May I Peel Your Face Off

May 12, 2021Blog, Inspiration, Perseverance

May I Peel Your Face Off

A valuable life skill passed down from one’s living ancestors (Mom) is the ability to read and then adapt to most social situations.

This innate curiosity and social-intelligence is a DNA level gift from the folks, although, on the rare occasion a little too much curiosity was not really such a good thing at all.

Being able to communicate with the Japanese in their native language and taking an interest in peoples lives and their unique stories, has served one well while cultivating deep roots in one’s adopted homeland of Japan over 30 years.

Two Japanese Business Person Greeting with Japanese Flag

Communication in Japanese is truly the key for anyone who would like to understand the Japanese on a deeper level.

One can not stress enough that continuing to learn and practice Japanese daily is so very important not only to engage the Japanese in their native language, but for one’s own personal growth and edification.

Based upon personal experience, learning and practicing Japanese every day can be so very rewarding, and will always leads to unique opportunities to enrich ones life in so many ways.

For certain, talking to new people and indeed to random strangers has always seemed natural and something positive.

Talk to Strangers Now More Than Ever

Learning by example, one would often see Mother engaging people as she went throughout her daily life experience, starting random interaction with “how’s everything going?” or “what’s your story?”

As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The apple does not fall far from the tree

One of the true joys of life is wandering throughout the world initiating conversations with strangers and hearing their unique stories, and in some cases making lifelong friends.

With Japanese language skills being honed over decades, one has found it possible to reveal the true character of the random Japanese stranger by disarming them with a smile and a joke and the simple question of “what’s up with you today?”

The other day a good Canadian whiskey was discovered and at a very reasonable price in the Mega Don Quixote (Japanese taking American big box to the next level).

Canadian Whiskey Selection

Standing next to me was a man, his wife, and his two elementary school age daughters.

I turned to him and said “look at this very reasonably priced bottle of Canadian whiskey, I highly recommend it.”

The Japanese are always are always startled at first when their native language flows from an occidental’s lips in a quasi-native manner.

Surprised Japanese Face

Somewhat taken aback at first, this gentleman was then happy to be enlightened with the fact that, “the majority of Canadian whiskey is made from rye,” and “this one happens to be quite good.”

There and then we had our ichigo ichie moment (see “once in a lifetime” here), and this random family in the liquor section of the big box retail store was left with something interesting and fun to talk about on their way home.

Perhaps when this father breaks out this bottle of Canadian whiskey for his ban shaku (晩酌 = a drink with one’s dinner at home), the story of how a random gaijin recommended this whiskey will be revisited.

Canadian Club

However, not everyone appreciates a random gaijin striking up a conversation in the supermarket, which is understandable as the Japanese are fundamentally insular people who stick to their own groups, and do not really enjoy encounters with random strangers, a foreign one nonetheless.

Regardless, one deeply believes these ichigo ichie moments are especially important during these changing times when our human connection is being slowly eroded by hidden forces.

Therefore, even now more so than ever, the need to build new relationships and to solidify our human connections is of paramount importance in these profoundly changing times.

Who are you going to connect with today?

Ichigo Ichie 一期一会