Japan is officially my home no longer. At least, not on paper. Today I had the displeasure of going to the Ward Office to submit my notice of moving out, turn over my health care and generally struggle to understand what the heck I was doing to say ‘sayonara‘ legally. And you know, I still don’t know if I did it. Otou-san very kindly drove me over there (I don’t think I would’ve found it on my own, honestly) and much to my surprise, actually came in with me to figure everything out. Which was honestly a huge sense of deja vu right back to when I first came here and announced myself as a resident; the official people used big fast words I didn’t understand, my Japanese escort-now-father as a semi-understandable intermediary, and me in the middle throwing up my hands at the foreign mess in front of me. Ahhh, the wonders of legal crap in another country. As I said, I don’t actually know how it all went since we had the same system of semi-understanding happening as when I came, but otou-san thinks I’m in the clear and I don’t understand enough to argue. If anything I’m out of health insurance – wahoo.
We came home and I proceeded to nap before we all gathered for dinner, where I got to try fugu (blowfish) for the first time! I tried it as sashimi, the skin and cooked with nabe, and all varieties were tasty. Of course, okaa-san took care to remind me in the middle of dinner that ‘not often, but sometimes, people die when they eat this Liz’ before just going back to eating. Yes, if it’s improperly prepped it’s poisonous and a bad idea to eat. No, I did not need your charmingly-you style reminder that this could end me. I’m obviously fine, but I’m just so entertained (and slightly off-put) when she does this. Keep on bombin’-on okaa-san.
The night ended with us watching the final performance of the famous Japanese group SMAP, who gave their last show in Tokyo tonight and has generally been causing a big stir since the announcement. I didn’t grow up with them due to both age and cultural differences, but watching the video montage from their early days til now along with okaa-san’s commentary made it nostalgic for me to see the end of their time. The lead singer was also a teary mess, which seems to be rare for Japanese media, so that was a big event. I don’t have much to say about the group since I don’t know much, but they did perform with Michael Jackson, which is pretty rad. You can check out their breakout song here – it’s really catch even if you don’t know Japanese.
Last bit of news, mainly for me to remember, is that George Michael died today at 53. God I was so sad to see that scrolling through my newsfeed. From “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to “Careless Whisper” to “Faith“, the man was a beauty in music and the world. He also came out as gay 2 years after I was born and has been a musical/gay symbol in the background for me for a while. Rest in peace you lovely soul, and know that the world will miss you.