms. Americanized seems be the type that wouldn’t give a crap about conforming with the crowd. With that being said, I say she’s the one not turned to the camera.
    Az, if she is, just say so. It’s not like you’d be giving away her identity. =)

  45. Blank said, on March 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    You misspelled independence day.
    A little ironic.

  46. Celina said, on March 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    It appears that you had a sink both in your bathroom and you “kitchen”, meaning in your case you could probably wash each outstretched hand in its own individual sink! Seems like a waste of valuable space though.
    The pictures were really interesting, it seems like you have some wonderful and definitely unique memories! Thanks for sharing some more of them!

  47. DaiKamonohashi said, on March 7, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Great stuff!
    You mentioned other reasons for moving out of that first apartment but sizewise I actually find it quite appealing. Maybe I’m weird!

  48. marbymx said, on March 7, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Hey man, nice pics, you have a beautiful wife, mu best wishes to you

  49. Multipartite said, on March 7, 2009 at 9:33 am

    (Tokyo tower is taller! *happiness*)

  50. Alita said, on March 7, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Wow your first apartment actually looks smaller than mine is now. I think mine is 6 mats, and yours looks about 4.
    I don’t mind the size though, as one person it’s big enough, just seems a little small when cat decides to spaz in the middle of the night and run back and forth repeatedly.

  51. Jen said, on March 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    So what did you erase out of the Group Therapy photo? The black smear across the board is just a little too MS Paint to actually be in the photo… 😉

  52. krizzx said, on March 7, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I am going for MS Americanized being the woman in the back on the left. She has the exact same hair style(where her hair goes up on one side) and build as in the drawing. Also the woman wearing the glasses looks to old.

  53. Sifat said, on March 7, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    This might be interesting for you guys over in japan.
    http://www.mutantfrog.com/2009/03/06/foreigners-of-japan-get-your-free-money/

  54. Troy said, on March 8, 2009 at 12:44 am

    PLEASE, I have to know there is a reason behind it, otherwise I’m not going to sleep at night wondering.
    Think of it as smiling with the hands, too.
    (mouth says “cheeeeze”, hands say “peeease”

  55. marbymx said, on March 8, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Hey man something happened with my comment, if you fell offended by anything i apologize, although i remember that it was nothing like that, anyway, keep these updates coming, being reading you since op9, i just can’t remember how i came across your site 😄

  56. Laura said, on March 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    LOL I love how all the old ppl in japan give peace signs too:)

  57. Kyle E said, on March 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    yea… I agree with the first commenter.

  58. Xak said, on March 9, 2009 at 3:18 am

    That’s really awesome–thank you for sharing, it’s really cool seeing the similarities/differences and trying to put some faces to stories.

  59. Shamie said, on March 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks for posting all these pictures! Such eye candy, I was surprised to see that you posted them. Before I read anything, I was looking through the pictures on and off, and I’m immediately knew who Ultimate Sweetness was.

  60. John Nemo said, on March 10, 2009 at 4:08 am

    wow.
    Um, Az, i work at a Uni here in Oregon. we have on campus an extension of TIUA {Tokyo Internation Uni of America}…And i’ve been looking through these pictures….and a good number of these kids appear to be going there. i know for a fact that i’ve seen the last kid to the left in the ninsensei class walking around the servery in the cafeteria.
    (Az’s Note: Nah. Most of these kids are actually still in High School, and remember that this is Kansai, not Tokyo. I suppose its not impossible, but highly unlikely.)

  61. Anonymous said, on March 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

    please explain this

  62. Anonymous said, on March 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

    please explain this


  63. Sesoron said, on March 10, 2009 at 11:31 am

    When I went on a month-long program in Osaka several years ago, there was a young woman who served as a liaison and one of several translators for our small group. Since she was one of relatively few Japanese I spent a lot of time conversing in English with, she was always my visual anchor when I imagined Ms. Americanized. It doesn’t help that two of the women in the picture that supposed to contain her bear a passing resemblance to our liaison.

  64. Jais said, on March 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Dammit Az, I was hoping to get a pic of the board with your last name on it. Lol you look extremely outta place in the Group Therapy pic, errr I feel bad, I guess that is how Japan is for you x100000.

  65. Anton said, on March 11, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Hey Az,
    Just found my way in here. Guess I have a lot to read in the archives.
    Really liked what I’ve seen so far. Thanks for sharing!
    And you’re wife is beautiful!
    Cheers

  66. Nils said, on March 11, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Az, your wife is beautiful. And she seems a very nice girl, too.
    Your first flat looks almost exactly like the one I’m living in right now, in Cologne, Germany. I’ve got one single “big” room, which is small enough already, a kitchen which is so small that only one person can actually move in there, and a bathroom that, even though tiny, has a full size bathtub, a sink, and a toilet. The Japanese hippie guy from Tokyo who moved to Cologne (I mentioned him in an earlier comment) told me that the rents in Tokyo are about as high as here in Cologne, and flats about as small…
    Oh, and I can cook. And when girls I like come to visit me, I always cook something special for them.

  67. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on March 15, 2009 at 5:56 am

    The overexposure and unnecessarily high contrast in that photo aren’t doing your wife any favors. Makes it look like she’s wearing too much make-up, among other things.

  68. Wandering said, on March 16, 2009 at 5:37 am

    I think I saw Ms. Americanized as well or I hoped that I was able to figure which one she is, anyway regarding the search party for your remains if your wife discovers that you posted her picture on here, did you want a japanese search party or an american type search party?

  69. Onyx said, on March 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

    “Unblockable, 80% damage ultra combo” Yes, it does work wonders lol.

  70. Azkay said, on March 19, 2009 at 8:00 am

    English teacher.
    I believe its “retrieved”.

  71. Anonymous said, on March 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    yes, cooking has gotten me laid/gfs multiple times. i sure wok’d them over.

  72. Anonymous said, on March 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    yes, cooking has gotten me laid/gfs multiple times. i sure wok’d them over.

  73. Bianca said, on March 21, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Hey there!
    I really enjoy reading your blogs about Japan. I live in San Francisco and I’m currently studying Japanese at my high school! I have two girls from Japan at my house right now….
    I was just wondering, since you live in Japan and all, what exactly are 14 year old Japanese girls interested in? Like, I talked to them about all the Disney crap we have back here like High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers, but our conversations are starting to get more awkward.
    Oh, and I did show them some bad cosplay, and they laughed pretty hard. 😄

  74. Anonymous said, on March 22, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Post a picture of Ultimate Sweetness.
    I am curious to see “THE POWAH” firsthand.

  75. Anonymous said, on March 22, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Post a picture of Ultimate Sweetness.
    I am curious to see “THE POWAH” firsthand.

  76. Kat said, on March 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I love how you are almost as tall as the girls in the Gossip Girl picture, even if you are crouched. 😀

  77. Mike said, on March 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    You seem to have a thing for little japanese girls.

  78. Anonymous said, on March 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I been reading this since OP9 and I gotta say man this is the most enjoyable piece of work I’ve ever read. It’s so honest and hilarious, I’ve read through the archive so many times. Thank you Az. I hope you can publish these experiences one day. People must know.

  79. Anonymous said, on March 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I been reading this since OP9 and I gotta say man this is the most enjoyable piece of work I’ve ever read. It’s so honest and hilarious, I’ve read through the archive so many times. Thank you Az. I hope you can publish these experiences one day. People must know.

  80. Lightor said, on March 30, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    The schools around here make the Ghetto school look like an upper class private school.

  81. Tomoyo said, on March 31, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Holy god, you’re either going to have some f***ing gorgeous kids or some f***ing spooky kids!

  82. ravenshrike said, on April 3, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I’m betting on the woman in the grey sweater as Ms. Americanized, and white sweater as OK Nurse. 80% sure on Americanized, only 60 on Nurse.

  83. khuram said, on April 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Would you write some fucking thing up already?

  84. Kev said, on April 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    life keeping you buzy Az?

  85. Buzz said, on April 8, 2009 at 4:24 am

    So… anyone sent out the search party yet? It’s been over a month now.

  86. ashen198 said, on April 8, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Yup that looks like standard japanese shoebox i mean apartment I’ve stayed in a few while visiting gf in Tokyo. In her old apartment I reckon i couldve brushed my teeth in bathroom while simultaneously cooking dinner, watching the tv and putting on clothes to wash and only having to move about 2 feet.in the process.

  87. Dan said, on April 9, 2009 at 12:54 am

    so… it’s been a while. Should we call the cops now?

  88. Ritsuka said, on April 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    …Should we send out that search party?

  89. Rain said, on April 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Hi just wanted to stop by and say that I enjoy reading your blog. It’s very entertaining and makes me know more about life in Japan. Well thanks ^_^

  90. Kurai said, on April 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I think we need to send out the search parties…

  91. obsidian said, on April 15, 2009 at 1:16 am

    So, i haven’t posted a comment on here. ever.
    and i’ve read all of your posts. Someday i want to go to japan, and hopefully live there, so your stories and insight have been very informative. funny too. and you’re right about the dinner thing.

  92. j said, on April 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    hey az – goin on six weeks, when do we get our next fix? 😉

  93. Scalenex said, on April 18, 2009 at 10:57 am

    This was great. Any chance of getting another post before June?

  94. Fan said, on April 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    You alive over there?

  95. joman said, on April 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    are you dead? why no updates?

  96. Ava said, on April 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome blog! Living in Japan is my dream (currently in the USA)! It’s exciting to read the life of someone who’s been where I am in life now (American high school <_<) to where I aspire to be! Thanks for the insight.

  97. X7Z said, on April 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    It’s been a while since he’s updated. I think we need to send out a search party now.

  98. whistler said, on April 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Summer’s coming so eat up on those cucumbers, melons(water-,bitter-,winter-), mung beans and sprouts, lotus root, veggies in general, barley, green tea, and chrysanthmum tea (no coffee and cut way down on foods that are oily, heavy, raw, sugar-y, and flour-based). That should keep you feeling lighter and fresher and all around and a lot more sane, as well.
    I hope you’re well rested at night and relaxed during the day.

  99. Textures said, on April 26, 2009 at 4:18 am

    So it’s been nearly two months. Where do you think Az’s body will turn up?

  100. Marcel said, on April 26, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    This is ridiculous. Post something new already.

  101. Andrew said, on April 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Where are you!? I miss GaijinSmash :’-(

  102. Mike said, on May 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Dude, your favorite drink is back on the market! Peach Qoo. The shit has an afterstase with me though, I dont like it so much.

  103. TokyoJoe said, on May 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Please post again, Az! A friend of mine turned me on to your website while I was studying in Tokyo, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

  104. Kev said, on May 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Hope you’re okay. This must be the longest time between updates for gaijin smash ever!

  105. Tiffany said, on May 3, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Wow, I just had a flashback. Your broom closet looks exactly like the apartment of a woman I stayed a few days with while I was visiting Tokyo. I believe she lived in Mitaka? She is the one who introduced me to fermented soy beans topped with baby anchovies…I’ll never forget, she just sprinkled them on like ice cream toppings. Ah, I miss Japan!

  106. Chief said, on May 5, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Someone send out a search party for Az’s remains :O

  107. Xei said, on May 6, 2009 at 5:13 am

    So I take it we send that search party now? 😄

  108. JeDi said, on May 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve been frequenting your posts for what, 4? years now. Good stuff, to finally get some pictures.
    By the way, your wife is very pretty. It must be very nice to wake up to her every morning!

  109. giniro said, on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    “Although she’d probably kill me if she knew I was posting this (so if you don’t hear from me again in awhile, send out search parties to retrive my remains…)”
    Hey Az-san.. its been over 2 months now and I’m starting to freak out a little bit XD;;

  110. Anonymous said, on May 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    so how many schools has he taught? I’m new here.

  111. Anonymous said, on May 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    so how many schools has he taught? I’m new here.

  112. niknak said, on June 14, 2009 at 12:30 am

    WOW that apartment looks EXACTLY like mine did. Any chance you lived in Chiba? or do they just look the same everywhere ;P

  113. Anonymous said, on August 2, 2009 at 1:36 am

    hahaha! you DO relize that in ‘Group Therapy’, a kid kneeling in the right of the pic is flippin off the camera, right?

  114. Anonymous said, on August 2, 2009 at 1:36 am

    hahaha! you DO relize that in ‘Group Therapy’, a kid kneeling in the right of the pic is flippin off the camera, right?


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