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August 05, 2006


Steve Harrison

At risk of seeming like yet another idiot pointing and shouting "oh so crazy! Japan!"...well..damn.

Of all the things I've learned about Japan over the years, that seriously takes the cake. And the illo of the (happy?) squid riding horses...

I try to imagine something similar here in the US..say racing chickens, with on site killing, cleaning and cooking...nope. Never happen.


What's even more impressive is that track they race in. It's looks like a lot of time and thought went into it's construction. For racing squid. Keep 'em coming, Matty...this is the kind of stuff I love about Japan, that you can't get on a one week trip!


Wonderful story. Please advance to Go and collect 200 yen (ok, make that 20,000 yen) for using "terrorist cephalopods" in a sentence. The tale reminds me of a wild boar park on the Izu Peninsula where one can watch a wild boar circus, and then, natch, have wild boar stew for lunch.




Damn. I find this completely depressing.


The Izu park sounds wild. Here's to hoping the Japanese don't try the same approach with their monkey parks...

Joseph Luster

Yog will not be pleased if you didn't even name your squid before it croaked!

Rog, Monster From Jersey

"Chewing thoughtfully on the waxy strips of my once-proud steed's flesh, I ponder a parallel universe where Kentucky Derby winners are grilled and served with a nice salad and a side of fries."

Hey, you never know where that basashi we ate came from. Could have been one of Secretariat's descendants.

I think your squid didn't do well because instead of getting a racing thoroughbread, they accidentally gave you one that was headed for Squid Thunderdome. Twenty tentacles enter, ten tentacles leave.


Love the piece. Your very vivid writing style had me literally smelling the aromas of a fish market. Seriously, I can smell it as I type. And I don't have any weird infections, as far as I know.

I just read The Japan Times Online interview where you complained that Japan seems wacky because the media shows things out of context. C'mon Matt, there's no context that would make squid jockeying un-wacky.

Along those same lines, a friend just told me about Yaoi (sp?) culture. I can't imagine that happening anywhere but Japan. In fact, I can't even imagine it happening in Japan. But hey, no judgments from me. Seems like good clean PG13 fun.

Finally, good job on CNN and CBS. Seriously, you looked like a seasoned on-air journalist or consultant. I'm a news junkie, and I have to say that you ranked among the best. There were no uh's and um's, or awkward pauses, yet I didn't see you reading off a script. The comments were insightful and engaging. A highlight was your response to Erica Hill pointing out that the nuclear plants were safe, effectively saying that you were wrong (well, not really). You took that fact and used it to make another important point: that it was tough getting info, so news updates like that were helpful.

I was so impressed that I'll fire off emails to CNN and CBS, suggesting that you become a permanent on-air contributor.


I forgot to add: This blog entry deserves accompanying videos. The photos simply weren't adequate. You should seriously consider setting up a YouTube channel. And do a vlog. As I said above, you have good camera presence and a nice clear voice.

speaking of videos... since you may not get CBS or CNN in Japan, I can email you videos of your appearances if you want. Lemme know if you want them, but no need to write if you don't.

My email (in reverse to foil spammers):

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