I thought I might be able to avoid feeling this way this year, and it is true that I am nowhere near this time as poisoned. But today, my mental toxicity is high. I have a wonderful life here in Japan on the whole, and I think this usually comes through clearly on a The Black Narcissus.

But pre- entrance exams, though I truly love most of my students, I just start to gradually lose my mind.

My nerves are SHOT.

I am vastly, and violently, irritable.

But I think this crap from last year that I wrote in a fit of expunging my madnesses describes it really much better.

You truly have no idea how f***ed up the work culture is here in this country: the exhaustion that the Japanese put themselves through. And yet, the eternal paradox: the place is fun to live in, he says unconvincingly.

Today I just wanted to commit mass murder….

The Black Narcissus



I have just come in from a Sunday night lesson, the last one before one particular class takes their entrance examination for a prestigious bi-cultural school, and I am feeling guilty and worried: although the other Japanese teachers have been going in every day since November (no: every day, literally every day, poisoning their spirits and bodies), this is the first time this year I have gone in on a Sunday, and that was only because there are two boys who are very borderline and who could really benefit from my lessons and I just couldn’t not: tonight I went through every tense in the English language, did the subjunctive, countable and uncountable nouns, a myriad of linguistic things, until it was 11.10 pm and last trains were looming and their energies were draining and we had to call it a day.

I feel guilty because I should have…

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7 responses to “NARCISSUS, YOU STINK

  1. Lilybelle

    Poor Mr. Ginza. 😦 Sending you soothing best wishes.

  2. Martha

    Work is truly loathsome at times. You have my sympathy.

    • It’s not the work itself, it’s the amount of it (for this thankfully limited time period) and the ludicrously sadomasochistic culture that surrounds it.

      I sometimes truly think that Japan is simply insane. Wonderfully insane.

  3. What is the saying? I believe it is “…and this too shall pass” . A wee bit twee but relevant nonetheless. You will be able to take a deep inhalation of any number of glorious scents and refresh yourself. That is a magical thing to be able to do. Now have a nice drink and breathe deeply 🙂

    • Arigato.

      I wish I had more control over my emotions, but I don’t. They control me. Yesterday I had to, though, just REPRESS, REPRESS, and try to act professional, and then when I got home I couldn’t sleep. But I did, eventually, and then this gorgeous snow is so delightfully head clearing….

      What do you do when you are psychologically burnt out?

      • I usually scream a little bit just to let everything out. Then have a glorious piece of Leonidas chocolat and hope for the best. I find chocolat to be a most beneficial type of medicine at moments like these.

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