End-of-millennium in Japan: Women, food, and other observations from a first-time visiting scientist

Ed: This post shares an entertaining and insightful essay about customs, food, and women in Japan over 20 years ago. It was written by my friend and colleague, Mark Boslough, after he returned from an engineering business trip in Japan in 1994. I am curious how much has changed over the subsequent 20 years, so please comment if you know which of his observations or impressions no longer apply (or if they never applied in the first place too)!  With Mark’s permission, this version has a few bits [in brackets] that have been altered to remove information that could identify particular individuals or organizations. It also has corrections of some minor typo/style issues. It is written in a style that mimics what Mark’s employer (a major US scientific research laboratory) required after any foreign travel.


  1. Status of Women in Japan
  2. Diary of Food Activities
  3. Unusual Japanese customs (by US standards)

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Linux file navigation aide (MSSwan python3 script)

If you have a lot of places that you routinely visit in your file system, often with ludicrously long path names, then click here to download a tar file that will alleviate the problem (once downloaded, execute `tar -xvf pyfsmem.tar` to obtain the python 3.x script).

Follow instructions in the script’s prolog (especially adding aliases to your bashrc). Then you can “remember” frequently visited directories and return to them with only a couple of keystrokes.

IMO, this is far better than pushd and popd because favorite places are remembered indefinitely (even with power failures).

Thanks to M. Scot Swan for providing this gem!