I kissed my student. Then I married him.

Here’s a short video clip from my reading at the Tokyo launch party for The Good Shufu at Four Stories Tokyo.

It narrates what happened just before my first kiss with the shogun.

PS. Apologies for the background noise. We like the Four Stories events to be festive so we encourage eating and drinking even during the readings. The upside is the funny, tipsy questions we get at the end. The downside is the occasional background noise!

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Marrying a Man Who Speaks a Different Language

I’ve loved and been deeply touched by the reader comments and reviews for The Good Shufu, and by the beyond-awesome support I’ve gotten from friends, family, and the book’s lovely readers. But I do have to admit that some people have expressed consternation by my admission that my husband still isn’t totally fluent in English and–most chagrin-inducing–that I haven’t made much headway in studying Japanese.

How can you be married to someone and not share a fluency? people tend to ask with some incredulity. (A related question involves how I can live in Japan and still be ambivalent about immersing myself in another culture, but this is a topic I’ll address another time.)

So here’s a little video clip that answers, at least in part, what I actually like about being married to someone who doesn’t always understand me, and whom I don’t always understand. (Sounds like a lot of partnerships, actually, doesn’t it? Even ones conducted in one native language…. A point I make more fully here.)

This video is from my reading at Newtonville Books. A truly awesome bookstore.