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About Japan Brats

Sometimes a kureji notion...

What about Tom?

The multi-talented Tom  Barry was
born in Tokyo and spent most of his
childhood in Japan. He lived there
on two occasions -- 1956-64 at
Grant Heights and 1968-70 at

Schools attended: Sancta Maria
International School in Nerima
(where he developed a strong
dislike toward Portugese nuns with
moustaches) and Zama Middle
School (where he developed a mad
crush on classmate Florence
"Nightingale"). Graduating class he
claims as his own: ZAHS Class of
'74. In reality, he went on to Aiea
High School in Aiea, Hawaii, Lake
Havasu High School in Arizona, and
Northern Arizona University.

Tom has enjoyed a varied career in
communications. He worked in both
radio and TV, but gravitated toward
newspapers as a reporter and
editor, including serving as editor of
Paradise Valley Independent,
Sun Cities Independent and the
Lake Havasu City Today
all in Arizona. He also
served as a publicist for a
casino-resort in Laughlin, Nev. At the
time, his ex-wife insisted on Tom
getting a
real job what with two
hungry teens in the household.

Need we say more?

Here I am (right) with my pal Jerry Ward at
Grant Heights, Japan circa 1960. (Did you
seriously expect a current photo of me?)

One evening, after one too many beers, I found myself in a
melancholy state waxing nostalgic with a few equally inebriated pals
at the local watering hole. "So you grew up in Japan, huh?" one
doubting Thomas had the temerity to ask. "Hai," I instinctively
responded to the befuddled lot. I thought, "What would he know?
He's drinking Bud in a microbrewery."

"I even know where Japan's at on an atlas or globe!" I insisted. But
Debbie The Bartender couldn't locate either on the premises. So I
gestured wildly to illustrate, pointing a finger westward. My fellow
barfly persisted: "If it's west of here, why do they call it the Far

In the end, I simply had to show those
sots! The result is a bit extreme, I
must say. And more time-consuming
than I had bargained for. But since
most of us communicate by e-mail
and the Internet these days I thought
to myself, "Hmmm, self, Japan
deserves no less!"

Seriously, minasan, after surfing
hundreds of brat sites on the Web, I
found most were exclusionary --
meaning they were devoted to specific
schools or locations. Unless you went
that particular school or lived on that
particular base you were merely an
interloper, a transient. An unwelcome

My credo:
Keep a running
count of your
plates when
eating sushi off
of a conveyer
belt... The chef
certainly is!

one at that. I found that out posting a greeting on someone's
message board.
How dare you! Just who the heck do you think you
are horning in
our fun?! I was made to feel like a honey bucket
hauler. (Heck, I didn't want to be their tomodachi anyways.) I
became frustrated wading and searching in vain through hundreds
of sites and blogs simply to satisfy my yen for Japan.

So I set out on a quest and conceived Japan Brats after a revelation:
You can create your
own web site! Now, I'm no computer geek
(Computers? Just a glorified typewriter!) and I'm still on the learning
curve. (HTML, Servers, Flash, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, FBI, IRS...
Until now, I only knew my server as "Debbie." But we're making
progress. I think.

Japan Brats is the product of my frustrations, fertile imagination,
and much-too-idle mind. I'm also very sentimental (some call me
mental). However, this site is intended to be
all inclusive. Not that
it's the ichiban Japan brat site on the Web (personally, I think
Dragon's Roar
is a hoot). But it's a start, sort of a Wal-Mart
Supercenter of brat sites. It's a journey down memory dori for all
of you like-minded Japan Brats.

So take your shoes off, sit a spell, and pour yourself a hot cup of
Irashaimase, you're all welcome!

Your Tomodachi & Fellow Japan Brat

I'd love to hear from you and get your comments
and suggestions. If you wish to contact me about
Japan Brats, simply e-mail:


© 2005 Japan Brats