I’m back in Japan, after a long and satisfying “vacation” in the U.S. (actually working those conventions is quite a lot of work). As usual, being back in Japan after spending so much time in the States is quite a shock, and I notice things in a surreal light, from the perfect neatness of the uniforms worn by the staff of Narita airport to the ridiculous kawaii mascot characters all around me. The heat is another thing I noticed: 37 degree C / 98 degree F today, with more moisture in the air than the Sea of Japan (oh, the humidity!). Summer is always a hot and sticky business in Japan, but between the post-earthquake power saving measures and the hotter than normal temperatures this year, more than 3000 people have been treated for heat stroke so far, with 130+ very sad deaths.
The summer of 2011 has been a hot and difficult one.