And I did not come to Japan to be gored by wild boars, either...
Frankly, this notice, which arrived in our mailbox this morning, was kind of the last straw. I feel a bit as if the universe is making fun of me.
Apparently, there is a wild boar mother and baby that have been seen wandering the local school grounds and quiet streets of suburban TsuTsujigaoka.
Residents have been warned to steer clear of them, and that “if seen, do not to stimulate the wild boars,” or so says my friend, translating with a smile.
Now, I should not worry about a wild boar attack. I've calculated the chances, and they are in the league of finding Trump’s tax returns in the dumpster of the local Sebun Irebun (that’s a “7Eleven” in Japanese).
First of all, I am a statistical oddity in Kanazawa. The helpful You Too Are a Citizen of Kanazawa guide, English edition for foreigners, states that Kanazawa is a city of “roughly 460,000 residents” and precisely “4085 registered foreigners as of January 1, 2014." That’s just less than 1%, the guide also notes. Now, please realize that this 4085 number isn’t just the usually bunch of English teachers in their early 20’s and expat corporate types and academics on sabbatical, but anyone and everyone from elsewhere: it includes first, second, third and fourth generation immigrants from Korea and China, who might even speak Japanese fluently, have kids and grandkids, a little house with a yard, etc.
The number of people who are “foreign” in the sense that they don’t speak the language, walk around in a Carhartt jacket, gumboots and a Green Bay Packer’s wool hat, so sort of stand out for the most part, like me, is even tinier. My friend figures there are about 40 Americans total living in Kanazawa and a smattering of Brits and other European nationalities. Though there is nothing on what to do if you encounter a wild boar, the guide does note that “Information about daily life is given in Portuguese to support Brazilian residents living in Kanazawa (Radio Kanazawa (78.0MHz), every Saturday at 9:45 am).” This suggests there must be at least two Brazilians in town: one to host the show and the other to listen, and possibly more. But I haven’t seen either of them.
As foreigners like me are about as rare as wild boars, we would defy all probability were we to square off on some side street. But the way the universe has been working lately, it will be me: Yep, I'm that guy. Went to Japan. Got gored by a boar and its offspring. And worked as a model.
I can see the headlines in the local paper already: "Foreigner Living with the Other Foreigner in Tsutsujigaoka Unadvisedly Stimulates Wild Boar and Child, Receives Injuries."