Author Archives: MThomas

About MThomas

Long ago, I gave up my high school dreams of becoming the next Carl Sagan and instead wound up working (in order) at McDonald's, a '60s-themed restaurant, a video rental store, a used bookstore, a computer seller, Kinko's, a Jewish newspaper company, and an HR firm. I eventually became a teacher of intercultural communication in Kyoto, where I vainly attempt to apply quantum mechanics to language teaching, practice martial arts and Zen Buddhism, and always keep one eye on the sky.

Come out, damned spot!


One aspect of bathrooms in Japan that surprised me at first was the water everywhere around the sink. I mean, everywhere. Not having a habit of waiting for people to wash their hands in public lavatories, I found it a … Continue reading

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The Ugly Duckling in Japan


 Tomorrow is “Coming of Age Day” in Japan, when 20 year olds celebrate officially becoming “adults” in Japanese society. Today, my family went to a performance by a local civic group of The Ugly Duckling, billed as “a moving story … Continue reading

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O-shougatsu


New Year’s lasts one night of drinks and one day of college football in the US, but in Japan the holidays lasts for three days. Actually, for many the New Year’s holidays start on December 29th, giving the typical worker a … Continue reading

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Taking Leave: 2015 in review


Taking Leave: 2015 in Review! Continue reading

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Taking Leave: the Book!


UPDATED. Published through Perceptia Press (Nagoya), Taking Leave: An American on Paternity Leave in Japan is currently available through englishbooks.jp in paperback/soft cover format (retail price: 1500 yen plus tax). I’d love to say the book is available through Amazon; … Continue reading

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Summer Festival: Beat your own drum!


Four months ago, we gave away our long-used/abused baby barriers. Yesterday, we helped our children celebrate their nursery school’s summer festival. Time flies… Once again, my wife volunteered to be a member of the Ai-go-kai (愛護会, literally “love protection association,” … Continue reading

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The barriers go down…with the past…


The smiling bear stickers that adorned the walls of the barricade are long gone, sacrificial victims to an eager child’s exploring hands. But my kids loved these things. Continue reading

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