JT Community Page 10th Anniversary: Write a Haiku, win a copy of Debito’s HANDBOOK


IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

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Hi Blog. As I wrote last week, next week heralds a celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Japan Times’ Tuesday Community Page. As I’ve written about 100 articles and JBC columns for it so far, I’ll be doing double duty next week with two articles, one in commemoration, and one a regular JBC column (more on the topic shortly before publication).

This week, however, in anticipation, the JT announced that it would be offering FIVE free copies of Akira Higuchi and Arudou Debito’s bilingual HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS (more on it here), which has been a solid and steady seller, what with all the information about getting the right visa, getting a steady job, getting settled for a permanent life in Japan, and dealing with problems and issues that may come up. Table of Contents and reviews here.

That’s right, five free copies of HANDBOOK, and all you have to do is write a Haiku in English about Japan — “the good, the bad and the ugly”. Some examples (there are many more at the link) by Zeit Gist contributor Colin Jones this week include:


Random card checking
Fingerprints at the airport
Yokoso Japan!

Non-Japanese folk
Have constitutional rights
Except when they don’t

Barred from the hot springs
for invisible tattoo
It says “foreigner”

Now, those are my kinda Haiku. And no doubt we’ll have some anti-Debito ones too (taste the irony of being rewarded by the very person you’re dissing!). Go for it!  Submit via:


Happy Anniversary, Community Page!  Arudou Debito

18 comments on “JT Community Page 10th Anniversary: Write a Haiku, win a copy of Debito’s HANDBOOK

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Debito,

    Those haiku don’t even include a season reference word!

    We Japanese (that’s me AND Donald Keene) are not amused by the lack of respect NJ have for Japanese ancient culture!

  • Bicycle checkpoint
    “I have saved you the receipt”
    A foggy Sunday

    After seven springs
    “Sir, where did you get this bike?”
    Even in Tokyo

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Ahh, I can’t express my J-heart in English haiku, but my favorite Kipling poem always reminds me of the Japanese attitude to NJ;

    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
    But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,

  • Speaking of Kipling:

    “If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you”

    is now my official motto.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @Becky #13

    That is a great poem with so many inadvertent allusions to Japan. For example;

    But make allowance for their doubting too; (one for the ‘flyjin’ haters),

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, (one for the stalker site),

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; (a lesson there for the J-gov),

    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; (one for all the Japanese who can’t answer a straight ‘yes/no’ question without ‘ehhh…to’ing for 15 mins first).

    I could go on, but my favorite line is;

    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

    And that’s the standard by which I judge my achievements, not by how much money I earn, or the size of my house.

  • Sylvian Japan says:

    Blatant Japan (the band) rip off so no prize but anyway…

    Tokyo life is cruel
    It seems so artificial
    So why should I care?

    Written in 1979…..Ahead of their time.


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