Can you name a few words that originated in Japan? View in browser
How do you become a truly global citizen?

In this newsletter I want to:

  1. tell you the country with the biggest impact on me. (besides my own)
  2. share some links to discover a bundle of new authors
  3. share a short story about something I learned from country #2.
  4. give a few final thoughts.

Wilby is a Global Citizen

Wilby is a name given to me by my older son. I introduced him in my previous newsletter - How I got started in writing. <= Click to see an incredibly detailed image of Wilby in India. If you haven't seen it, you are missing out.

To become a global citizen, you and I need to be exposed to the cultures and individuals from other countries. I mean, you need more than going to the local farmer's market and rubbing elbows with people from all over the world. Or, having other people in your workplace from other counties. This happens a LOT in Silicon Valley, where I live. It's not enough.

To stretch your thinking and make great strides in becoming a global citizen, nothing beats living in another country for an extended period of time. More than a year. 

At one time I had spent more time in my second country of influence than I had in the country where I was born.

Meet Wilby in Japan

Japan is country 2 of 10 that I will introduce as influencing me.

These countries, their people, their culture, my experiences have had a great impact on who I am and  the stories I tell.

Be sure to check out => Wilby in India.

December Reading Discoveries

Sit back. There are a LOT of books here to get you ready for the holidays ... to read for yourself or put in an ereader and giveaway. Enjoy!

55 Books to Give to Young Children

Do you want to give a life time of joy to little people?

Grab => 55 books for children..


12 Christian Fiction Books Featuring Asians

These 12 fictional books feature Asians who are Christian

Check 'em Out  <= Click to get or give to friends

14 FREE Audio Books to Listen to with your children

Searching for your next good listen?

Check out all 14  <=Click

Authors and narrators welcome your review of their work!

51 Books for Baby Boomers

Read something that you don't mind sharing with the young people in your life or with your parents/grandparents.

Escape => Books for Boomers

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Sumo

More Time There Than Home

I spent nearly 20 years in Japan. I probably have more interesting stories to tell of living there than of living here in the US. 

Our first winter there had nearly 7 feet of snow!

A major event in my life happened in Nagasaki. There are pre- and existing PTSD stories to tell. All in due time.

I first went to the land of the rising sun because Uncle Sam sent me there.

I stayed because I married a Japanese girl. We launched a school there and it grew to two islands and two countries - Japan and the then USSR!

There were no hot dogs in Japan when I got there in 1980.

Apple pie looked like apple pie but did not taste like apple pie. The crust was more for looks, heavy on the egg paste, and the apple innards tasted like apple. Americans like when the crust tastes like flaky bread and the center tastes like sugar with a hint of apple. That wasn't Japan. It also explains why most of them are half my size, too.


Baseball has got to be the same. So, I thought. After all it was imported from the US. The Tokyo Giants' uniforms looked like the SF Giants. The Hiroshima Carp uniforms could have been swapped out for the the Cincinnati Reds. Ah! Baseball! A taste of home, finally. So, I thought.

But ... BUT ... at the time, Japan had a limit on how late they could show baseball games on TV. No kidding. Cross my heart and hope to die, I cannot remember how many times I watched a game into the 9th inning, sometimes the top and a lot of times the bottom. when the TV announcer would say, "Kore de, jikan desu." And the game would be turned off. Everybody would head to their radios (remember those?) to listen to the end of the game.

"Bottom of the 9th. Two on. Two out. Score is 4-3. The count is 3 balls and two strikes. Kore de, jikan desu." I swear that's true. Over and over again. The numbers changed a little.  I got so irritated, I stopped watching. I gave up on baseball and started watching sumo. 


Yokozuna, Ozeki, Seikwake, Komusubi, Maegashira. Chiyonofuji, Konoshiki ... and more. 

One hundred percent in Japanese and NEVER, ever, cut off. Six times a year for 15 days.

My eyes became accustomed to reading Japanese kanji by watching sumo. I was cool at any coffee shop as the foreigner (gaijin) who could discuss sumo in detail with anyone there.

Until one day. My friend, Toyama-san, told me, "It's rigged." inchiki.

"No way!"

For the next six or seven matches, he called every match. Six for six or seven for seven. Japanese sumo is rigged. We just don't always know in which way. 

He broke my heart. 

That day was the last time I watch sumo.

I took up rock climbing and decided to cheat death instead of sumo.

Final thoughts:


Words that we use that are Japanese - Sumo, sushi, tsunami, kimono, typhoon, honcho, skosh, futon, sudoku, manga,

I deeply appreciate having you part of the Growing Up Wilby world.

Thank you for following along as I find my feet, share stores and grow. 

I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Hit reply and tell me what countries have had a big influence on you.

111 W. Arques Ave, Sunnyvale
CA 94085 United States

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