From The Editor
From The Editor
Sitting in my house watching Japan upset Cameroon in their opening World Cup soccer match, I realize less than 48 hours earlier, I was cheering for the USA as they walked off the pitch with a tie against heavily favored England. My two “home teams,” both underdogs, were dong well, which got me thinking about home and being away.
Some people have happily stayed close to home their whole lives. Those of us living overseas have spent a significant time straddling continents and cultures. We’ve learned to feel at home and homesick all at once.
Recently our little neighborhood in Chigasaki lost what was a second home to many. Our friendly, neighborhood bar closed its doors. Bar Mambo was unique. Our copy editor Wayne brandishes his red pen whenever someone uses the word unique incorrectly in a sentence. Unique, he points out, literally means “one-of-a-kind.” You can’t have a unique sweater if Bob down in accounting has one too.
Bar Mambo was unique. It wasn’t just the ultra-eclectic décor, the equally eclectic regulars or the sounds of Pink Floyd, Rodrigo y Gabriela and other classic rock always playing. Or the half-moon stand-up bar that could fit about 10 people, but on any given Friday or Saturday night there could be two-to-three times that many. No, Comba-san and Kaori-san put a lot of love into their little corner place and that, after all, is what they say makes a house a home.
In its last week, Bar Mambo got more crowded each night. Two nights before closing, the police came by. Folks were pouring out onto the street. On the final night, the cops visited more often. There wasn’t any trouble; there were just too many people paying their last respects. People didn’t want to leave because they didn’t know where to go once the doors closed for the last time.
The next afternoon I rode by on my bike to find flowers and wreaths leaned on the door and walls outside as if someone had died. It was sad and beautiful.
As this issue hits the presses, Comba-san and Kaori-chan will be flying to Brazil to start a year-long world adventure. They showed us home can be anywhere you pour your heart into it. We hope you’ll enjoy the latest issue of OJ outside somewhere or in the comfort of your home - where ever that might be.
In our last issue the URL for InsideOut contributor Craig Yamashita’s graphic design company, (seewhy.jp) and his illustration studio (eurekastudio.jp) were incorrect. OJ regrets the error.
For Maki: ロドリーゴ・イ・ガブリエーラ