You Are a Misfit in Japan

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“I am happy when I finish my work and go home. I am happy to stay at home to do what I want to do, watching Japanese TV shows and playing video games. I’m no problem being rebuked because the company is not mine, and besides, my boss gives me the steady job. I feel secure. I don’t expect anything else from life, except my security. I am sorry, Shogo, I have to go to see a dentist right now. Please let me know your mobile phone number so that we can go drinking sometime.”

I gave him a wrong number and said, “See you around, Yoshi.”

“I’ll call you, Shogo. Maybe, I’ll let other friends know you’re in Japan now. Everyone wonders where you are and what you’ve become. See you soon, Shogo.”

I am enormously disappointed in him beyond words because he is the guy who suggested that I should go to America eleven year ago when he was full of life. He told me that Americans would love me, and that my character would be appreciated there. He is right about them even though instead of going to America, I went to Canada, where I have made a number of interesting friends. I feel sorry for him because he is cruelly beaten by life. I cannot believe how Japan has changed him so thoroughly, how he has lost his hope for life, and how he pretends to be satisfied with Japanese society. He went to America when he was sixteen years old and came back to Japan when he was twenty years old. When he came back to Japan, I was so astonished because of his aura. I thought that I had never seen such an individual who was full of life and had so much enthusiasm for life. He always told me, “Shogo, you have to go to America, where people are friendly and express themselves more freely than Japan. I really think you don’t belong here and will always remain a wired person in Japanese peoples’ eyes. You simply have an extraordinary personality, and I don’t know if that is good or bad for you. The truth be told, you are a misfit in Japan, Shogo. Yes, just a misfit, unfortunately. But in America everyone will love you, and it’ll be too easy for you to make friends there.”

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