Nihonjin nanoni?

Do you think I am a westerner Japanese who is much different to a majority of Japanese? Or am I just too unique in the entire globe?


I had been said ‘you are so unique and I will never meet any person like you’ twice. And others might think too but have never told me. But I won’t be sad with this kind of comment. I am happy to be in the Footy Almanac family.


Let me tell you what happened today in Arashiyama, the western suburb of Kyoto.


In the town centre, a young Australian woman asked me the direction to the famous bamboo forest in the Japanese language. I answered in English. Then she pointed my St Kilda cap and asked me if it was an AFL one or not. I answered yes, indeed.


She told me she was from Sydney so she didn’t watch footy much, but her family followed footy as they were from Melbourne. Her grandpa is a Sainter while her dad supports Collingwood. Then she couldn’t remembered who her mum went for. I said ‘there are so many teams in Melbourne. Let me to call all Victorian clubs’.


I started with St Kilda, but obviously it was not the answer. My second try was Carlton and I got it! Then I was surprised her parents supported big rivals each other. I told her their clubs were big rivals and her mum’s Blues and Essendon were arch rivals as they share the most premierships in the league (16 flags each).


She said ‘you know AFL more than me’. Her response was what I had heard times so usual.

But it was not the end. She said ‘nihonjin nanoni?’ that mean ‘even if you are Japanese?’

Oh my goodness. The response was unexpected but what she said was true. It was straightforward and too much for me. I started laughing and couldn’t stop laughing.

She was very surprised and asked me why I was laughing. I responded with a lot of laugh and in funny voices, ‘it’s so strange, isn’t it?’


What do you think of me not only being a passionate St Kilda supporter but also writing footy stories here?


I hope St Kilda club staff members know about this crazy Japanese guy (me) as well as my boys and coaches. At least Sam Gilbert and Josh Bruce who were guest speakers at Yvette’s Siren’s Call launch.


Don’t worry I don’t take her response as negative.


Before the funny talk, I helped an Australian couple taking pictures and they gave me positive feedback on talking photos. I told them that I should undertake a further education to be a good photographer and to be a good professional writer. And we talked about recent media.


As The Age newspaper lost great journalists, I hope there are good online news sites who offer feature articles in good qualities. Then I can write for them in the future. But as I said in the article in regarding with Connolly’s leave from The Age, I seem to need more skills to live in another country (the UK) and to achieve my career goals.


At current work (a Japanese restaurant), I expected to be a bilingual waiter, but am working in the kitchen more because I believe many customers (especially Japanese) are pleased to be served by young ladies even if they are less experienced. Sadly my talents and skills are killed. Or is it a sign I need more skills to live overseas?


But my passions of writing are alive!

Your thoughts please!


About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. bob.speechley says

    I like your story and the interaction with the Australian tourist about Footy. She was obviously very impressed with your knowledge and understanding of Aussie Rules but as a Sydneysider you’d have to appreciate more of the game than her. Your writing is excellent and if you continue in this vein it can only get better.



  2. G’day Bob,

    Thanks for your comment with warm words. I am happy you like my attitudes in writing and interacting with Australian tourists. Also your encouragement on writing is much appreciated.



  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Yoshi, we’re all unique, some more than most.
    2013 I quit a hateful govt job, a gardening colleague and great friend told me to “grasp the nettle” and work for myself. Satisfactorily self-employed since.
    Grasp the nettle.

  4. Good morning and thanks for your comment Earl!

    You were so brave to leave your hateful job and to set up your business. I hope your business is going well.

    Your great friend is right. When I was feeling down at old work due to poor work performances caused by overloaded, long working hours, too much required commitment and low wage, I started wanting to undertake a university/tertiary courses in journalism. Then I found a love. Now I am likely to do in England in the near future. My current priority is to be together with my English girlfriend, Katie. Then I will gain more knowledge of professional writing in English.

    I am sure I am more unique than majority of people, hahaha.



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