Ok- what’s a fact that one would only know by living in Japan, a fact that would not be covered in a guide or culture book? The people of Japan have unique shaped feet versus other peoples in the world. So much different, that shoe manufacturers, Nike, New Balance, Asics, etc, have Japanese versions. What’s so particular to the Japanese foot? It’s wider and shorter compared to the Western counterpart for a person of the same height and weight. How do I know this? An afternoon spent grilling a hapless Nike executive who had the unfortunate luck of attending a tour alongside the curious, relentless, and unshakeable Ouiser. “I had my ways of making her talk,” and can only share one learned company secret as it’s the sole bit pertaining to Japan.
Some would argue that the styles are also different. My new running shoes, I copied from the Tasmanian Bloodhound:
For these, the length of my foot, as well as the girth, was measured around the widest portion of my foot. With a measuring tape. Bunions and all. My US size is an 8. My Japanese size is a 7 EE. As in double wide. Like the trailer. As in from whence I came.
Little did I know, all along, I’ve had Japanese feet. Finally, a pair of shoes that aren’t an inch too long to accommodate the width of my feet. Now I won’t look like a clown running. Or maybe I will.