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When You REALLY Hate Your Neighbors

Making my way back to Kamakura Station after tossing a  few plates at the Dish-Breaking Shrine, I was walking through a totally normal-looking neighborhood when I chanced upon this.

A hedge. But not just any old hedge – isn’t this the freakin’ unfriendliest alt picket fence you’ve ever seen? I mean, it’s all thorns, all the time. No leaves. No flowers. Just thorns. And wicked sharp too!

From a distance, it didn’t look that scary…
…although if you came upon it from the creepily overgrown garage door side, the sheer size of the thing might make you think twice about popping over to borrow a cup of soy sauce
And up close? Yikes! And this sucker isn’t just long – it’s at least twelve feet high and four feet thick. It’s no joke!
Kinda makes you wonder what sort of evil overlord lives here, doesn’t it?

I admit, I had to kind of admire the cussedness of whoever owns the house. If nothing else, growing this thing took huge dedication, and a near-legendary level of anti-neighborliness. We’re talking years of nurturing and pruning. Which kind of suggests it’s not just a case of the casual paranoia that might inspire a homeowner to zip over to Prison Surplus Razor Wire Inc. for a little fence topper.

Kind of perversely made me want to loiter around and see who lives here. Or better yet, who lives next door?

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mystery series

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

6 thoughts on “When You REALLY Hate Your Neighbors Leave a comment

    • Wow, interesting! Thank you for ferreting out the name of this plant! Now I’d like to go visit it in the season when the thorns are disguised by leaves and fruit – apparently, I chanced upon it in winter, when it was at its most forbidding. (Or is it worse that in many seasons those serious pointy bits are disguised by leaves and fruits? O_O)

  1. Good one, Jonelle. I’ve been cooking a post on how the Japanese can be so much more human than we give them credit for, then this popped up. There are always exceptions, no?

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