Nearly Asian, RIP

If you spend as much time online as me, some of your closest friends are online only. Every day you visit their blog, read about their adventures, and feel that you are learning something about another person who in some ways shares your city or world.

Without any notice, right after the new year started, Nearly Asian, my favorite foreign blogger in Tokyo, disappeared. When I click my bookmark, I get a Blogger page in Japanese saying that it’s now private and can only be accessed by those who email him. Of course I don’t have his email. In fact, his was the only blog I followed that accepted *no* comments.

What are his newest obsessions? Does he still post daily? Will I never hear more strange stories from him?

For those of you who don’t know Nearly Asian, he described himself as a 20-something, half-Japanese creative professional living in trendy Shimokitazawa. His daily stories included his office, Tokyo events, and biking. But mostly they revolved around his obsessions with the older office lady, the flight attendant, and the other hapa he met biking.

Most peculiar were two contradictory threads. Nearly Asian was an avowed chikan. A chikan is someone who commits a crime by inappropriately touching women in crowded trains. His most over-the-top post involved his story of joining the crowds on Emperor’s Day, and, unhhhh, to put it more modestly than he did, leaving his fluids on a woman’s back. That she didn’t immediately call the cops, or punch him, raised issues of credibility, yet somehow the sheer perversion of the story had me even more hooked than ever.

The contradictory occasional theme was that he’s a born-again Christian. Ah, one of *the* three most popular American stereotypes held by Asians (that we are all fat, smell bad, and are religious freaks). Every time he brought it up, I was nauseated, but at the same time, it added to the perversion of his persona.

So why did the blog disappear? Did his mother/cousin/co-worker/bike crush learn his identity and read his blog? If anyone knows, please leave a comment (or email me directly). I also wonder if I may have met Nearly Asian in person a year ago through mutual friends.

Is anyone else suffering from the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of an internet friend?

4 comments

  1. i was bereft when steve boland stopped his masterful chronicling of sf bay area urban design at sfcityscape.com. he entered the belly of the beast at nelson/nygaard and could no long give away opinions for free.

  2. T.T I know what you mean about friends dropping off the face of the internet. I have a lot of penpals who have just stopped emailing me. It sucks cause I had stopped trying to find penpals (also, I really hate writing so many people regularly) when I decided to give it another try (after a couple of years of not penpaling) since I’m going to Taiwan and can’t find much of anything about teen culture there. But, my Taiwan penpal stopped writing after like 3 messages. Tis a sad thing. Maybe they don’t feel responsible for the roles they play in your life.

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