25 April 2004

Honored foreigners

DK and I and the Fukuda-san-tachi spent most of the afternoon at a Temple watching some tradition Japanese dancing. It was really incredible. I had one of those I-guess-I-really-do-live-in-Japan moments. Most of the dance revolved around a conflict between some sort of “Satan” figure and the priest. The dance went on for about three or four hours, I think. We weren’t there for the whole thing. Dan and I were the only gaijins there which I didn’t really notice until we were getting our picture taken with the Satan figure.

As we were having our picture taken, people stopped watching the part of the dance that was happening to watch us. Several of them were clapping. As you can see, we’re pretty happy too. Well, anyway, things sort of snow-balled and then people were asking us to take pictures with the Satan figure and some young girls. So we took a couple of these pictures and then were called back to have another one taken, this time for the newspaper. Yeah, that’s right. My dumb sac is going to be in the Japanese newspaper looking like this. It’s wonderful to be a celebrity, if only for a couple of minutes and only because you’re white. “Gaijin-sama.” “The honored foreigners.” Yeah. Sign me up.

I think there are very few things as awe-inspiring as Japan drunk. The lights go out and people get crazy. Tonight, I hung out with Superb Dan and some of his Japanese soccer-playing friends. We hung out at this tiny bar and watched soccer and they drank a lot of beer. As they got drunk, they were yelling at each other to, “Say it me in ENGLISH!” It was pretty funny. I had a couple of good, broken English-Japanese conversations. One of the guys said to Superb Dan that he was a very good looking man and he sort of laughed, but then one of the other guys stood up and pointed at his shirt which said in English: “Don’t let no one control da ass.”

Anyway, as we were walking back to the train station, one of the more effeminate guys Ryuske who wasn’t gay as he had a girlfriend: "Beautiful, actually," Yugi, one of his friend's said, "Surprisingly so" put his arm around me and was asking me questions about whether or I liked Japan or not. Then he pulled Superb Dan over and was whispering in his ear and Dan said, “I don’t know why don’t you ask him in Japanese.” Ryuske then put his arm around me again and whispered but he was drunk so it wasn’t that much of a whisper in Japanese, “What part of the Japanese women’s body do you like most?” He started laughing wildly and pointing to his chest and legs. I didn't know what to say: I said, “All of it.”

The streets of Tenjin are lined with musicians after the stores close. I saw at least four groups performing. People standing and listening.