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.
I guess I am a lover of slapstick as I fear I laughed out loud at the various (delightfully regaled) stories of his height mishaps!
I love the tone and voice of this reteling. It was very funny. It made me rethink wanting to grow taller.
Thanks- I’ve discovered your blog as a result – another thanks. If it had any relation to living in Japan I would write another one- “The Demise of a Short Person Living With a Tall Person”
I chuckled throughout the entire reading of this post – brilliant!
Poor thing- I feel so bad for him- haha
I have a question. I have recently moved to a new place with my spouse and although she doesn’t stick out as much as your spouse (haha!), she is having a hard time adjusting and feeling like she doesn’t fit in.
What would you recommend to make the transition easier?
What can I do to help her adjust?
Hey Shane- HMMMM- are you overseas or domestic? I understand how hard it is on both of you in this situation.
1)I would look at the new city like a tourist. Google the top 10 fun things to do, sign up for any type of biking tours or any tours for that matter, of the city- if you can, do some of those things with her. Not sure how large of a place you`re in. Doing tours does two things- gets you out and knowing the place, lets you see places you want to go back to and you meet people with similar interests.
2) Any interests or hobbies- painting, horseback riding, swimming- anything- find a place to do those things. NOW- again. Join and she will find people of similar mind set. The key is she needs to get out at least once a day to do something.
3) Join a church, synagogue whatever if so inclined- another good way to meet people.
4) Take a class at a local college- anything- or at a museum or art gallery. Lots of places have classes for any interest- pottery, painting, flower arranging, yoga, the list is endless. Google is your friend! Use it. ie “softball teams for adult women in xxxxx” “macrame classes for adults in xxxxx”
The key is socializing with other people. Being friendly. Be ok making mistakes and laughing it off- they will happen! You don`t have to be friends with everyone you meet- just the ones you like.
Put yourself out there. It`s ok.
Don`t be afraid to get lost- that`s when you find some real hidden gems.
Best of luck! Hopefully that gives you a start. You might need to help her along if she`s hesitant so she gets the hang of it.
Tell me where you are and what she likes to do and maybe I can come up with some more specific suggestions.
Hang in there! They say it takes at least 6 momths to settle in. E
I’m living in Ottawa, ON, CAN. I moved from Halifax, NS, CAN. The population here is 10 fold so we aren’t use to a place this large.
Thank you so much for the advice I will definitely put your suggestions to use. She really misses her family and friends so I think you are right. Socializing is key. It is a little more difficult for us now though since we have a new born baby. We both like music and being outdoors with our little girl so we plan on hitting up the Blues Festival this week since most of the music is going to be outside on the streets.
I really appreciate the timely feedback. I hope you guys are doing well.