Life in Japan Was Lots of Things, But Never Boring

Life isn’t all bad, all of the time.

As a counter to a previous entry about life in Japan, I’m reposting another scene from my time living in Fukuoka. This time, it’s a throwback from my old blog and a good reminder to me about people just being people – being kind, being silly, being weird.

Living in Japan and visiting Nanzoin Temple statues in Sasaguri
A myriad of emotions at Nanzoin Temple in Sasaguri

Running With Scissors

Originally posted May 9, 2008

In April I joined a gym down the street from my apartment in Japan. Usually I say hello and good bye to the staff and that’s about it.

But today, as I was running on the treadmill, music blasting in my headphones, sweat dripping down my face (as it’s not “summer” yet so they won’t run the a/c) the owner, a cute old man and a worker, a cute young man came over to me and got my attention. 

Still running, headphones on, I looked over to see that they had made a carefully written sign which they were holding up for me to read.  It said:  “In October, this establishment will be dissolved.”

Surprised as I was (and touched that they had obviously gone to some effort to figure it out in English) it took me only a moment to *joyfully* realize I would be long gone from Japan by then!

Then the old man owner held up an envelope addressed to me presumably to show me that they were sending a letter with that same information in it but that it was in Japanese.  I took it from him saying “arigato” and then he handed me scissors(!!) and said “open.” 

By this point I have taken my headphones off but am still running quite fast on the treadmill.  Not knowing what else to do I took the scissors from him and as carefully as I could manage (not too carefully, actually) I snipped off one end of the envelope and pulled out a bit of paper on which was a lot of Japanese writing. 

Then I held it up and signaled between the sign in English and the bit of paper and said “onagi?” (same?) They nodded vigorously and backing away, finally, finally, let me finish my run.  If they weren’t so nice (or if I knew how to say “I’m busy, heLLO!?”) I would have asked them to wait and spoken with them later.  But then again, it’s not everyday that someone makes a sign just for me. 🙂 (and then tries to kill me with scissors)

I know, I know – why didn’t I just stop running for like one second? We definitely know who the weirdo in the story is.

Thanks for reading!

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4 Comments

  1. I was reading and went “she’s totally going to take the scissors while running…” and lo and behold! Lol

  2. Seriously! Uh…you kept running? 😂 I can totally see that ✂️ 🏃🏻‍♀️ 😂 what nice guys though 😃

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