February 25

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Emergency Funeral Tie

ConbiniTie

In case of an unscheduled Grim Reaper appearance…

Every convenience store in Japan sells clothes. Emergency clothes. Say you missed the last train home and have to prop yourself in a comic book café cubicle all night, then head straight back to the hamster wheel the next morning. Your white shirt no longer passes muster, and your underwear? Let’s not go there. Convenience store to the rescue! Snag yourself a new white shirt, a pair-plus-a-spare of choners, and some clean sox for about $35.

But that doesn’t explain THE BLACK TIES. In Japan, men always wear plain white ties to weddings and plain black ties to funerals. They don’t sell white ties at convenience stores, but they’ve always got a stock of black ones. Does that suggest that having to suddenly go to a funeral is a fairly common hazard of life here? Yikes.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more