Our God, Eager to Save

Posted January 10, 2010

Tomohisa had reached a coveted status in Japan’s vertically-ordered society: medical doctor. Along with the status came wealth, which he used to buy the affection of women…and lots of booze. His selfishness blinded... [Read More]

The Humbled Tsunami

Posted December 2, 2011

When the warning sirens went off, residents in a south Sendai neighborhood fled to the local school. Together with panicked children still in class they climbed to the rooftop. Some 600 altogether... [Read More]

Japanese Get "Bach" Hope

Posted September 21, 2011

Who would have thought Bach would be involved in 21st century mission work in Japan? I have frequently read with interest of the strong connection between classical music (particularly J.S. Bach) and Japanese interest... [Read More]

Tsunami Ground Zero

Posted April 7, 2011

I still haven't returned from tsunami ground zero. That is to say, although I've been back several days already, the reality of the scene is still with me. The incredible amounts of mud in once beautiful homes... [Read More]

"Nice Try, Kevin" File

Posted February 9, 2011

This one goes into the "Nice try, Kevin" file. I just thought it was a nice-looking bunch of flowers in the storefront and, on the spur of the moment, decided Kaori deserved to enjoy them. Chrysanthemums, however, are... [Read More]

The Gulliver Complex

Posted November 9, 2007

I'm a giant again. Well, not really. But it sure feels like it again since returning from the States. The first sign was bumping my head in the shuttle bus from the airport. By habit, I normally duck my head through any... [Read More]

Foreigners Don't Get the Point

Posted January 31, 2010

I'm standing in line at a drugstore with other shoppers. The woman in front of me has just pulled out a business card file. Hurriedly she flips through at least a hundred or more cards searching for the right one. It's a... [Read More]

More Powerful than Bombs

Posted July 5, 2008

Fuchida grew up loving his native Japan and hating the United States, which treated Asian immigrants harshly in the first half of the twentieth century. Fuchida attended a military academy, joined Japan's... [Read More]

Ready?

Posted September 14, 2010

I'd been putting it off. Although I knew it was important, taking inventory of our earthquake and disaster gear just wasn't getting done. Japan rests along the "ring of fire" in the Pacific ocean, a stretch of area that is... [Read More]

150 Years Later

Posted March 17, 2009

This spring marks the 150th anniversary of Protestant Christianity in Japan. The first protestant missionaries set foot in the port of Yokohama back in 1859. Now they were real church planters -- overcoming all... [Read More]

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I for Japan. Japan for the World. The World for Christ. And All for the Glory of God.

— Kanzo Uchimura, Japanese Evangelist

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Rambling Notes from Japan

Here are some blog posts that we hope will make you feel a part of things, and help you understand how to pray better for us and Japan. Please see our external blog in Blogger, if this page does not display correctly.

Powerless!

I felt ridiculous. A white foreigner in Japan, shirt stained with engine grease, standing next to my disabled vehicle, in the traffic lane, waving an emergency flare. Only a police car’s flashing lights could have drawn more attention to my predicament. Oh, wait...he stopped by, too. Sigh...

Last week, what was intended to be a family break along the Yokohama bay, turned into a frightening breakdown under our Kawasaki expressway viaduct. The ol’ “green machine” (our Honda) just up and died right there in the traffic lane. No power to crank the engine and pull out of the way. No power for even emergency blinkers. I WAS POWERLESS!

POWERLESS. Japanese feel this way watching their neighbor North Korea launching missiles into the Sea of Japan, even lobbing one right over their heads in Hokkaido in the early morning hours of 8/29. Throughout the north, Japan’s September earthquake evacuation drills have now been replaced with missile evac- uation drills. But where does one flee an incoming missile?

POWERLESS. That was Kaori after twisting her ankle a few weeks back. The pain made it hard for her to even stand. A missed stair caused all kinds of grief. (Remarkably, the plateware she was carrying survived the trip down.)

Powerlessness. It’s a place we hate to go, but really need to visit often. Powerlessness reminds us of our utter dependence on God for life and work. As missionaries, we can study the language, prepare our lessons and messages, organize outreach, and give a bold witness. We can explain, persuade, counsel and invite. But we are ultimately powerless to change a person’s heart. God must work his power and move them to embrace the gospel. We know we’re powerless. So when someone in our church receives Christ in Japan, we know it was all God. He gets all the glory. We get the joy. The He whispers again:

“My power works best in your powerlessness.” (2 Cor 12:9)

A tow truck resolved our road emergency (for now). And some Epsom salt, an ankle support (I thanked Kaori for getting a new supporter -- but it was the wrong kind!) and family TLC ended Kaori’s pain. But our lessons in our human powerlessness and His divine power through us continue daily in our mission here. ... And that’s just where we need to be to see His work.


The Land Without Christmas

What if there were no Christmas? 

No REAL Christmas, at least. No one around you really knew what the holiday was about. Oh, there were some pretty decorations, tinsel and trees, and colored lights around. Here and there you’d hear jingle bells or see a Santa hat. But that hardly lifts the gloom that hangs about people trudging through daily fears, struggles and regrets. The real Christmas, the one about a Savior born to rescue mankind, bringing hope and joy to this life. That Christmas is unknown. Not ignored, U-N-K-N-O-W-N.

If you can imagine a time when Christmas is wiped clean from your everyday experience, thoughts and memories, you're getting close to understanding…

...this is Japan as it is now.

I’m always dumbfounded when a Japanese asks the sincere question, “Does Christmas have something to do with Jesus Christ?” “Are you kidding?” I think to myself. “How could you not know this?”

But then I realize: how do I know the real Christmas? Wasn’t it from the testimony of my Christian environment, together with family, friends, and church? None of this exists in Japan. So, it’s a land without Christmas.

But we believe in a different future for Japan!
What if someone who knew the real Christmas story brought it to this people? What if they shared how this Baby brought forgiveness, healing and purpose to this life, and hope for life eternal? Get ready for a big change. A truly Merry Christmas for many! Would you send someone to carry this good news, someone whose heart breaks for the people of this land?

Help send us with the message. 
We need monthly partners to close our support gap (see amount at bottom). Would you partner with us in 2017 for the cause of Christ, and for the change of Japanese people? So that Japan can know and enjoy a real Christmas!


When it Comes to Christmas, Japan "Takes the Cake"

When Japanese in Tokyo dream of a “white” Christmas, it can only be made of cream frosting...over yellow sponge cake...with red strawberries on top. For Japanese, strawberry shortcake is the essence of Christmas. Here in Kawasaki, the Christmas cake order forms from local bakeries fill our mailbox from late October. For those who dislike the long December 24th pickup lines, home delivery is possible. Tiny brand name shortcakes can set you back $50 or more!

Blame it on Western influence. It’s said that the founder of Fujiya Food Service, Fujii Rinemon, first got the idea during a Christmas visit to the States in the 1920’s. Fujiya has sold the Christmas cakes ever since, although it’s only been the last 20 years when they fully took root in Japan’s Christmas psyche. Now, 75% of Japanese say they must eat Christmas cake!

Just think...if Fujii had visited a church instead of a cake shop, the Christmas story might be very different in Japan today. Missionaries like me often wonder why Japanese find the cake to be so compelling of a Christmas image, while the baby Jesus is so foreign (I challenge you to come and find Christ anywhere at Christmas in Kawasaki).

Japanese have long been eager adopters. They pick and choose from other cultures those elements they enjoy, and discard the rest. But who would discard the baby Jesus for cheap white frosting? If only Japanese knew the real value of each. But then again, do we? American Christmas values may not be so far behind the white frosting of secular Japan. Unless we decide differently.

My Christmas dream is that nativity sets will replace shortcake as Japan’s new Christmas craze. My prayer is that you and I, too, will treasure the baby Christ much more than just the “frosted” fun this Christmas.



Relearning Holiday Celebrations

July 4th went by without a single boom or bang. No hotdogs or patriotic concerts. Can you imagine July without a fireworks show? What about Labor Day without BBQ, backyard or beach? Or Thanksgiving without turkey or family gatherings? Something would be missing, wouldn’t it? What if Christmas or Easter weren’t even holidays? This is life in Japan. Yes, it does feel incomplete at times to this expat.

True, Japan has its own holidays. But to be honest, many of them lack appeal to me. I know I could probably learn a few things from Japan’s “Respect for the Aged Day” and “Physical Fitness Day.” But many holidays like “Sea Day,” “Mountain Day” and “Setsubun” (google it) have distinct Shinto values and make poor substitutes. And don’t get me started on Japan’s swapping of the Baby Jesus’ birthday with the emperor’s birthday in late December. That’s no celebration!

So, after 16 years here, we recognize that some things will remain a loss in our lives. I (Kevin) probably mourn this loss more than Kaori or Justen, both raised in Japan. But just when I start to feel like a martyr by settling for the skinny Japanese porkdog, in a top-cut bun, with the seaweed sprinkles and the horseradish mustard that clears my nose, I sense God asking, “How long will you mourn these small losses, Kevin? Whose kingdom’s celebration are you living for?” And I remember that I’m not at home in this world anyway, and look toward the eternal celebrations out of this world. Thank you, Lord, for good things to come!

(But next time we’re in the States, treat me to a decent Chicago hotdog.)



How Do You See the World?

"That's not how the world is supposed to look at all!"

That's what I nearly shouted when I first saw that image on TV many years ago. The popular Japanese cartoon's intro theme had panned out from a Tokyo house, to gradually show the surrounding city, area, country, and then the entire globe...with Japan squarely at the center! My home continent was nowhere in sight.

Doesn't every cartographer know that North America should be around the center? Maps just look balanced that way! Google "world map" images and you'll see that the USA is always center left, while Japan is at the far periphery. But wait! Google "world map" in Japanese (世界図) and a whole new set of "strange" images comes up. Japan is at the center. All continents are at the periphery.

East or West, it seems that wherever you call home, that becomes center of all things for you. The Chinese name for their country literally means "middle kingdom." This name emerged from Chinese philosophy that believed China to be in the center of the earth. Not to be outdone, the Japanese name for their country literally means "origin of the sun." In 607, Prince Shotoko of Japan began a letter to China with the less than politically-correct greeting: "From the sovereign of the land of the rising sun to the sovereign of the land of the setting sun." Diplomatic relations may have yet to recover.

Let's face it. This me-at-the-center-of-things thinking has permeated human history since Adam and Eve. And it's made a real mess the world over. Some call it ethnocentrism. Others call it national or ethnic pride. Still others call it geo-politics or socio-economics. But when this thinking takes over, the Bible calls it sin. Because such thinking takes glory away from the True Center.

"At the center, Christ rules the church." Eph 1:20 MSG

God sees the world differently. Man is not at the center. Nations and kingdoms are not at the center. Christ is at the center. And his kingdom is at the center. He is the absolute middle by which we are to look at our world. What results is this:

"Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ." Eph 3:11 MSG

God does not divide up the world along geographic, cultural, socio-economic, or racial lines. He sees people only in relation to himself and his Son, Jesus. His children are either found or still lost. They are a part of his Son's kingdom or still outside of it. It's that simple.

Looking at the world with God's eyes will drive mission work. When we humbly realize that none of us was or is at the true center, our task becomes clear. We must reach out to people on the spiritual periphery, wherever they are found, and point them toward the true center, Christ.

So how do you see the world?


"Think Destination" Corner

Our 6 months in the States is coming to an end. Re-entry is tough. But it always helps with the transition to remember what good things are waiting on the other side of the world, in Japan. Here's my top 10+ favorite things in Japan.

10 Punctual Public transportation
We set our watch to trains that take us comfortably (well, mostly) and quickly anywhere in Tokyo.

9 Amusing etiquette signs in English
Sometimes translation goes a little wrongstrangely, or brashly...and makes me smile.

8 Japanese worship music
Take a listen to a recent contemporary favorite of mine. We also enjoy many western hymns in Japan.

7 Onsen (Hot Springs)
They're all around. If you're not overly shy, onsen can be a great place to relax in God's creation.

6 Prayerwalking
I've learned a lot about my neighborhood and people. And gotten hopelessly lost despite GPS.

5 Mountain climbing
We're surrounded by beautiful mountains. Another father-son climb is in the works for summer.

4 Our neighborhood Denny's
Owned by 7-11. With the call buttons on the table.

3 Gas stations (most are full service)
2~3 attendants hop about checking, washing, filling, stopping traffic for our exit and bowing as we leave. Buying gas never felt so special.

2 Cherry blossoms
They'll be blooming near us shortly after we arrive.


1 No snow to clear, grass to mow, or leaves to rake. 
Usually. Truthfully, we miss it...sometimes...not lately. 

And the number 1 favorite thing in Japan: Working amongst the people of our church plant (photo)We miss these people at Denen Grace Chapel and look forward to seeing them soon.



Things I Didn't Know to be Thankful for

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Living in a different country and missing something for awhile makes one thankful for little things. Things I didn't know to be thankful for until leaving for Japan. Here's a few things -- in no particular rank or order -- that come to mind since we've returned to the States. These are just trivial sacrifices we gladly (usually) do without to serve God in Japan. They pale in comparison to what other missionaries gave up for the kingdom of God in history past.

But here they are. You won't find these in Japan. So, I'm thankful for:

* Room to get out of either side of the car.
* The cereal aisle in any grocery store.
* Christian radio. Christian Literature.
* Abundant parking.
* Church steeples all around.
* A western breakfast with pancakes and eggs.
* Corporate worship in English.
* Coupons. Sales. Easy Returns.
* Cheap electricity. Cheap gas.
* Instruction manuals in English.
* Pie and ice cream. Pizza without mayonnaise.
* Central heat. Insulated walls.
* A real shower. Solid deodorant.
* Clothing big enough to fit Americans.
* A chance to rake leaves from real trees on a lawn.
* So many choices. So much abundance.
* Conversation in English.
* Being raised in a Christian environment.

In a future post I will add some things I am thankful for in Japan, that we miss while in the States. Yes, there are many of those as well. How good God is to have blessed us with a knowledge and experience in both countries!


When Garbage Refuses to Die

Sometimes garbage just refuses to die. And you know the situation is bad when even the recycle shop and trash collectors refuse to give it a final resting place.

The problem is a matter of simple physics. An unlimited amount of matter cannot occupy a limited amount of space at the same point in time. And our tiny Japanese home is, well, pretty limited! Like most Japanese houses, we have no basement, no attic, no garage, not even a large hall closet. Sending an unused item to storage limbo is simply not an option. But eventually things get used beyond usefulness. So we need to aggressively (and continually) sell, recycle, and throw away. And herein lies the greater problem. Sometimes things just refuse to leave you.

After my "generous" offers of such gently used items are rejected by friends, I turn to the local recycle shop for hope. Now, my castoffs are generally of such a pathetic nature that the recycle shop only takes on my case pro bono...out of pity...and perhaps a little amusement. I must say, though, that they are very gracious. And I've appreciated their mission of mercy. But I may have exceeded my limit. These days they want original packaging, instruction manuals, dent-free and scratch-free quality, and (of all the nerve) they want for the item to actually work as it was intended! My humble offerings are rarely up to that kind of scrutiny. And the clerks, in the gentlest Japanese way possible, have apologetically asked me to take the item back when I leave.

On the ride home, my thoughts turn to how to throw the unnamed item away. This is easier thought about than done in Japan. I glance at the item riding on the seat next to me. It's now aware of my intentions for its demise. It smirks at me because it knows that the law is on its side. You see, Japan has stringent rules about its garbage. Like flower arranging or tea ceremony, recycling here is a cultural art form in its own right. You can't just kick something to the curb when you're ready to throw it away. If it's any bigger than a breadbox, you'll likely need to get permission first. This involves going to the post office, getting a sticker which costs $5~10, calling the city for an approval number, then placing the verified item outside on a specified day for pickup...maybe.

The hassle and expense factor often has me resorting to other means of recycling: my little friends, the hammer, screwdriver, and hacksaw. I swoop down on the unsuspecting item and begin to break it down into the component parts and sizes required. It puts up a good fight! But I eventually win the War of Disassembly. Then I sort the battle wreckage into bags for disposal on the set days: plastic, paper, metal, cable, fabric, burnable, non-burnable and so on. Part mad scientist, part exasperated recycler, part cheap missionary...the scene is, no doubt, amusing to neighborhood onlookers.

On the morning of garbage pickup I place one bag of dismantled material out with the quiet satisfaction that comes from sensing freedom. It may take a few days yet, but I will be rid of it. Or will I? Doubts fill my head as the trash collectors approach. They stop and inspect my bag. I hear them discussing it amongst each other. When they drive away the entire bag is left behind.

I try again on a different garbage day. Left again. I take out some things. Left again. Were the metal parts too long? Did I mix in other items unaware? Did it look too much like a bomb? Did I need to wait by the curb to sign something? Should I have been there in person with cups of hot tea or a "clueless foreigner" look? I'll never know. All I know is that this infuriating item of garbage is still mocking me from its dismantled state. It must be dealt with and now! Burial!

I eye my shovel and think of creating my own garbage grave...under the shrub in front of our house...between the sewer line and foundation. This 3-foot-square space is the only patch of dirt we own. I can plant flowers on top and no one would know. Hitchcock himself would be proud of my scheme! Half overcome with sheer madness, I thrust my shovel into the dirt...and strike...metal. Sure enough! Some other hapless recycler reached the point of exasperation, too. The grave plot is already full.

Sometimes garbage just refuses to die. I might need wooden stakes and garlic.


Singing a Sojourner's Song

There's that feeling again. Being a missionary brings it around just a little more frequently. It's the sense of discomfort, the awareness of incongruities in my fit with my surroundings. It's a feeling of not belonging. Not being completely home. It comes every time I travel back to the States or back to Japan. Returning just recently from 5 weeks in Chicagoland, the realization that I am indeed a foreigner in either culture is once again fresh.

Buddy Greene said it best in song: "I don't belong. I'm a foreigner here just singing a sojourner's song. I've always known. This place ain't home. And I don't belong."

It didn't used to be that way. Up until we left for Japan in 1999, I was decidedly American in my outlook, cultural identity and sensibilities. But things change when you remove yourself from that cultural milieu for any long stretch of time. Things no longer look the same when you return to them. You're different. People are different. The environment and culture are different. And you sense a lack of fit with a people and places you really were eager to call home again. That's disappointing, surprising and frustrating all at once.

It's not just the big gaps missing for you in the stories of those you know and love. Nor is it just all the little changes in technology, language usage, or pop culture trends all around you. It's not even the myriad of adjustments you need to make all over again. For example, I know by now when I return to the States I will:

1) be surprised at how big things are,
2) forget which side of the road to drive on for brief moments,
3) get into the car on the wrong side, and use the windshield wiper instead of the turning signal,
4) forget I need to tip in a restaurant,
5) find it strange that the stores are so huge and quiet,
6) marvel at the acres of space in front of stores just to park,
7) be overwhelmed with how sweet or salty everything tastes,
8) find the wide open spaces to be almost odd at times,
9) wonder why the daily earthquake never comes,
10) find TV to be even more degraded than last time,
11) be frustrated in finding the right word in English and use Japanese without thinking,
12) be unable to identify with topics of conversation,
13) wonder why our currency looks so foreign,
14) be excited by cheap $4/gallon gas,

...and the list could go on and on with a hundred other things.

But the feeling really is not birthed out of any of those things. Part of it might be the cumulative weight of all those things. But there's more. There's the sense that we CANNOT fit in anymore, even if we were to fill in ALL those gaps and make ALL those changes. Our frame of reference, our cultural perspective in life has fundamentally shifted in such a way that everything will look just a little out of focus around us. Call it the missionary complex. A cultural identity crisis. Cognitive dissonance. Schizophrenia. Call it whatever you like. The feeling is a lack of true belonging. A sense of being a foreigner in places one wouldn't think or desire to sense that.

I've resisted and fought off the feeling at times. But I am learning more and more to embrace the feeling as part of the way that God is preparing me for eternity, even now, in a peculiar way. Accepting my identity as a sojourner, a foreigner in either culture, moves me along in my spiritual progress. It makes heaven just a little more precious in the here and now. It affirms my relationship with another world. It pushes my longing upwards.

And so I am thankful to be a missionary because of this. It's brought clarity to my position in this world, and a richness and sweetness to my true home in heaven. It's sped up that part of my spiritual journey by letting me experience firsthand foreignness here, and anticipate even more my belonging there.

"Yes, I belong. And I'm going some day. Home to my own native land.
Where I'll belong. And it seems like I hear the sound of a welcome home band.
Yes I belong. No foreigner there...singing a sojourner's song.
I've always known. I'm going home. Where I'll belong." (lyrics, Buddy Greene)


Trains, Planes and (Smaller) Automobiles

Some of you are aware of our short trip to the States over the last few weeks. We are back in Japan now, and readjusting once again to the smaller dimensions of things here. Let me explain.

Once again our journey from door-to-door involved trains, planes and automobiles. One Tokyo train, one AA 777 jet, one minivan and one Tokyo cab to be exact. This involves four rounds of shuffling around six large overstuffed suitcases and several smaller carryon items. (We always stock up on cheap and hard-to-get items for life and ministry while back in the States). The "joys" of traveling meet "aches" of muscle strain.

Our last suitcase shuffle was from the airport bus to the taxicab. I probably don't have to tell you that the cabs here come in smaller sizes. The driver took one look at our pile of stuff and let out a low sigh. He declared empathically that it would not be possible to handle our needs. After 16 hours of travel and just 16 minutes from a hot shower and bed at home, I wasn't in the mood to be rejected on this minor space technicality. (Okay, maybe it wasn't really minor.) So, when he opened his trunk to show me how impossible it would be, I promptly moved his trunk stuff to one side and stuffed in four of our smaller suitcases. The other large suitcases and assorted items found a spot in the back seat. The open-jawed driver watched me work in amazement. I kept apologizing the whole time but also kept packing away until every item filled up the cab.

On the drive back home the driver confessed, "I didn't think even I could do that, let alone a foreigner like yourself. Where'd you learn to pack like that?" I told him I've lived in Tokyo now 12 years. What more needs to be said?


Small Thinking

We're back in Japan. Which explains why I keep bumping into things. After 6 weeks of being conditioned to the wide open spaces of life in America, we are back to working with the inches of urban Tokyo. My mind hasn't totally re-calibrated itself to the new spatial realities of this environment. I keep bumping into things...again...and again. Thankfully no damage has been done to people or vehicles. But heads, fingers, toes, and knees have gotten a little sore.

When we first arrived in the States in October, I suffered through the opposite syndrome. What to do with all this extra space! I could sit wide, or with legs outstretched. I could wander around large rooms and hear my echo. I could get out on either side of the car. I could always find parking. I could buy large size versions of things and find places to put them away. I COULD THINK BIG! Now I must relearn to think small. Small spaces. Turn, move, sit, park, walk about in a tight axis of centimeters.This will take a few days yet to get used to.

Perhaps the shortcut to relearning Japan spatial limitations is a trip to "Don Quixote," the big discount seller here in Japan. The store is crammed with stuff (and extremely noisy). Things are stacked precariously from floor to ceiling with only tiny aisles in between. It resembles the scene from a Dr. Seuss story. If it wasn't for my tightwad missionary nature, I wouldn't step foot in this place. As it worked out, my visit to the store today created a little extra work for the cleanup crew. I may be over jet lag, but spatial distance lag will take a few days more. And so, at least in Japan, it seems that thinking small is at least as important as thinking big.


All this, but no octopus ice cream


It hits me every time we return home. This time was not unique. Call it part of required re-entry shock. Coming back for 6 weeks of home assignment travel is landing in the land of a million choices.

The day after we arrived here in New Jersey, we needed to stock the refrigerator with some essentials for living. So, off to the supermarket. What's the big deal? The big deal is that EVERYTHING is BIG. And there are a million of them. You name it, the supermarkets here have a million different ones to choose from. But you knew that already. And I thought I did too.

I knew it was going to be tough going. I grabbed a cart, gripped the handle, and steeled myself to focus on the immediate the task. It was no use. The bakery section emitted a siren's cry to my long pie-deprived stomach. Turning the corner, I nearly wept at the selection of cereals. A whole aisle. Incredible! And the boxes could last for days. Steering hurriedly into the next aisle, I hunted for garbage bags. Again, the variety and selection nearly overwhelmed me. JUST GARBAGE BAGS! It took every bit of jet-lagged resolve I had left to not leave the aisle without something. But the ice cream finally did me in. Just a box of vanilla ice cream. A simple thing, or so I thought. There were 17 coolers of ice cream of every size, shape, variety and flavor known to man.

Aaahh...but Japan has one up on the States in this are. My local supermarket in Japan has octopus ice cream. Yes, it's true. Click the photo as proof. It would take a whole post to explain this.

Still, I am again left speechless by the land of many choices and large sizes: my country. It's just that after being gone for a while it all seems so incredible again.


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