Author: Masaki Watanabe

Why I Like Michael J. Fox Even More

I’ve always liked actor Michael J. Fox, from long before I moved here from Singapore back in 1997, because of his personality that I perceived in his TV sitcom (Family Ties 1982-89) and movies (e.g. Back to the Future trilogy 1985-90) characters. There was this savvy but personable air about him that I found particularly engaging.


Bent on some crazy mission to save that fleeting illusion, if only for naïve, dream-struck kids, yours truly must confess here and now to having resorted once or twice to the “urban-guerrilla-street-art-like” tactic of quickly and surreptitiously transferring that ugly placard from the seat to the top of the piano. Apparently someone (a security guy?) does check, because once I casually sauntered by later to look, and the placard had been put back on the seat, as if to proclaim: “We’re in charge here!”

“Open Letter” to Son Studying in Japan: Things I Must Tell You …Though You (Think) You’ve Heard ’em All

And, this you’ve heard me say before, Japan is a very densely-layered ancient society with rich culture (e.g. variety of food) with strongly-held, complex values with constant, built-in pressure toward conformity that sometimes works in unfathomable ways. I’ve watched sensitive foreigners who want to gain acceptance, including those who are racially Japanese, even start seeing things and thinking like a Japanese without quite realizing it themselves.