Before I started this site I used to write another blog, Gaijin Tonic, mainly about drinking and parties. After years of visiting seemingly every weird novelty bar and boozy festival in town, I ran out of things to write about, and my liver was screaming for a break. But despite the design and much of the content looking like remnants from an ancient civilization, that site still gets more hits than this!
I thought I’d be eco-friendly and recycle, by sharing some of the more popular Gaijin Tonic posts here:
Land of the Rising Blood-Alcohol Level
Bizarre bar Names
The Weird and Wonderful World of Japanese Booze
Crazy Japanese Club Flyers
Japanese Drinking Games
Japanese Hangover Cures
I thought this would be a good place to showcase the talents of some of the Japanese students I have taught over the years. I think you’ll find the English skills of these children are a testament to my prowess as a teacher.
This first grader, for example, has a good grasp of classroom language:
Meanwhile, this sixth grader has a firm grip on the usage of interjections:
I actively encourage my female pupils to be confident in class, and endeavour to transcend the limitations a male-dominated society puts on them. As you can see from the whiteboard graffiti below, my efforts have not been in vain:
Under my tutelage, students’ writing abilities flourish. The boy who wrote the answers below spelled all the words except “pizza” correctly:
As well as writers, I often discover budding artists in my classroom. Art helps young people express themselves in a healthy way. Among the artworks I have found, there is this portrait of me, burping and farting:
As you can see, the academic achievements of my young charges are sure to be second to none.
Another webcomic I enjoy reading, “Life In Japan” by Victor Edison, is coming to an end (or going on an extended hiatus for a while). This comic is a charming, light-hearted read, a bit like Sazae-San or The Family Circus, so it provides a nice contrast to my wretched tales of misery and depravity. If you want to see the nicer side of Japan, explore the archives here:
I recently read “Dark Horizon” by my pal, the fellow Tokyo-based comic guy Brian Reyes. It’s a hilarious parody of “New Horizon”, an English textbook that’s been used in Japanese school for decades. The book is laugh-out-loud funny and has been quite the hit in Japan. It must be cathartic read for ex-students after all those years of boring homework.
Brian’s apparently working on a second volume, so I’m looking forward to that, too.
Hello! I’ve contributed a strip to the anthology “Cringe: An Anthology of Embarrassment”, featuring lots of brilliant comics by top international artists. If you have a thirst for more of the usual awkward and embarrassing antics I write about, have a look at the Kickstarter page and snap up a copy while they’re going hot: