Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 (Tosh's Diary) Japan

Albert Einstein's room in Moji-Ko, Japan

February 27, 2017 (Tosh's Diary) Japan

For the last couple of days, I have been in Moji-Ko, which is part of the southern island of Kyushu in Japan.   I'm here with my wife, and she is from this town.  In 1989, I lived here for a whole year.  It's ironic that I have always tried to avoid small towns, yet, always end up in one.  Moji-Ko is technically a port city, where across from the Japan Sea there's Korea.  Before World War II, Moji-Ko was the location to go back and forth to Korea.  It was a lively town full of adult entertainment as well as cinema, live theater, and Geisha action.  Albert Einstein came through Moji-Ko and stayed in a structure that is technically the next block where I'm writing this piece.  There's a plaque announcing the visit, but no image or photograph exists that I know of, having him here in the city.   When in doubt I always go with the narrative.  So there is no reason to question that he was here in Moji-Ko.

Moji-Ko Retro Observation Room, Japan


Compared to Kyoto or other parts of Japan, Moji-Ko's structures are not that old.  My guess is that the oldest building here is about 105 years old.  Still, there is a particular Meiji period feeling in the structures as well as the roadways.  I'm writing this report on the 31st floor of the observation deck.  The city is very much laid out in front of me, and it looks like I'm observing a google map, but I'm really here.  But have I ever been anywhere?

Dead Fugu, but still deadly, in Moji-Ko, Japan


I had dinner last night at a local restaurant.  Blow-Fish (Fugu) is the main specialized dish in Moji-Ko.  The fish is very toxic and lethally poisonous if you eat the wrong part of the Blow-Fish.   People in the West are alarmed, but the Japanese seem to take it in the style that nothing will happen to them if they eat Fugu.  The fish itself is delicious.  I ate it in many ways.  Sashimi style as well as cooked and served in soup.  I never felt in danger, because the people around me took it as being prepared by an experienced chef.   If you do get poisoned by eating the fish, the effects are similar to nerve gas such as Sarin or VX.  The victim is conscious, but their muscles will be paralyzed and eventually, one can't breathe and will die from asphyxiation. This happens time-to-time, but what are the chances of that happening to me?

Gentlemen who ate at the same restaurant


Back to the restaurant, we were sitting at the counter eating Fugu, when I notice the party next to me was sending a bottle of Shochu to another table.  They were drinking beer and what looked like bottles of Shochu.  They were bottle-keep, which means the customer buys the bottle and keeps it at the restaurant for themselves.   Hardcore Asian tradition of drinking in bars.  There were three of them.  One was a young woman, who looked like she killed a man or two.  Beautiful but I sense a hardness in her attitude.  The two guys she was with had various forms of jewelry on, including one who had two watches attached to each wrist.  He also had what looks like a diamond stone around his neck.  The other thing I notice is that anyone who walks into the restaurant made a gesture of being a friend or bowing to this trio.  To not to acknowledge them in a specific world would have been a deadly mistake.

The Author's laptop while writing this essay in the Observation Room in Moji-Ko


I made the Mojiko Retro Observation Room as my office while here.  I find it suitable to be on the 31st floor looking out to the Japan Sea and commenting on the town and people down below.  It's an idea space for a writer to do his or her's work.  From here, I can see my home in Moji-Ko. My wife and I live on the 13th floor of that building.   So at nighttime, I can sit in the outside hall and look at the place where I do my work. And oddly enough, I sit in the Observation Room watching the place where I live.
The Author lives on the 13th Floor of this buiding


I have a deep interest in my culture, especially when I'm in a foreign culture. It is what makes Americans so unique.   I had a beer, drinking some coffee now, and just had a chocolate cookie.  I'm all set, and about to go into the sunset and become one of the small people down below.

Moji-Ko Retro Observation Room at night; Photographed from my 13th Floor apartment across the way

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