I’m Big in Japan

I’m big in Japan…but these shrimpy shrimps are not!

I was really concerned that I would be both the fattest and tallest person in Japan. I was less concerned (and more pleased) that I would also at least have the biggest boobs. Turns out, none of these things are true!

Most Japanese women are small in stature and positively waifish, but not all. My friend, Hiromi, has a bit smaller stature than I do, but is similarly voluptuous. I am taller than almost every woman I’ve seen here; I would say my height (5’8”) seems to be the height of the average adult man in Japan. I may, however, have the broadest shoulders in the country. There are some Japanese people who are what I will term as “Asian-chubby,” meaning they have cheeks and thighs, but really in America they would be quite normal sized, even fit. Then there’s Asian-fat, which for America would be our version of overweight or chubby. There’s nothing to compare to America’s truly obese…perhaps sumo wrestlers, but I haven’t seen any yet.

Hiromi also has large feet (size 10)! She says usually she can only buy shoes at “oversize shoe stores” in Tokyo or online.

The Japanese have apparently begun to get larger in the last 5 years or so, due to the introduction of more western style foods. In Ota-shi and the surrounding cities, there are at least two McDonald’s and two other “burger” places, and there’s a large influx of Brazilian and Peruvian people, which equates to restaurants which serve a lot of red meat and fried meats.

I was hoping I could lose weight simply by being in the country and breathing skinny Japanese air…that may not actually happen.

Apparently Japanese men regard all women who aren’t “emaciated” (in the words of the man explaining this to me) as “fat” and therefore undesirable. Looks like I won’t have to worry about navigating the cross-cultural dating scene.


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