Take me out to the ballgame

It is April now, which can only mean one thing: baseball season! Baseball is huge in Japan. The Japan pro league is really popular, but the frenzy over the game pales in comparison to the love that they have for the Japanese players that have made it to the MLB. Example: it’s quite common for people to ask us where we are from. We usually start with “America”. If there is still interest after that, they often ask which state. This generates a fair amount of confusion with the more familiar Washington, D.C., which usually results in an awkward interruption – “No, not that Washington, the other one tucked up in the corner… no? Oh.” One time I tried a new approach by responding, “Seattle?” A light bulb switched on and the person cried, “Ichiro!” (For those of you not in the know, Ichiro Suzuki is a famous Japanese baseball player that plays for the Seattle Mariners). Yes, Ichiro! I now go directly for that approach whenever I’m asked where I’m from, skipping right past country and state. “I’m from Seattle,” pause, “yes, same as Ichiro!”. I wonder what would happen if I claimed we were neighbors?
Continue reading