Over in Japan as an exchange student, a kid ticks off his host family to the point where they decide to make him feel more at home. With illustrations.


Story & Images by Joe Six-Pack

----Original Message Follows----
From: Chad Rivers <>
To: "Mike Davis" <>
Subject: The Chad Has Landed
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 18:18:33

Come in Denver... Come in Denver? Do you read me?

Mike! It's me! I made it all the way to Japan. Fourteen hours, and then we landed yesterday. Freaks me out to lose a whole day. I'm going to sleep for a year when I can finally get to bed. The family I'm staying with met me at the gate, they're the Hosogawa family, and I guess they're all right. They barely speak english, so there's not gonna be a lotta talking. It's gonna be like sign language until I leave in six months. At least they can't chew me out or anything. They live in the city of Kyoto, somewhere in the Kinki region (I'm not making this up) of the prefekshure (??) of Kyoto. Easy to remember.

The city is a college town, and has tons of people who aren't even Japanese here. It's like living in the UN building. Mr. Hosogawa teaches at Kyoto University, and his wife stays home all day. They have a daughter, Midori. She's hot. I mean, I like Asian chicks anyway, but this one is fucking hot shit. I guarantee that I'm boning her bigtime. But I'm probably gonna wait until I leave. If the family was pissed at me now, it would probably get me sent home pretty quick. But I do hear that the age of consent is THIRTEEN. And I thought I was going to have to lie. Nope, paradise for a fifteen year old.

And the girls are easily impressed here with us Americans. They just go nuts. They get this big, impressed look in their slanted eyes, and giggle at everything you say. And I KNOW they can't understand me. Fuck, man. I hope there's enough of me to go around. I still wanna see a geisha girl though.

I brought my digital camera, so I'll send you some shots of me around town. I've attached a pic of me at the airport. Write me, bro!


----Attachment: airport.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----
From: Chad Rivers <>
To: "Mike Davis" <>
Subject: In The Army Now
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 16:23:13

Well, this was my first day at school here in Kyoto, and I've never been in such a weird place. The whole school wears uniforms. And not like those uniforms in Eastridge or Washington Heights, these uniforms are like joining the Army. I'm not kidding. I got a picture of me in my uniform (attached). I look like I'm going to sea or something, and I have to comb my hair all neat and I have to clean all the lint off my clothes. (It would be an 'embarrassment to my family' if I had lint on me.) The cool part is the sailor uniforms the girls wear. Short skirts. We're talking short. It's like they're daring you to look at their panties. I mean, phew. You're missing out, bud.

The schools are STRICT. They don't allow talking in class. Period. Nothing. No whispering, eyes front, and you sit and still and don't move. There was this guy who did something or other that was against the rules and he had to go out in the hall and hold a sign up that read "Disrespectful" in the hallway for an hour. It really is like being in the Army.

Oh, by the way they lost my luggage. I got the clothes I was wearing off the plane and this uniform, so I'm gonna have to ask the Hosogawas for money to get some clothes. United says that my baggage is "off the grid" which means they have no idea where it is. Good thing I didn't pack anything expensive.

I'd ask my parents for help, but you know how it is with me and the old man. That's the only reason I took this student exchange thing. To get away from him for a few months.
Next time I go to a foreign country,

By the way, I should probably learn the language. I think they expected me to know a little when I got here.

Write me back!!!


PS attached is me in my uniform in front of the new school.

----Attachment: school.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Dull dull dull

Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:45:52

Just in case you didn't know it, I'm now Chad Hosogawa now. No, not really, but it feels like it. I don't know if I should be honored or not, but they treat me like a member of the family. Unfortunately that means life is just as dull as being in any ol' family. I have chores to do, and I have to help out with every "family" activity like cooking dinner or cleaning. So shoot me. I didn't come halfway across the world for this. Midori seems to sympathize, but she's too timid to say anything.

And I'm borrowing old clothes from Mr. Hosogawa. All he has are these old sweaters. (It's a lot colder here than you might think.) They suck. I really need my own clothes, these are crampin' my style. Besides, the probably have jap cooties on them.

We finally went out to do some sight seeing this weekend, but there isn't much to see around here. It's a lot of temples and stuff. No amusement parks or arcades. Maybe there's a mall around here, but I haven't found it yet. Sooooo dullllll. All I wanted to see was the geisha girls, but nooo.

What's happening back there in Denver? Tell me. I never thought I'd miss old Crestmont High, but I do now.

----Attachment: temple.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Re: Bored here too.

Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 16:12:33

On Wed, 22 Feb 2001 bigmike69 wrote:
> Really crying for you, Chad. It must be so
> tough surrounded by those hot Asian girls and
> living on somebody else's money. Yeah. Hope
> you feel better soon. Really.

Yeah, okay - I see your point. But I'm dying here. Midori did finally show me where they kept the video games. They have some sort of tricked-out playstation here that works on the internet, has a printer and a keyboard. That's what I've been using since I got here, but the video games were hidden away by the mother. She hates the noise, I guess. The games are insane, and I don't understand them at all. So I can't even have fun with those.

School is a total BORE. I don't understand a word, and the teachers all have a bug up their ass. The kids hang around me, but they don't talk. They just stare at me like a zoo animal. Haven't they ever seen am American before? I know I'm better looking than anyone over here, but please!

Oh, you've GOT to check me out in the latest picture. I'm still wearing Mr. Hosogawa's stuff (no word on my luggage yet), and he's got this one stupid sweater that just has the word "Milk" on it. That's it. No explanation. It just says milk. What an asshole! He actually bought this! There's a lot of stupid people wearing these dumb english language t-shirts with stuff like "100% Pure Lover" and "QP Not Dead" (?????) on them. They're either idiots or they have no idea how to read english. Anyway, it makes me look like a moron.

So this was the last straw. I had to lay the law down. Either they were going to buy me some clothes and treat me right, or I was going to the Student Exchange people and reporting them. And they're treating me like a slave with these chores! They wouldn't even let me see the geisha girls! I'm sure the Student Exchange people would love to know. Then Mr. Hosogawa got royally pissed at me. I might be home sooner than I thought.


----Attachment: milk.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Stylin!

Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 12:21:18

Okay, so Mr. Hosogawa was really pissed at me. He didn't even come home for a week or so. All I was told was that he was working through a problem at the university. I still don't know what he teaches. But eventually he showed up back at the house with a smile on his face, and gave me my very own debit card, with 100,000 yean on it ($1000 A-mer-i-can!) This rocks! I guess he's a lot richer than I thought. So now I can get whatever I want to wear.

He also gave me a video game to play that was in English, thank fucking God. I guess he's not such a bad guy after all. It's addictive, too. I was told it was to help learn the Japanese language and culture, but I'm not sure I believe that. It looks like a regular first-person shooter if you ask me. Whatever it's supposed to be, I can't stop playing it. It kicks ass all over Quake. It rules. You start out in this dungeon level, killing these mutants and... well, it's hard to describe.

Mr & Mrs. Hosogawa made it clear to me that they want me to think of myself as their own kid, and I should call them "otousan" and "okaasan" (it means father & mother, they said). Which is kinda creepy, but I guess it beats calling them "Hey, you!" all day long.

So check me out in my new stuff! It's top-of-the-line here in Japan, and I think it's helps me blend in a little better. I look more like the other guys my age here.

WRiTe mE!!! :/


----Attachment: stylin.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Getting the hang of it

Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 09:15:27

Howz it going with you, Mike? You need to write more, bud. The latest from here at the ol' ikka (home) is that I'm getting on a lot better with Otousan, Okaasan & Midori. I think they're finally adjusting to having an American in the house. It took a while, but I've broken them in.

Otousan gave me a box full of Oreo cookies to even further apologize for getting angry at me (These people take apology seriously) which is way cool because Oreos are my all-time fave. He made a big deal out of it, saying that they were special "American" cookies for "Americans only" to enjoy. He says I can have only two a day, because he doesn't want me to overdose. He is a weird one.

Then they told me that they've made reservations to show me a "very special evening" with a geisha girl! Is that cool, or what!? I can't wait. That's all I ever wanted to do on this trip, and my dream is coming true next week. I'll write you with every little detail. Dude, you are going to be so jealous.

Well, school has gotten a lot easier lately. Maybe it's just because I've been here for a month, but all of the sudden, the language is starting to make a little sense to me. I can actually kinda follow along sometimes, now. It's not like the grades matter much, but at least it makes the classes a lot less boring. And I can fake it through a conversation.

That video game I was talking to you about - it's called "absorption" or something like that (the title is in Japanese, natch). Look for it whenever it hits the shelves there in the USA. Because this thing is absolutely the best I've ever played. I finished the dungeon level, and I'm now in the second level, which is like a space fighter plane thing. It's really fun. You fight these other enemy ships, but in order to win, you have to use teamwork to fight with your squad and work together. You have to almost read each other's minds. The AI is incredible. You gotta get it.

So we went hiking in the woods here (there's a lot of it around here). And I had to go out and get a "hiking outfit." Midori likes to shop, so she picked out most of it. She's got pretty good taste. I think I look pretty good in this stuff.

Anyway, the hiking. There are some Buddhist statues and other religious junk out there to look at. I'm sure it means something to these people, but it's not much more than old rocks and crap to me. I guess it wasn't all that boring, but I was just about to get to the third level of "absorption" which it much more interesting.

I'll write you about the geisha. Should be cool. That's all I got.


PS here I am in the woods doing the lumberjack thing

----Attachment: woods.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Fucking Joke

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 22:56:31

I just got home. The geisha thing was just a big, fucking joke.
I'm all excited about going to the geisha place, and everyone makes a big deal out of it, and I'm just getting super hyped up and stuff. It's the one thing I wanted to do here. Then I get there, and what happens?


No I'm not fucking kidding. It was all a setup. They dressed me in a kimono, dyed my hair black and put white makeup on my face. Then they taught a tea ceremony and how to walk... I just nearly kicked some jap ass right there. ASSHOLES!!

I really shoulda done it, too. But I still have a long way to go here. So I just smiled and put up with their little game. Fuck fuck fuck.

Anyway, I'm just going to bed after I wash this all off. I'm really pissed right now. Sorry for the bad vibes, but I really could kill right now. Maybe I should just get the fuck outta here.


----Attachment: geisha.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Jokes for retards

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 16:21:33

Well, it was a rough day today. The whole geisha thing had me as mad as hell. But I guess I have to give the Hosogawas credit for showing some spine. I guess they aren't as polite and helpless as they sometimes appear. It was a classic joke, but it was way harsh. And I don't like being showed up by a bunch of stupid foreigners.

The worst part of it is my hair. I'm sending a pic and I think you will notice that my hair is still black. Whatever they used on my hair at the geisha house was potent stuff. I can't wash it out, and I really have tried. It took a long time to explain at school. The director even wanted to know what had happened. Great.

I also lost my only pair of jeans. I think somebody swiped them at the geisha house. Those things are pretty valuable here, and genuine American jeans probably go for a million dollars or something. They probably did the same with my lost luggage. God knows where that is.

Anyway, the weirdest thing happened last night. It's two in the morning, and I'm trying to get some sleep, when Mr. Hosogawa wakes me up and gives me two Oreo cookies. He tells me that I've forgotten to eat them today, which I guess is true, but he demands that I eat them right there in front of him. He's just freakin' insane. No other way to explain it.

Please write me when you have the chance.


----Attachment: hair.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Konnichiha!

Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:15:27

Greetings from the land of the rising sun! I have not heard from you in while, Mike. Have you forgotten about me? Personally, I feel like the USA is a million miles away. It's very much like immersing myself in a a different world on a faraway planet. I am trying very hard to fit in here. I feel that the more I try to adapt, the happier I can be.

School is out for the spring break and not a moment too soon. The family went swimming at the public pools here. They call it a puuru, which sounds like pool slurred I guess. Japanese isn't that hard. They make you take a bath before you can use the pool though, which is unusual. But it sort of makes sense, in a way.

I went out and got myself a new suit for swimming. Midori helped pick it out. She and I are becoming the best of friends. I know I really wanted to make a move on her when I got here, but now I think she's just not my type of girl. She's very beautiful, but maybe she's a little too girly for me. But we are doing a lot of stuff together and having a great time. it will be hard to leave.

I'm sending you a picture of me at the pool.

----Attachment: pool.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Re: Are you gay or what?

Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 18:22:36

On Wed, 7 May 2001 bigmike69 wrote:
> Man, I don't know about that suit. I think it looks
> pretty fucking gay. And your hair makes you look like
> Moe from the 3 stooges.

Well, maybe the suit would look a little strange back in the USA, but here it's not that unusual. I really think it helps me to think "Japanese" when I buy stuff to wear. Besides, jeans here are over 9000¥ (!) I can't afford that on my family's salary.

I don't like the hair at all. I hope I can get the dye washed out, but it's the strangest thing, it's thicker and darker now than it was last week. I tried very hard to wash it out, but it is difficult. Midori says she can help, or so she promises.

I have finally made it to the third level in Absorption, and now you need to enter the enemy castle by sneaking inside and pretending to be one of the soldiers. Once everyone believes you are one of them, you can the advance on to the next level. It is a taxing game, but very rewarding. I hope it is available soon there.

Today was the AOI Matsuri in Kyoto and it was a great time. It is one of the three biggest festivals in Kyoto, and it is elegant. They tell the tale of Genji, bringing it to life. Courtiers in colorful costumes carry the Saio-dai from Goshso Palace to Shimogamo Shrine and to Kamigamo Shrine. It like watching a painting of an imperial procession, and the Saio-dai she is so beautiful. And the festival is ended when hashiriuma is held. It is a very exciting festival. Hashiriuma is running horses.

Over in the carnival area, Midori and I played all the games we could find, but I was terrible. I was hoping I could demonstrate how athletic we are compared to the Japanese, but I was just off my game bigtime. Maybe I was sick. But I did win a stupid bear. That's the thing I'm holding in the picture. I tried to give it to Midori, (she calls it 'Kentaro') but she insists that I keep it. Just what I need.

We met a lot of our classmates there and we did everything together. It was weird because I was halfway through the day when I realized how good I was at speaking Japanese. I don't even really think about it anymore. I just speak it. Sometime I even think to myself in Japanese. This is great, because I can now talk to people and they can talk to me. It's funny how it just crept up on me all of the sudden.

What have you been doing lately? I think about America from time to time. What is happening there? Please write me.

----Attachment: aoimatsuri.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad Rivers <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Festival Over

Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 17:04:09

So the festival is over, and it was definitely the most fun I've had since I got here. Midori and I had a great time playing all the games, eating the food, watching the ceremonies and stuff. She even took me to her shrine where she prays. She taught me how to do all the ceremonies and stuff so I can do it when she's not with me, but there's not much of a chance of that happening.

There are also many street vendors selling things so I can get some more clothes. I'm sending you a picture of me in my new favorite t-shirt. Does it look to you like I'm losing weight? I think I am, but it's hard for me to tell. I know my clothes keep feeling larger on me. Maybe I need to eat more cookies. And my hair is getting out of control. Midori says she'll take care of it soon. I let Midori take care of a lot of things. She's very nice to me. I'd like to be a lot like her, I think.

----Attachment: tshirt.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Summer School

Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 11:16:12

I'm sending you a picture of me in the summer school uniform I've been assigned. I took it when we mopped the hallway after lunch. We have to do that every day, but since we do it together, it really doesn't feel like work.

The uniform is a lot like the last one I wore, except that this one has a tie and shorts. I thought that it looked ridiculous, but now that the temperature is rising, the shorts are a life saver. And besides, everyone else has to wear it, so why should I get special treatment? Every kid here wears shorts all the time. I've even got kinda used to it. Wearing pants just feels kinda inappropriate.

Midori's been able to get my hair a little closer back my original color by bleaching it. I gave up on trying to wash the black out. She's going to have to give it a few more treatments before it's back to my normal color though.

Really important: Otousan tells me that the ISP he uses is now blocking junk mail, and that messages from outside the ".jp" domain might not be getting through. So I can't use hotmail, and I can't receive ".com" mail. If you tried to write me, I may not have seen it. I'll just keep writing you to keep you updated.

----Attachment: newuni.jpg----

---Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Here I Am

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 14:41:59

Here I am! I apologize for not writing you more often, Mike. Life here has settled into a routine, and I am very busy with school and chores. Midori also keeps me busy, hanging around the stores and stuff.

I know you can't email me back, but I was hoping you could ask a doctor there about some problems I've been having lately, and snail-mail me back with answers. I've been feeling sore almost every morning the last two months, and it's not going away. I've got some swelling in places (chest, face and my butt) and I've been losing a lot of weight. Maybe you noticed in the photographs. I've been a little achy this week, and a little dizzy at times. I'm also having trouble going to the bathroom. My "thing" doesn't seem to work right anymore and it looks funny. Okaasan tells me that a little rest will fix any problems, so she has me home all week until I get over it. But I'm just home in my room by myself with nobody but Kentaro the bear to keep me company. I'm not really worried about my condition, but I'd like a real doctor's opinion anyway.

Midori is bringing me my schoolwork and she helps me through the parts I don't understand, and makes me feel better. It's like having a big sister. And it cheers me up to have her around.

So when I'm home all day, I just play Absorption until my thumbs fall off. After the last level where you infiltrate the castle, you've been captured. To eventually escape, you need to convince the enemy that you've turned traitor. Then you fight with them against your old squad. It's tough, because the old squad knows the way you think and you have to develop whole new habits and reactions to win.

Anyway, I thought I'd send you a picture of me, but all I'm doing is hanging around the house. But I did find this really cool sweater that has an english word on it. I thought you might like to see me in it. I think it brings me a little closer to the USA. :)

----Attachment: sweater.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Doing better

Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 20:12:37

I wanted to write you because I thought my last message might have frightened you a little. I am doing fine now, whatever it was that I had is gone and I feel as good as ever. It's summer now, and I have another break from school. Midori and I have so much planned I don't know where we'll find the time for it all. She and I are almost inseparable, and we do everything together. We have little nicknames. I call her "jisshi" and she calls me "shisutaabooi" (I don't know if it means anything).

We've spent most of our time at the malls. Do you know why I couldn't find them? They're underground! They build them underground so they don't destroy buildings or create an eyesore. Midori and I like to go to the fashion stores and try clothes on. It it something I never thought of as fun, but now I enjoy this very much.

I spend a lot of money because I have to keep buying new clothes. The old ones don't fit so well after I lost all the weight. I think I'm still losing more, but maybe that's because I don't eat all those fatty American foods now (except for my Oreos). I'm still having some problems with the swelling, but it doesn't ache anymore so I must be fine. But I have to dress carefully now, to cover the swelling in my chest and bottom, so I've got a lot of loose clothing. I don't want to look like a freak, after all.

Bad news. When I go back to school I will be moving down a grade, because my marks were so low. I am disappointed, but I think I will do much better and my family is very hopeful. My Japanese family that is. I will also be enrolling in cram school to help me. I do not want the Hosogawa family name to be disgraced any more by my poor showing in school. They have been very nice to me.

----Attachment: mall.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: I Love School

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 18:32:08

Hello Mike. I have not written you for so long and I am sorry. School has been very hard for me, but I am doing well now. When I first got to my new school I was given another new uniform to wear. I am the only one here who wears this type but I am told that it is because I am such a special student. It makes me proud to wear it. I am studying hard and going to cram school at night. It will help me on my exams which I would have failed if I had not decided to go to cram school. I have made many new friends too. And I am doing so good that my parents (Japanese parents) might take me to Tokyo soon!

Midori finally gave me another bleaching and now my hair is like I want it. I hated looking so ordinary with my black hair. But the dying only can do so much, and now it's kind of red in color. Midori says we can do another treatment, but it is dangerous and my hair might burn off! :<

I must tell you about this game I have found called "absorption." It is the best video game I think I have ever played. I started a new level today. After you have integrated yourself with the enemy in the last level you then find out that they were not the enemy after all. They are your friends and it the people you used to fight for that are the true enemy. So now you fight them.

I have a great new hobby. I collect tiny picture seals called purikura and put them in a book. I bring the book to school with me so I can compare collections with the other students. My collection is so small though. I must work harder to match the others. This girl Natsuki has over 11,000! I have only one hundred. She and her friends said they would help me. And I only just met them. They are very friendly. Everyone calls me by my nickname "shisutaabooi" like Midori does.

I am sorry you can not write me, but I hope you enjoy the pictures I send you. Do you show them to your American friends?

----Attachment: newschool.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Jeans found!

Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 20:14:51

Mike how are you? I am good. They found my jeans. I was so happy because they were one of the few things I had to remind me of USA. Mr. Hosogawa said that the geisha house accidentally lost them, and they apologized for the mistake. But I don't care because I have them back. They give me great comfort.

I am sending you a picture of me in my jeans. They fit like an old memory. That is my Kentaro with me. Kentaro is the name of my bear. I imagine Kentaro has a great many adventures and is always getting into mischief. He would tell me many stories if he could talk.

School is hard, but I am now at the top of my class. I am learning more and more every day and my instructors are amazed at how much I can remember. I guess I am just catching on because I don't feel all that smart. I won an essay tournament and was given a prize of a new pen & pencil set. The essay will be published in the newspaper.

Because I am doing so well, I also received good news today about our trip to Tokyo. I am going!! The whole family is to attend a convention that Midori visits every year and we will be there for three days. I wonder what the big city is like? I have seen pictures and met people from the city, and it looks like a magical place. Midori and I are already planning our days to the second and she says she has a big surprise for me when we get there. I will take many pictures and send them to you.

My six month stay here is over in a few days, but since I want to go to Tokyo, Otousan says I can stay extra days if I want to. I was very happy he thought it would be okay.

----Attachment: jeans.jpg---

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Tokyo bound

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 18:22:36

I finally finished the level of the game I am playing and advanced to the next-to-last level in the game. In the new level, you have been revealed as the lost princess and now you must learn how to be the best princess of your kingdom so that your kingdom will live in happiness. The game is called "absorption" if you can find it it is very fun. I only have one more level to go now.

Today Midori and I went to the shrine to pray and then to swim and cool off. The weather has been very hot here. It is over 35C! So we spend day at pool.

I was nervous about going because my swelling is still very bad and I am very thin. My old suit did not fit and at first I thought I could not go. Midori wanted me to wear her bikini bottoms, but I wanted boy bottoms. She said I was silly because there was nothing to see there anymore. But Midori had a suit I could use that was "boy cut" so it would be okay for me to wear. And I also wore a shirt that covered the chest so no one could see. Midori said I shouldn't worry about these silly things and just use her clothes. But I want to wear my clothes. She was also worried that the chemical in the water would hurt my hair so I wore a bathing cap to protect it.

It was fortunate for me that nobody seemed to notice my strange appearance. And even many of my old classmates recognized me so we talked for almost the whole day. I told them how well I was doing in my new class and they were very happy for me. One of them said that it was "what all arrogant americans deserve to be shisutaabooi" but I don't understand what he meant. Midori got angry at him and we had to leave. Sometimes I think she is a protecting me too much.

All my friends from the old class have grown so much. I used to be the tallest person in class but they are now taller than I am. I asked Midori about it but she said a good shisutaabooi would be just smaller than most people.

I was also told that I should ingratiate myself to Otousan and Okaasan and call them chichi and haha. They are funny names, and I can't help but giggle when I say them. Otousan and Okaasan are terms you use for people outside of your family, and Midori told me that I shouldn't think of myself as from another family anymore. So when I used the words at home, chichi hugged me and haha cried a little. But I still don't know why I needed to ingratiate myself, but Midori was very insistent. I think she has something planned.

----Attachment: swim.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Sakura to the rescue!

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 22:12:25

It is my first day in Tokyo and I am having so much fun. We took the bullet train and I met lots of people who were very nice. I met a boy who reminded me of someone I once knew. It was strange to think that since he was American. I tried to offer him some of my special american Oreos but Chichi stopped me. I had to apologize to both of them for my transgression. The boy didn't want the cookies anyway, because he said they smelled like medicine.

When we got to the hotel, Midori and I got our own room and Chichi and Haha got one for themselves. Then Midori told me about the convention. It is a "cosplay" convention. People get together and dress up like their favorite characters and meet. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, and I was happy for her. But then she tells me I am attending too!

Midori had a costume all ready for me and we went together. She was Asuka form Magic Knight Rayearth. And I was Sakura from Cardcaptors. I like Sakura because she is responsible and brave. It is one of my favorite shows, and I guess Midori knew. She knows me better than I know me.

So we went to the convention and it was kind of scary, and there were a lot of people who worked so hard on their costumes. I felt guilty for not working on mine, but Midori said I could make my own next year. There were many things to buy and see. I collected more purikura and bought some VCDs. And I talked to all the girls who were also Sakura. There was a big contest, but I came in third.
(/_;) I felt bad but Midori won for Asuka. So that made up for it.

When we told our parents how we did they were so happy for us that they took us out to a fancy restaurant where they serve many expensive foods from around the world. I had something called a "t bone" beef meat that was very good. I had never seen so much food in my life!

When we got back to our hotel I thanked Midori for the surprise and she said that the surprise was yet to come!

----Attachment: sakura.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Sakura to the rescue!

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 23:04:36

Today we told our parents that we were going to the convention, but I did not know Midori had something else planned for us. We went to the outdoor mall and purchased lots of things that I thought made no sense but Midori had a plan all along.

There are these girls who call themselves Yamamba who tan their skin very dark and wear white makeup on their lips and eyes. They scare people because they are so different and strange. So Midori bought some chemical tan lotion, blonde wigs and outrageous clothes. She said we could both be Yamamba for the day.

I didn't want to because Yamamba are all girls and people would make fun of me. But Midori told me that because I was shisutaabooi that no one would make fun of me. I was not sure until I was dressed and then I knew that being shisutaabooi was just as good as being a girl. I was still scared so I told Midori I wanted to go back to the hotel and she said I could. But then I changed my mind and I told her I would go with her after all.

Once were were all made up, we spent the day walking around Tokyo and looking at people's faces. Some were scared and some were angry. It was fun to see them get so excited. I brought Kentaro so he could see. Sometimes I think it is Kentaro who talks me into these things. I should be very cross with him. He is a naughty bear.

----Attachment: yamamba.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Long time no talk :(

Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 17:14:52

It has been a long time since I could write because I lost computer privileges. Haha won't let me play my game anymore. When Midori and me couldn't wash off all our chemical tan we were caught. Chichi was very angry and when we got home we were told that we would be doing all housework for six months. In fact I am breaking the rules by using the computer now. I hope no one finds out.

Midori told me that I should wear her clothes from now on, because the debit card was taken away from me. It saves a lot of money if we share clothes, so it is a very practical decision. I am a little shorter than she is, but we are of the same size in the chest and waist. I thought maybe wearing her dresses and skirts was improper but she told me that the costumes I had worn were skirts and dresses. I looked so good in those that it made sense that I should now wear these clothes regularly. I also wear her bras and panties and it feels a lot more comfortable. I had forgotten how good it felt to wear clothes that fit so well. Midori says it is because I worked so hard at being shisutaabooi, and now Chichi will make me jenetikku soon.

I have to go before I am caught.

----Attachment: housework.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>


Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 03:23:16

Mike I need your help. I pretended to sleep and stayed up late so I could write you. I believe that I have been tricked into being turned into a japanese girl. I know it is crazy. I am having a much trouble even speaking in the english language I can not remember my american last name any more. I know something is very wrong. I think the computer game I was being forced to play was changing me into mentally a japanese. I do not know how it worked. But since I was forced to stop playing it my memories have started to come back to me. When I was cleaning I found the old american style clothes and I realized they were mine. It is hard to believe this is happening to me.

I think eating those cookies were laced with drugs. I know now that that Chichi (Mr. Hosogawa) is a doctor at the university and he specializes in advanced genetic treatment of severely injured and mentally incapacitated people. I suspect he has been using his skills on me and now I am almost totally a japanese now. I am going to try and contact the student exchange people and get their help. I hope they believe me. Please let everyone know that I am in trouble and that I need desperate help. I think my body has been changed a little so that I was to become a young girl. I send you a picture I just took. I do not think they made great many changes but there have been a few I think I noticed. I am depending on you Mike please please help me!

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----Original Message Follows----

From: Chad R <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>


Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 11:55:14

Mike I am just about to escape from the Hosogawa family. I have recovered enough from the brainwashing to figure out how to escape. I am just leaving you this last note before I go. I have booked a plane ticket for Denver and I will be there tomorrow at 6:03 AM. Please meet me there. I am sending you a photo so you know what I look like now. I cut off my hair so I'd be easier to recognize. I can not talk now because I must leave before they come home and find me missing.

I tried to contact the student exchange people but they did not respond. They probably think I'm crazy or dumb. But when I get back, I will have one hell of a story to tell.

All I need to do is find Kentaro and I will leave. He must be having one of his adventures again. When I find him I will be very angry because he causes so much trouble.

----Attachment: lastpic.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Yuki Hosogawa <>

To: "Mike Davis" <>

Subject: Hello bigmike69!

Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001 19:44:21


My name is Yuki HOSOGAWA and I found this email direction in the program that I use. Please forgive my translation software I do not speak english. I am very peculiar on americia and am looking for pals of pen. You would write to me? My family resides in Kyoto in where I was born. And I see to make american friends.


I am 13 years as an older person and 4'9" and the type O- of the blood.
My day of the week is Monday.
I take the home economic class discharge and of the Junior High School.
My favourite food is ice cream.
My favourite color is pink.
My favourite games is Absorption
My characteristics are loyalty and brightness.
My sample is Capricorn.
My odd habits are purikura and cosplay.

You would write to me please?

I have great interest in america and much people say that I have a little american in me. Tell me as which must it be like to live there and I will also write to you.


P.S. I am delivering a photo of me at the school.

----Attachment: yuki.jpg----

----Original Message Follows----

From: Mika Hashimoto <>

To: "Yuki Hosogawa" <>

Subject: Re: Hello bigmike69!

Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 14:35:52

Moshi moshi Yuki!

My name is Mika and I too am interested in america, because I have been there just recently. I have returned to my home city of Matsue after visiting Denver for many months. I am sorry I am not an american like you hoped but can we still be friends? I like to exchange mails with people from all over. I am lonely now because my american host family will not talk to me anymore. They think I have betrayed them and forgotten about them because I wanted to become a girl and Japanese. But I was always a Japanese girl and I think they are confused.

I am 18 and training to be a special hostess for salarymen. I also enjoy purikura and Absorption. Absorption is my favorite game and I play it all the time since I discovered it in Denver. It is latest craze in america. Have you made it to the final level yet? I am almost there.

I am curious you say that you like ice cream but do you also like oreos?

Please write me!

Mika ;)

----Attachment: mika.jpg----

I hate finding glossaries at the end of stories, but...
shisutaabooi = sissyboy
otousan = someone's father
chichi = your father
okaasan = someone's mother
haha = your mother
jisshi = elder sister, enforcement
jenetikku = genetic

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