Returning to the UK and then Italy, it seems much of my friends and family have a slightly misconstrued perception of what my time was like in Japan. This ranges from simple beliefs such as that I spent all my time miserable, depressed and working in a place I hated, to more elaborate misbeliefs such as the rumour that I was working in a Japanese brothel where I one day bumped into my mum’s ex-boyfriend (once the British ambassador to Japan) who walked in as a client. While the latter can be attributed to a game of turbo charged Chinese whispers (one in which only those with the powers of exaggeration shared by my mother and her three sisters are licensed to play), unfortunately the fault of the former belief can only lie with myself and this blog.
Though if it is the fault of this blog that people believe I misspent my time in Japan, or were sour for any of it, then it is the responsibility of this blog to make corrections. For the truth is that if I could return to Japan and do it all again, I’d barely change a thing.
A post currently only half-released (Sega Town Part 1) by it’s finish will reveal what I came to understand about Japan through working in the bar which I so often lamented and drunkenly complained about (eg 1, 2, 3, 4).* I will leave those understandings to the rest of that post, but I will let it be known now that however much I felt ill towards my job, I was also simultaneously glad for the experience that it provided and for what it allowed me to see.
I went to Japan to understand it, and working in some sleazy bar allowed me to get quickly in touch with elements that would take much longer to other visitors to Japan. Though saying this I can imagine many people (especially given the numerous Japanophiles who won’t hear anything bad of the country) would argue that a two month shift at some sleazy bar doesn’t show you the true Japan, but instead only a dark side that is not reflective of the culture at large. However to this I would argue that the dark side is as much a part of Japan as is the greatest sushi master, and more so than any tea party filled by people wearing Kimonos. If you want to find out about somewhere you can’t just look at the bits which are good. If a Japanese person were to work in Tiger Tiger in Oxford St, of course I wouldn’t imagine that it would give him the best impression of England, but I would never deny that it didn’t show him a very real and prominent side of our country.
What are these dark sides of Japan? Well as I said this will all be left for ‘Sega Town Part 2’, for now I only wanted to say that I enjoyed myself there.
*(eg 1, 2, 3, 4) If you enjoy this blog, those four posts are some of the best bits of writing here so I’d advise to read. Usually written drunk (but edited sober of course) and after sleepless nights, they are filled with reflection and also strange incidents and characters.
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