Nasal Enema

Here’s something I didn’t expect to see on my morning commute. A train poster promoting the latest in nasal enema technology.

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The Land of Fandangle

Building codes in Osaka only cover the structural components of a structure. In terms of the decorative elements, it’s a literal free-for-all.

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Sea Level Sigil

5 years on, and the biggest change since the devastating tsunami is the proliferation of signage indicating your current position in regards to the sea. My neighborhood stands a whopping 1.5 meters above sea level, and for you metrically-challenged folk, that’s around 5 feet.

Do I have reason to fear? Perhaps, if history were to repeat itself. Back in the year 887, a powerful earthquake struck the Nankai trough, triggering a devastating tsunami that wiped out most of Osaka city. The Nankai fault line has been eerily quiet since then, so experts fear that another disturbance in the seismic force may be on the way, and if it comes then not even Luke Skywalker can save us.

Fortunately I live on the 8th floor, so if the tsunami does come-a-knockin’, I should at least have time to call my parents and perhaps send a text message or two before the waves takeĀ out the internet. Still, I suppose there are other things to worry about besides a catastrophic flood. Just the other day, police released stats indicating that Osaka is home to rampant cyclists with a complete disregard for traffic laws. Like we needed a government study to tell us that!

So on the anniversary of the great quake and tsunami, as I bow my head to the sea and observe a moment of silence for those who lost their lives and livelihoods, I wonder about all of those sea level signs plastered around a town. A vigil for the sigil if you will.

Koza station in Wakayama - a luxurious 4.9 meters above sea level

Koza station in Wakayama – a luxurious 4.9 meters above sea level