Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

High town, low town

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The modernity as well as the occasional indifference to change in Japan bookmarked my week, with both moments anchored in the countryside about one hour from Tokyo.

On Monday in a rice field converted into a school parking lot, a 6-year-old, Boston Red Sox cap-wearing Japanese youngster stormed my way. We had chatted in the past, although our last conversation consisted of “Chase me!”

BASEBALL/Today it was all business: “The Red Sox came in second, but Daisuke Matuszaka didn’t pitch for them in the play-offs,” he said, adding that Dice-K had hurt his arm during the regular season.

“Yes, they lost before he had his chance,” I said. “The Red Sox actually have four Japanese pitchers.”

Rice, frogs and trade dilemmas

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The blue sky and white clouds bounce off the surface of the water in the paddy as I trundle up and down on the rice-planting tractor, sending frogs leaping and splashing away in all directions.

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I’ve been coming to my wife’s family farm north of Tokyo to help with the rice planting and harvesting for seven or eight years now.

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