About the gaijin

Born in Rochester, NY in 1987. Graduated from Tufts University in 2009 with a degree in English. Likes baseball, Scrabble, clever turns of phrase. Dislikes the movie Donnie Darko and when people say they did something “on accident.” Possesses an unrefined palate and an abiding love for the song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

9 thoughts on “About the gaijin

  1. Josh, your Mom just sent me your address so I am already an avid follower of your blog. I enjoyed every word and am excited that I’ll have something to read for the next year or so. Those Japanese middle schoolers are a lucky group. Enjoy every minute —

    Thanks for the nice note to Andrew and me. We appreciated it very much. Happy Travels —


  2. Whoa hi! I found your blog while googling Minamishimabara… I’m an American currently living/working in Fukuoka city but I’ll be moving to Minamishimabara soon to work at a preschool there. It will be nice to know other gaijin in the area, perhaps we can meet up?

  3. Dear Josh,

    I am your distant cousin. susan and sharon are my husband Ken’s cousins. We were just at lillian’s funeral. Your “eulogy” was so moving and beautifully composed. She was one lucky lady to have you as her grandson. And you were lucky too. She was a fabulous woman. I love this blog and intend to keep up with your adventures if only to enjoy your outstanding prose. What a hoot! and I have learned so much. We went to a dept. store in shanghai much like the one you mentioned – beautifully detailed merchandise and layout. then we saw the endless tchotches in other stores. However, I did not find the garter belt dept. It is a treat to get to know you through this blog. Susan, sharon and I have intended for years (long before you were born) to get to know each other better. Maybe your blog will be the initial conduit.


  4. Cute kid. And smart too. It’s all in the family. I wish we could join you for a visit in Japan, but we can’t even make it to the Berkshires.


  5. HI Josh, I stumbled across your blog this morning while trying to find information about Kazusa.
    I wasn’t planning to spend an hour reading about your various adventures in Kazusa, but your writing and descriptions really intrigued me! You’ve had an interesting few years. Thanks so much for sharing.
    My husbands family originated in Kazusa. I was wondering if you have ever come across anyone with his family name? “Yagi” The chances are remote…but then Kazusa is also remote (and small).

    • In fact I have. “Yagi” is a fairly common family name in and around Kazusa. Case-in-point: both the Principal and Vice Principal at Kazusa Junior High School are named Yagi, though they are not related. I also have a handful of students with the family name Yagi. No idea whether they are related to your husband, but there’s surely a chance.

      Sorry it took so long for me to respond to your inquiry. If you’re curious about anything else Kazusa-related, I’d be happy to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge.

  6. Hi! I’m moving to Kazusa in September to join my wife. I’m from the UK and would like to know an English speaker living in Kazusa. I will be looking for work amd also interested in what you said about ‘money to be made here’ when talking about vending machines. Please drop me a line, thanks.

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