What happens in Japan stays in Japan

The spirit of Halloween is upon us!


I’m sipping some tea this morning working through Brain Games Crime Scene Investigation puzzle book this morning. One of my coworkers who formally worked in the Air Force recommended it to me when I told her I enjoy Sudokus and word problems. She frequently shares with me stories of her adventures, murder cases, and criminal psychology. It’s been a sort of game between us as to who shares the next interesting case!

After talking with blogger lwbut about Japanese poetry, Japan was on my mind quite a bit. A week ago, I was intrigued by RayNotBradbury‘s post #coolprompts ‘Danjyo Kankei’ which explored various sociological aspects of Japanese relationships. I’ve blended three of her prompts to make a fictional piece.

4) You met an old friend, you haven’t seen him/her 10-15 years. She (or he) is living in Japan now. Describe your conversation.
5) You are Japanese maniac (psycho, murderer). What are you planning and why?
6) Haiku, Senryu

It was difficult to imagine stepping into the shoes of a Japanese maniac like they do on the TV show Criminal Minds, so I kept it in third person.  🙂


A middle age man snored loudly next to me as I was finishing a Japanese horror movie marathon while chowing down on some Haagen Dazs ice cream. Travelling for 13 hours in economy class is not easy but I was grateful that at least I wasn’t alone while watching “Ju-On: The Grudge”. Its description intrigued me: “Ju-On: The Grudge revolves around the ghosts of a woman and her son who were killed by their husband/father. Having died with a grudge in their hearts, they haunt and kill all who come in contact with their house.” I briefly look out the window of the airplane and enjoyed the brilliant view of Mount Fuji as we sped along the layers of clouds.

When my former roommates found out that they could retire in Japan, they were thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. I stayed behind in the states to complete my schooling, and saved up for a trip to visit them. I missed them terribly as they were like family to me, but I was happy that they could enjoy such a beautiful retirement.

When I arrived at the airport, I saw a large crowd of people waiting for their loved ones with balloons and flowers. I could not miss a neon hot pink poster board being waved around in the far back with the words scribbled in large block letters:


I heard someone calling out my name. I bulldozed my way through the crowd as best I could with my petite frame and headed towards the back. Sangel elbowed Anya and pointed at me ecstatically, “There’s Sa!!” The sight of the pair of them brought tears to my eyes. Sangel wore a Hawaiian shirt that featured koi fish swimming around in a pond, and Anya wore a flowing silky dress featuring various cherry blossoms. I gave them a hug and stopped when I noticed a parrot perched on Anya’s shoulder. It suddenly squawked a haiku at me!

Ara Macao Parrot: Public Domain Pictures

Welcome to Japan!
Hope you enjoy the beauty!
Have a peaceful stay!

“Did you train your parrot to recite haikus, Anya? ” I cried in laughter at this marvelous red bird with vibrant blue, yellow, and green feathers that was now bobbing its head up and down affirming that she did.

Anya’s blue eyes twinkled behind her gold frames as she gave me a warm smile, “Konbanwa, Sa! Meet Roy named after father who recently passed away. After I taught it some tricks, Roy became a bit conceited. Dad would have gotten a kick out of this. He did say to pay attention to what you can learn from the Asian culture. 😉 I taught myself a little bit of Japanese too, but just enough to get by. Someone else wants to say hello to you…” Sangel whipped out a Hello Kitty stuffed toy behind his back.

Let me tell you… after watching 13 hours of horror movies, Hello Kitty holding a cheeseburger is a sight for sore eyes! Always having food on his mind like a Snorlax Pokemon, Sangel said, “Why don’t we all go out to eat?”


While walking down the streets , I heard a girl screaming frantically as she ran off to join a dance group. Alarmed, I was distracted by a sudden blast of music comes from a surrounding series of speakers.

A group of girls huddled together and began to dance to the song of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I never seen a Yasakoi dance flash mob in person before. Seeing the hair fly around as they danced in synchronized fashion made for a dynamic experience.

yasakoi group
Yasakoi group

After the Yasakoi group finished dancing, we found a sushi and hibachi restaurant. We took our seats around a chef who was handling a large flame. Anya began to draw a few Japanese characters on a napkin and passed it along to me.

Shō o o tanoshimi kudasai?

Enjoy the show?

 I nodded as I watched the chef entertained the guests with the flames around the table.

Hibachi at Benihana

For some customers, the novelty of the fire show has worn off long ago, and they huddled together in a corner watching TV. There was an anchorwoman reporting something on the news. An image of a forest with the caption Aokigahara showed up on screen.
Sangel saw me looking at the screen and spoke up after he finished chewing, “The Aokigahara forest is also known as the Suicide Forest northwest of Mount Fuji. Some people think the forest is haunted by the dead spirits.

It is rumored around town that there is murderer who is hunting down unsuspecting hikers who want to get a better view of Fuji for sport. Our neighbors think the murderer is addicted to getting an adrenaline rush from this recreational activity.

Their deaths are reported as suicide by the forest police station when their bodies are found. Cell phones don’t work out there, and victims have no way of calling for help. Whoever is doing this is covering his/her tracks really well and found the perfect cover until he/she killed two undercover police officers.”


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed it, especially getting to read a bit of Japanese culture which truly fascinates me.❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Reading her post and gaining insight into Japanese relationships really opened my eyes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bet, my husband and I both love many things about the jar culture and hope to visit Japan someday.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. theresaly520 says:

          I’m sure you and your husband would enjoy it! I hope you reach your travel goal some day!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Lwbut says:

    Wonderful to get more of a taste of Japanese custom – ありがとうSa 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow what a story!! 👏👏 enjoyed the meeting – a peaceful dining with maniac in the bushes (or forest)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thanks! Yes, there’s many things lurking in the shadows. Don’t walk by yourself! 🙂


  5. Japanese writing skills beyond my skills …so far lol 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      😀 Learning Japanese is not for the faint of heart! 😉


  6. And thank you for participating! Love parrot – part 💙😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      It was a very educational experience! After reading some of Natsume Sōseki’s works, I was always curious about the culture. I learned a lot and had fun too! 🙂


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