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Farewell Smash

So, this is the end of Gaijin Smash.

But wait, hold your horses!  I’m not retiring…yet.  I do feel older.  I see the kids with their Facebook and their Lady Gaga and iPhones, and I think back on the good ‘ol days when, if we wanted to talk to people, we actually went to their house.  We listened to good music like Boyz II Men, and Steve Jobs wasn’t preparing to become our new evil overlord (quite the opposite, actually…).

But for reasons, many of which are beyond my control, I have to change the name of this site.

But wait… many of you are undoubtedly saying…you’re still alive?

First off, obviously yes I am still alive.  Last update in…December?  Wow, that’s half a year ago!  Doesn’t even feel like it.

So lots of things have gone down between December and now that have kept me busy.  I went back to America for Christmas (1st time in 6 years), I dove even further into the Japanese salaryman world, then I changed jobs/careers.  I’ve been sick, injured, and a wonderful combination of both.

On the technological forefront, as most of you know the Rudius Media network went down in a fiery ball of flames.  I planned to move Gaijin Smash back to my Outpost Nine site/server.  But then my server went through an update, and in the process there are now monthly bandwidth limits.  Outpost Nine tended to hit that limit around the mid-way part of the month.  So for half the time I couldn’t even access my own site.

Then the gaijinsmash.net domain actually expired.  I had been trying to gain possession of it, but its still under the control of RM and there isn’t anything I can do about it without their help.  I have been contacting people on their end but they haven’t been getting back to me.  And now it looks like a German blogger has gained control of the gaijinsmash.net domain.  This is a good opportunity for me to just change the name of the site and get my own domain for it.  I actually never was a huge fan of “Gaijin Smash”.  A lot of people misinterpreted it as me, and many other foreigners, just bulldozing our way through Japanese culture.  And while that does happen, I personally feel like I’ve come way past that stage.  Don’t get me wrong, being a large black man still has a huge impact on Japanese people, but I don’t really feel like I’m smashing anything these days.

Plus, I feel that the focus of this blog (yes, I will actually call it a blog now) is going to change.  When I started it, it was a nice outlet for me to air my grevances and surprises about how different and quirky Japanese culture can be at times.  I just can’t do that anymore.  I’ve been here for almost 7 years now, and very few things surprise me anymore.  Now I’m just a guy who happens to live here.  Granted, some things that happened in the past are still fairly jaw-dropping, but those incidents are now few and far between, and I don’t feel like making a big deal out of the few that do happen anymore.

So it feels like a good time to refocus things a bit.  Stop trying to be fish-out-of-water Gaijin and just write about the stuff I want to, even if its not off the wall or eyebrow bending.  That, and I can’t make blog posts in German.  I could try, but I’d probably end up offending at least 32 UN countries.  I’d like to keep my “Countries I’ve Offended” list in the single digits if possible.  Makes obtaining visas a bit more easier.

Of course, I Am a Japanese School Teacher/Gaijin Smash will live on in the archive.  That off-the-wall nonsense will never stop being crazy.  Although I kinda understand now all the critics I had back then.  I read through the old posts and I think “Wow, there’s no way this nonsense actually happened!” despite me being the guy it actually happened to.  Truth really is stranger than fiction.

So, thanks to all who enjoyed the stories.  I had fun writing them, and it helped me keep my sanity even when everything else seemed completely insane.  I think one of the greatest compliments a writer can get is to just have people want to read what you write.  I had a lot of readers, and that meant a lot to me.

…But enough of that sentimental crap.  Farewell, Gaijin Smash.

Hope to see you over at the new site, Gaijin Chronicles!

Categories: Gaijin Smash
  1. Matt
    September 22, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Glad to see you’re still in action, Az. Gaijin Smash helped me get through a lot of hard times while I was preparing for and working in Japan with the JET programme, and looking back on those experiences over the years since has been a great way to keep jolly. So, thanks for all your work!

    In a related note, I do actually have to ask you for a small favour. Some of the comments I left in the past addressed topics which schoolboards here in Canada may find inappropriate, and as I’m sure you know, every employer on the planet googles you before they’ll hire you these days. It would be handy for me if those comments could be removed or have the name changed on them, but I can’t seem to do it from my end.

    If you’d be willing to help me with this I’d appreciate it. If not, c’est la vie, right?

    All the best,

  2. Trym
    September 27, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I’ve been reading Gaijin Smash all day (instead of doing my homework), and it really has been a wonderful experience. It greatly reminded me of my year in Japan (exchange year through AFS), and it was funny and sad in a sort of melancholic way. I too, reacted very strongly to the “hancho”; I couldn’t believe what those kids where doing!

    Anyway, I digress. I found Gaijin Smash and Gaijin Chronicles as I was filtering my internets for information on how to become an english teacher in Japan. I also found the JET Programme (which Matt mentions), and I was wondering: How did you get to be a teacher in the land of the rising sun?

    And to Matt:
    How did you acquire a work-permit, and what is the JET Programme like?
    I want as much information as possible; I really would like to apply next year!

    Thanks a lot, guys. I’ll be following the site :]

  3. Dave T
    November 24, 2010 at 3:41 am

    So glad to see you are still blogging. Was a regular (silent) reader of gaijinsmash for several years, then suddenly you were gone. Tried the link periodically in my bookmarks but no luck. Then today after months decided to google….and found you had moved over here. Just read the background so I understand why now. Anyway. Glad to have found your new blog, and from a very long-time reader, I want to send you the very best wishes (and huge congratulations to your wife) on becoming parents!

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