Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon

Welcome 2010, Go Away 2009

Posted in Putting One Foot in Front of the Other by bourdaghs on the January 1st, 2010

Can a decade really have passed since we were all in a panic over Y2K? I remember the turn of the century well: we took our children (aged eight and three then) to a friend’s house in St. Paul to observe the moment with a massive balloon drop down the stairwell, after which we returned to my mother’s and roasted sausages and marshmallows over the fireplace into the wee hours. I was still teaching at UCLA, and we were preparing then to move to Japan the following March, when I began a year-long stint as a visiting research at Tohoku University.

What a decade it was: stolen elections, terrorist attacks, evil wars, brutal politics. Somehow, we survived. It was a tumultuous time personally, as well. I’ve just calculated that my family had seven different addresses over those ten years. That’s too much moving, no? My resolution for the new decade: stay away from moving trucks.

I begin 2010 with too many other resolutions to list here. One very small one: I’m going to spend some time tidying up my homepage (, so stop by there if you haven’t lately.

We greeted the arrival of the new year last night by watching the “Kohaku Utaggasen” musical spectacular on NHK. It was the sixtieth anniversary of the annual holiday show. Highlights included a very nervous-looking Susan Boyle, a reunited Alice, Mori Shin’ichi looking quite old but delivering a powerhouse performance, SMAP providing a tribute in dance to Michael Jackson, and of course Wada Akiko. There’s always Wada Akiko: a sign of hope, I think, that we’ll survive the next decade, too.

Thanks for visiting this blog in 2009, and best wishes to you in 2010. I hope you don’t have to move during the year.

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