Literally. The average height for a Japanese male is 5’5″ feet while the women are a diminutive 5′- maybe 5’3″ if one considers the spikes permanently affixed to the feet. Spouse towers above the crowd at 6’4″. Spouse’s superior stature is alternatively a source of continued consternation for him and an advantage for the rest of the Clampett family.
If Spouse were similar in constitution to a Sumo wrestler vs a bantam pro Basketball player, then options would exist. However, all shoes and clothes are currently imported from the US. Even when special ordered, leg and arm length are incalculable to the Japanese clothing manufacturer. Take for example a recent visit to a sterile plant site. In anticipation of the “SIZE issue,” a super sized Haz Mat suit was ordered. Poor spouse looked like he was wearing Offspring #2’s Halloween costume from 4th grade:
I fear that Spouse’s appearance will be significantly altered upon our departure. Spouse will either have a bald strip down the top of his head or a permanent horn in the center of his forehead from hitting low hanging projections head on and grazing low ceilings. Traditional Japanese restaurants are too low for Spouse to enter standing upright. Of course he is used to entering bent over, however, many times there are numerous archways along the hallway leading to the dining areas. Dimly lit hallways hide these inconspicuous wooden decorations and frequently Spouse is virtually knocked unconscious causing Japanese women to run clucking from all sections of the restaurant to lead him protectively toward the table while sheltering his head and holding his hands.
Spouse must also duck to enter the subway car and once inside has to avoid dozens of handles until he can finally stand upright in the exact middle of the car or in between the handles. The Japanese watch his every move with fascination. Notice Spouse’s head is blocking the electronic subway map much to the dismay and consternation of the riders.
Recently, Spouse had the honor of meeting the Empress of Japan. He was the only male in the receiving line. Most of the women in the line including the Empress stood at an impressive 4’10”. As the Empress got closer to Spouse and her time became more limited, the Japanese ladies became more agitated and anxious to meet her. The Empress enjoys the status of a cross between Elvis, Princess Di, and Abraham Lincoln. They started to swarm- all around Spouse. Poor Spouse- almost 2 feet taller than these ladies- he was pushed aside by the weeping, crazed fans. What I would give for a picture of Spouse towering among these ladies getting politely trampled like it was a Who concert. Height does have its advantages- the Empress noticed poor skyscraper Spouse alone among the throng of frenzied fans and made her way through the throng of women to exchange pleasantries. I would’ve thrown some elbows- which is why most people prefer Spouse to me.
Spotting our Spouse makes navigating crowded Harajuku and Shibuya a snap.
The unanswered question: Will the Snow Monkeys at the Hot Springs be as welcoming to this outlier on the Size Bell Curve as the rest of the Japanese population? We’ll see when the Clampett’s visit Hokkaido.