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  1. So... as I was saying when we were so sadly interrupted, life in Japan is pretty much a never-ending series of events so hilarious, awesome, improbable, amazing, and/or insane that you actually have to tone down your stories so as not to make everyone who hears them think you're full of shit and/or hate you because of justifiable envy. OH!saka Pro Wrestling (the kinda toned-down version): So my friend Yuji Tsuruta came out from Kobe to meet me in Umeda and go to his first-ever Osaka Pro Wrestling show. I was talking to him about how Osaka Pro Wrestling is different from AJPW: How it's less violent and not as hard-hitting, much more focused on entertainment, comedy,good-vs-evil, and fast action... and how it's a real family-type atmosphere where you don't just show up with a friend or two and sit in a hall full of strangers, but instead show up and say hello to all of your friends... I was just explaining how we sometimes bring drinks for each other, when my gorgeous friend "California Girl" showed up with a shopping bag full of beer and gave me one, thus perfectly illustrating my point. She offered Yuji one, but he turned it down, thinking he might be expected to pay for it... When I explained that, no, we just often bring bags of drinks and snacks and hand them out to our friends at the show, like a picnic or something... I think at that point Yuji understood what's so special about Osaka Pro. Yuji met Kenji and Kae and AZ and some of my other friends. Driving the point home, Kenji brought beer, too, in giant cans. I was so happy to see my old friends talking happily with my relatively new friend. That wasn't the bizarre "Oh, really, Life In Japan?!?! You're going to go there, now?" moment, though. That was all everyday-awesome stuff, the kind of thing I just about take for granted by now. What knocked this one out of the park in the only-in-Japan department was that Yun Gang Chul, the Korean wrestler who often works for Osaka Pro, chose today to debut his new comedy character: Jumbo Tsuruhashi. So, yeah: On the day my friend Yuji came to his first ever Osaka Pro show, one of the wrestlers worked his whole match as an affectionate tribute to my friend's late father.
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