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☀️ The Good Life - 09/04/2023 - Foreign dad

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Yumiko and I enjoyed an interesting conversation yesterday about what it’s like to be a Japanese woman married to a non-Japanese man, living and raising a family in Japan. I asked her about this after I’d discovered a podcast by an American man and a British man living in Ishikawa, who discuss very openly together—over exotic beers—their lives as husbands, fathers and breadwinners in Japan. Yumiko offered a quite cautiously contextual response, as we explored together both hypothetical and actual scenarios grounded mostly in our own experiences as just such a couple.

I found myself considering the question from a strangely removed position, though I’d once lived just such a life. Even stranger still, I knew that nearly everything about the subject was, and will remain, now forever in the past; as I am largely removed from the role of “foreign dad” by virtue of this important job being now mostly done. Still, I recognized myself in the two young men discussing their family lives in Ishikawa. Even the tone of their voices was telling to me of my own, once lived life.

I don’t think I’ll ever know what it is like to be “foreign dad” again. Like I said, that job is largely done. But I’ll “feel” the role every time I see a mixed family in Japan (still a rare sight beyond the big city) and I’ll remember the way it was to live that life through my 30s and 40s before I left Japan and became an “American dad”—for lack of a better term. But, that’s exactly what it was like when I brought my family “home” to America—when I stopped being “papa” or “otousan” and simply became good ol’ “dad”.

Now, as we prepare to go back to Japan, I think I will never again be “papa” or “otousan” and will always just be “dad”. I’ll be an American dad for the rest of my life, which is fine, and great, and something I really like. But, I know I’ll also sometimes miss being that other form of dad—the foreign dad, a man now of far and fading memory.


The Good Life Meditation serves as a daily compass, orienting me towards personal objectives and principles essential for a purposeful existence within an indifferent universe. Further your understanding of The Good Life by visiting my website,, or delve into my book Going Alone—hardcover recommended. Get a signed copy here. 📚✍️

🎯 OBJECTIVES: 1. Be Always Ready to Die ☠️ 2. Make Good Use of Time and Resources ⏳🛠️ 3. Develop Good and Sound Life Principles 📜🦉 4. Cultivate Good Emotional Reactions 😌💡 5. Perform Good Actions 🤝✅ 6. Recognize True Limits and Opportunity 🚪🔍 7. One Thing Slowly 🐢🧘‍♂️

8. Maintain Balance ⚖️

📜 PRINCIPLES: 1. Principle of War ⚔️ 2. Principle of Reason 🧠 3. Homunculus 👤 4. Anchorhold ⚓ 5. Home of Good and Evil 😇😈 6. Principle of Purpose 🎯 7. Atomic Principle ⚛️ 8. Principle of Nature 🌳 9. The Pirate Ride 🏴‍☠️ 10. Principle of Maturity 🌱➡️🌳 11. Social Principle 🤝

12. Principle of Family 👨‍👩‍👧 13. Public Speaking 🗣️ 14. Temperance 🍷➡️💧 15. Life Will Not Go Well ⛈️ 16. The Horror Show 🎭😱 17. That Which Must Be Borne 🎒 18. The Feast of Offal 🗑️🍽️ 19. Distraction 📵 20. Agency and The Great Indifference ⚙️🌌 21. The Best Seat in the House 🛋️ 22. The Restless Man 👣 23. The Path of Wildness 🌲🛤️ 24. The Great Life Adventure 🗺️ 25. The Risk of Avoiding Risk 🎲 26. Sin and Damnation 😈🔥 27. Complete Oblivion 🕳️ 28. The Season of Philosophy 📚

29. Scriptwriting 🖋️📜 30. Bullseye Aim 🎯 31. The Uphill Climb ⛰️ 32. Arena and Utility 🏟️🔧 33. Nothing IS enough 0️⃣ 34. The Principle of Fun 🎉

35. Being Ready 🚀

🌄📚🚶‍♂️ Kurt Bell is a passionate explorer, dedicated family man, and author of books such as "Going Alone" and "No More Looking Out For Number One." Born in America in 1964, he integrates Stoic philosophy into his physical and philosophical journeys. Today's venture on The Path of Wildness embodies this harmonious blend of exploration and mindful living. While Kurt savors these moments and looks forward to future adventures, he remains ever prepared for life's end, ready to depart without a single backwards glance.

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My name is Kurt Bell

Learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone

Be safe... But not too safe.

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