Thursday, March 09, 2006


A local high school teacher is in hospital this week, having broken his leg during an unorthodox morning meeting. 55 year old Mentaiko Ketsuyama, a mathematics teacher at Kazushodan Senior High School in Chikushino, suffered multiple fractures after he sidestepped a table and slipped on the slippery floor.

However, all is not as it seems, as there was in fact no table. With all the tables being used in the school gym to accomodate the hundreds of Junior High School students there for an open campus, the teachers found themselves with only chairs. Despite the Principal's suggestion that orderly rows be formed, there was a general agreement that the chairs should be set out exactly as they always were, which took "a considerable amount of time and meant the meeting didn't start until well after 10am," according to Ketsuyama.

With the chairs in the correct positions, the meeting could begin, and it was then announced that there were no announcements, and so sorry, the teachers should have been informed by email that a meeting wasn't scheduled for today. With most of the teachers leaving immediately, the Mathematics Department elected to stay on to discuss important departmental issues, which couldn't wait. When they finally decided to leave, Ketsuyama "started to make a slow jog towards the door, but then he seemed to panic and tried to avoid the imaginary table in front of him, slipping on the floor and landing awkwardly on his leg," claims eye witness and fellow teacher Ieyasu Tamago.

With Ketsuyama out of action until the end of term, Kazushodan Principal Niteru Aramaki told this reporter that "every precaution will be taken in the future, but accidents do happen".

Thursday, March 02, 2006


At last the mystery of the bowing men of Fukuoka has been solved, thanks to local English teacher Koala Rern, who having already solved the mystery of the 77 salarymen last year is making a name for himself as a Mr Fixit.

For the past few months, Harimutsu Zakiume, a Fukuoka clothes store owner, had been confounded by the seemingly random appearances of a handful of men in suits who ascended the steps to his shop, looked upward, bowed, and solemnly departed.

Despite the rules of Japanese society dictating that he shouldn't interfere, Mr Zakiume was determined to catch one of the men in the act and demand an explanation, but unfortunately they had always left by the time he had turned off every light and put on his shoes. However, Mr Zakiume got lucky yesterday afternoon when Koala Rern, who happened to be in the shop, witnessed the act and was quick to point out what was going on.

"It was obvious really," the American said, genially. "The men in question are all school principals, and Mr Zakiume has a Japanese flag above his door. Their climbing of the stairs and bows were their natural reactions."

In light of the solution, Mr Zakiume offered to give Mr Rern any item he desired from the shop, which turned out to be an orange and green velvet suit. "A small price to pay for peace of mind," Zakiume said afterwards.