Outside of the train station, forehead dripping sweat, I felt a severe appreciation for the inventor of deodorant. I had spent my entire life in the
It was the summer of 2006, and I was visiting my childhood friend, Risa. Many years earlier, Risa and her family has been sent to the
Early in the morning, Risa and I walked to the local train station and took a train to Grandberry Mall. Once at the “mall,” I was shocked. The stores were arranged like a stacked strip mall, side by side, one on top of the other. Many of the businesses’ names were recognizable; Gap and Cold Stone triumphantly greeted me in all their American glamour. A large English sign guided shoppers toward The Outback Steakhouse. People bustled around, chatting and carrying shopping bags, and I felt as if I was still in
Later that day, in the blessed confines of Risa’s air conditioned guest room, I reflected on Grandberry Mall’s strong American flavor. I had expected something exotic and distinctly Japanese and was grimly disappointed. During my trip, I would visit more foreign locations such as beautiful history-laden Buddhist shrines and quaint traditional restaurants serving bamboo. Still, I would witness many more examples of American infiltration of Japanese culture: McDonald’s on every corner, Aeropostle in
My trip to
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