Thousands of Miles from Home


An Explosive End to My Japanese Judo Career

A week before coming to Japan, I sprained my ankle in a freak gasoline-fight accident (otherwise known as a rock climbing foax pas). It wasn’t much of a pain, but it did keep me from sitting in seiza style for a couple of weeks. Japan being the land of coincidences, it is only appropriate that I therefore sprain my ankle on the way out of the country, which is exactly what I did in a high stakes Judo match with the heaviest kid in my class.

Japanese people being quite reactionary and cautious, after I heard my ankle pop under the weight of Okugami-kun, I was shuttled out of the Judo arena on a small stretcher to be taken immediately to a hospital for processing and diagnosis. The doctor, who reminded me far too much of my father (less than a week, Dad!), bent my foot in a number of ways and examined various x-ray slides before determining I had incurred only slight injury to one of my ligaments/tendons/I didn’t pay enough attention in Human Phys class. In the end I was able to walk out of the hospital on my own accord which was a major relief. Now it’ll be a few days of rest, ice, compression, and elevation while my ankle puts itself back together.

In the meantime, I’ll post pictures of Tottori weekend for your viewing pleasure. When I arrived at the beach party, I was immediately recognized by a group of Tsuyama JETs, and continued to meet just about everyone I have ever known from the Chugoku region of Japan over the course of the next two days. Micah came all the way from Shikoku for the event, and I finally got a chance to meet Carter’s girlfriend Ting. The three of us represented the Rotary Exchange faction well from among the throngs of JETs and Japanese.

Final preparations are being made, and the countdown begins.


  • Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Michael Palin ... are wonderful travel writers, but honestly, your descriptions are equally fascinating. Enjoy your countdown!

    By Bibi Blogsberg, at 5:31 AM  

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