A few days ago, while telling me how stupid I was for saying that I wanted a notebook computer to last at least 15 years, Kenji asked me a question that caught me a little off guard: Why don't I write posts about Japan, anymore? It's a valid question, and certainly one that other people have asked me since moving to Japan, but it's not something that can be easily put into words.
I decided to ask Kenji why he never blogged about Japan, but his answer was worse than my own: I don't waste my time with blogs, and why would I write about my home?
So much for an easy reversal.
But, not wanting to let the question go unanswered, I offered three reasons why I've pretty much stopped blogging about Japan.
Reason #1 – I'm Not a Tourist, Anymore
When I first came to Japan, everything was so new and unfamiliar. Anything and everything could be made into a topic of conversation. Public toilets. Apartment rental procedures. How neat and orderly everyone lined up for the trains despite being the height of rush hour on a Friday night…. The list was endless! But after living and working in Japan for over two and a half years, everything has become … ordinary. If anything, I'll probably be blogging about how much bigger everything is in Canada the next time I go back just because I've become more accustomed and comfortable with the size of things in Japan.
There are exceptions, of course. Going to special places like Yoro Falls, or catching something right out of the ordinary will naturally warrant at least a partial write-up. But, for the most part, I think my blogging about Japan (from a tourist's point of view), is over.
Reason #2 – The Things I'm Interested In Bore Most People
I don't just read about Japanese politics; I love it. The characters. The histories. The factions. The unholy amount of inbreeding and mass-media-induced drama … I can't get enough. I've had several discussions with people about how similar the Japanese and Canadian governments are, but nobody seems to care. Truth be told, they weren't even discussions … they were soliloquies. The same thing can be seen with almost every post I've ever put on here discussing politics. No other posts have such a low number of page views or comments as the politically-charged ones.
So, I'll leave the Japanese politics to bloggers who specialize in it.
Reason #3 – I Push The Wrong Buttons
Many of my favorite Japan-related posts on here are written tongue-in-cheek. Unfortunately, judging from the (non-deleted) comments on some of these posts, the articles push all the wrong buttons. Perhaps it's because I failed to properly articulate my thoughts in a way that would be instantly recognizable as a dig to the man in the mirror, and perhaps it's due to some other reason I'm not intelligent enough to figure out. Either way, the end result was a lot less fun than the posts were supposed to be. So, rather than ruffle the wrong feathers and embroil myself in some stupid controversy (or worse), I'll keep strong opinions on various matters offline.
Besides ... I don't want to say something on here that could jeopardize any career in this country. That would be just stupid.
Naturally, there are more reasons that I don't really blog about things in Japan, such as the preference of Twitter for short Japan-specific blurts, but these are the main ones. Like I had said earlier, there will always be exceptions to the rule but, for the most part, my days of writing Japan-centric posts have come to an end. The Mrs. and I will be attending three or our festivals this year, and traveling to a prefecture just north of Chiba this year, so that will be good for at least half-a-dozen articles, though. So all is not lost.
I am curious, though ... has anyone else living away from home been asked this question? When a blogger runs out of material for a specific subject, is it not alright to discuss other points of interest? That's why blogs have categories, no? I'd love to know your thoughts.