I can think of no better way to introduce you to Japan, than to introduce you to my friend, Oshimo-san.
Is she a 'typical' Japanese?
Which means, I guess, that she is a typical Japanese, in that she's not typical.
|We met Oshimo-san in Osaka, when we moved there for work. She's funny,
smart, and friendly. She's open and willing to talk about any subject. She speaks good
English and was very patient with my terrible Japanese. She was a great help with any
problems or questions we had in Japan (which makes her, in one way, a very typical
Japanese). She's also modest, so she'll be terribly embarrassed by what I'm writing here.
She loves to travel, and lived in Australia for one year. She scuba dives, and skis (though she hates the cold), sings karaoke, talks loud (an Osaka habit), and laughs a lot.
Oshimo-san, like many 'new' Japanese women, has lived a fairly independent
life. She postponed marriage and children - well past the traditional 'marry by the early
twenties' mentality of the past - and spent that time with her friends and her interests.
True to her Japanese roots, though, she's also been a key member of her family. She's given up her own goals, to help when other family members had problems. "No big deal," she'd say. "That's the way things are done in Japan."
|Oshimo-san and I share a passion for food. Especially Hard
Rock Cafe burgers, Subway sandwiches, and anything at Garlic Jo's.
She shoots a mean pistol in the video arcade, and one of our favorite things is to blow away the bad guys in a tandem game of VirtuaCop.
We also share an ability to attract strange people.
We always laughed, because whenever we went outside of Osaka, I had to lead her around. Otherwise she got lost.
Well, she may be a terrible guide, but she's a great friend.
|And that's the blessing/curse of the Wanderers' life.
We meet people we
could never have met, but then we have to leave people we never want to leave.
When you're lucky, the friendship lasts, as ours has. Whenever Angie and I go to Japan, we try to meet up with Oshimo-san and other friends, to catch up on the news.
So after Oshimo-san got married in early 1998, we were happy we had a chance to see her
While many things change, some - like friendship, thankfully - stay the same.