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Wanderings - KLAJapan Friends



About ROV

I met Mark 'Homer' Honma in 1992, in California. When I moved to Japan, he was there to greet me and help me with my questions.

From our Tachikawa office, we could see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. When Mark and I were in the office on the same evening (not very often), we would go up to the seventh story and watch the sunset over Fuji-san. Today I watch Fuji-san via the Internet.

I met Tsuzuki-san when I moved to Osaka. My 'Sushi Mama-san' has the biggest, brightest smile I've ever seen.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend her wedding, and she's about ready to give birth to her first child. Good Luck, Emi-chan.

Tsuzuki Emiko and Mark Honma

Mori Noriko (Hana-chan)

Mori-san was my first cultural guide in Japan.

She introduced me to Japanese Green Tea. And she introduced us to 'monk food' in Kyoto (it was good, but I had to go to McDonalds afterwards to get full).

When I was promoted to Training Supervisor, Mori-san was my assistant, guiding light, and the primary reason for any success our department had.

A truly amazing woman.

I could tell you about the time Nishi-san almost killed us in Sendai, by driving the car down the wrong side of the road. "I thought you would want to drive American style," he said.

I could tell you about how Kai-san and I tricked him into locking himself out of his hotel room, wearing only underwear.

But what I remember most is watching the fireworks in Tateyama, with Nishi-san standing on the beach in his hotel Yukata, with business shoes and dress socks.
We sat in the sand, drinking beer and eating yakitori, oohing and aahing as we watched the 'fire flowers'. A great night.

jp_nishi_02.jpg (21540 bytes)

Angie and Oshimo Kazumi
Oshimo-san and I share a passion for Hard Rock Cafe burgers and Subway sandwiches. We also share an ability to attract strange people.

She attracts psycho men, and I attract yakuza. Together, we attract people like the woman who came to us with wild eyes, crying, "Watch out for the Ticks. The Ticks. Watch Out." I tried to talk to this crazed little person, but Oshimo-san dragged me away to safety.

We always laughed, because whenever we went outside of Osaka, I had to lead her around. Otherwise she got lost.

She's a terrible guide, but a great friend.

Speaking of strange people, there's Tsuji-san.

He's not strange, actually, just extremely funny.

He's also Japans' most eligible bachelor. His favorite perfume is kimchee, he looks cool on his motorcycle, and his hero is Connor Eichelberger (the son of our friends, Brad and Jolene).

If any ladies out there want to meet Tsuji (and you know you do), let me know.

Tsuji (one word, like Elvis or Sting)

Thai Spirit House in Bangkok, Thailand
Nii Yoriko

Sadly, there's not room here for all my friends. I'll show Nii-san here, because even Japanese people have told me that Nii-san is a 'very Japanese' lady.

She's pretty, she's kind, she's soft-spoken, she smiles through the toughest times, and there's a sense of peace about her.

This is something that is unique about Japan. There are screaming kids, thundering trains, political speeches, loud construction, people everywhere, and a thousand other annoyances. Yet, Japanese women seem to radiate a Buddha-like placidness through all of this.

I'm sure that, inside, they're going just as crazy as the rest of us. But they rarely show it. Nii-san is one of those Japanese women. It's an impressive thing.