The following conversation took place in a café in Yokohama between myself and a private student. We were discussing editing and translating “Hi! My Name is Loco…” for a Japanese audience.
Student: Japanese like to read about Gaijin thoughts and opinions of Japan and Japanese. It’s very interesting to us.
Me: I see. Well, I’m sure there’s a lot in the book that will hold their interest.
Student: Some things may be too… chotto…
Me: Really? Like what?
Student: Of course the writings about the empty seat are very powerful, and most people will be interested to read that.
Me: What about the stuff in the Gaijin bar?
Student: There you may need to edit…just a little modification.
Me: Why? If Japanese are interested in Gaijin thoughts and feelings, I fill that chapter with mine.
Student: Yes but many Japanese do not approve of that kind of thing. Of course some women go to Gaijin bars…
Me: To meet foreigners…
Student: Yes, to meet foreigners. But many women will never do that.
Me: Well, it’s an experience that many if not most foreigners here in Japan can identify with. Particularly the men. All I’ve done is tell the inside story. My take on what’s really going on in the hearts and minds of these people. You don’t think Japanese would appreciate that kind of insight?
Student: Chotto dake…just modify it a little …
Me: …So, you think I will definitely have to hire a Japanese editor?
Student: Probably. There are several areas in the book that Japanese may not like.
Me: Well you’ve read it…right?
Student: It’s very difficult to read but I got as far as the ice cream guy.
Me: Ice cream guy? Oh yeah, you mean the guy who…oh Fuck Me! It’s you!
Me: You’re the ice cream guy! You’re in my book! Do you remember that conversation?
Student: Of course.
Me: We were sitting right over there!
Student: I remember it well…
Me: Wow… (shaking my head)
Me: Sometimes I forget how real this shit is!
PS: If you haven’t read Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist yet, and don’t know who the ice cream guy is, what are you waiting for? A personal invitation? Check it out! It’s available in paperback and E-book version here.