Updated: 6 days ago
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 is my daily recitation and reminder of personal objectives and principles used in pursuit of a purposeful life in spite of a universe of seeming indifference. Learn more about The Good Life at my website GoingAlone.org or by reading my book Going Alone.
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 34. The Principle of Fun
35. Being Ready
My name is Kurt Bell
Learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone
Be safe... But not too safe