The Izuka family profile part 1: Otosan


I’m sitting right next to otosan, who’s sitting right next to me on the floor watching an enka concert (Japanese Country.  Does NOT sound like American country, except for those songs at the beginnings of classic westerns).  He got really excited about it yesterday- he was humming during the day, looking up enka songs on youtube, and plopped himself right down in front of the TV with a big cup of sake when it started.  But Manami’s homecoming disrupted his routine so he taped it and is watching the rest of it now.  Again, he’s slightly tipsy.  His face is kinda pink and he’s man-slurring (Japanese men usually manslur, but he tries to speak smoothly with me so I understand him).  He also started asking me stuff in Osaka-ben, the Osaka speech pattern, which to me is like throwing someone who learned british-English into the deep south.  I can understand the words he’s saying sort-of, but I have no idea about conjugation, so all I end up with is noun and verb.

Despite my inability to understand him sometimes, I really like Otosan.  I have a feeling he was the life of the party when he was younger (and probably now).  He’s tall and thin and balding, but very spry and clever-looking.  You can see his eyes twinkle all the time, like he’s thinking of some joke or story to tell.  He’s got this funny laugh that I can’t quite express, but goes “huh huh huh huh,”  and sounds a bit like hiccups.

The first day I met him he was wearing jeans, a wool cap, and a green hoodie from some American school.  And that’s pretty much how he’s dressed ever since- no muss, no fuss, just chill.

I think he has some sort of blood pressure issue- there’s one of those monitor things you see at grocery stores in the living room, and every evening he puts some other device with pipes on his arm for 15 minutes or so.  However, I’m not quite sure what’s wrong.   He’s pretty fit, and likes surfing and soccer, and despite the copious amount of fried food and mayo the Japanese like, most people here seem fine.  Perhaps his BP is low?  I don’t know…But I hope it’s not serious.

Otosan is a restaurant chef, but where it is and what it specializes in, I don’t know.  I’ve never tasted his cooking either- Okasan does all the cooking, which I think is a little strange considering he’s a chef.

Anyway, that’s all I have time for today.  Next up is Okasan!


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