One More Thing I Kinda Miss About Japan

I interrupt my normal generally up-beat and silly postings for a rant that I’ll probably feel rather silly about posting in five minutes but that feels ever so good to get off my chest right now.

After a very short time in Tokyo, I figured out that there was an established protocol for which side you were supposed to pass on when you were approaching someone on the street or in a hallway.

For the record: you pass to your left. I’ve had a couple of different people tell me that this comes from pre-Meiji Japan and was designed to keep samurai from getting their swords tangled when they passed each other, and that’s as good an explanation as any.

Anyway, it prevents hallway dancing, for the most part, and I really wish it would take off in America because I work in an office with the world’s greatest hallway dancers. It’s like they have an eternal waltz going in their heads and they welcome any opportunity to sway rhythmically at someone who’s just trying to get into the men’s room.

For now, I think I’m just going to start walking straight ahead and people can learn to go either left or right as long as they move out of my way.


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