Tumbleweeds

Featured in

  • Published 20061205
  • ISBN: 9780733319396
  • Extent: 266 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IT WAS SOON after I arrived in Japan that I met the sexpats. The long-term sex holidaymakers. You know the type. Asia is full of them – Japan especially, though it’s a little harder to find obliging children there, in the second biggest economy in the world, the inventors of Hello Kitty, breast-enlarging gum, death from overwork, love hotels and karaoke. What an astonishing place. A living, breathing patriarchy. Rape isn’t reported. There are women-only carriages on the trains to fend off the gropers. I saw a woman groped in a unisex carriage – a brief gasp as her shoulders stiffen, as she endures. Is it any wonder that Japan attracts refugees, white men fleeing from feminism? When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Rome, do the Romans.

I’ve been back five months, but Japan still comes back to me in flashes overlaid on my normal reality. Here, a cheap red-brick share house, the smell of frying onions, my mid-twenties search for direction; there, a dreamscape shot through with a startling intensity of being. When I was in Japan I felt I was floating, but now that I’m back it feels much, much more real than here.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

Adapting for hope

GR OnlineTHERE IS A single large tree on the wind-whipped salt-lake flats, the most marginal of marginal land. There are rivals – low scrub across...

More from this edition

A perverse appeal

EssayI WAS AN accidental tourist. I travelled to Japan to see my daughter, Nora, who – like many young Australians – financed her travels...

Fear in Havana

Memoir"SIR, OPEN YOUR bags, please." My father lifts his enormous suitcases up on to the counter and unzips them. The customs official's eyes widen."What's all...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.