I’m just closing up my longest stay in Japan thus far. It’s been a very long, interesting and somewhat gratifying experience. I spent most of my time training (about 8-9 hours a day), in a martial art that I have practiced for over 14 years. But in doing so I spent a significant amount of time with the local people and learning and understanding the local culture. Again and again I am surprised by how such a modern country is so un-modern in so many ways. Although the use of credit cards seems to be on the rise it is nowhere near the level of the rest of the western world. Here cash is still king. There is still no gender war here, from what I can tell it’s never arrived on the shores of this country. There seems to be an acceptance of traditions and customs without question. I find this curious, as the world is changing quickly these days, and I wonder what Japan’s status will be in this global economy in 20 years?

Anyhoo, my body is sore from all the working out and I’m ready for the long flight home. I’m glad for the experiences I’ve had, the new friendships I have made and affirmation of old ones.