Ribbons of Fate and Other Tales of Japan
Stories include death on a first date; a one-armed gangster; exploding haemorrhoids; a lively lunch (in more ways than one), and many other delightful cross-cultural hiccups.
Some of the titles in Ribbons of Fate:
The Yamasaku Inn, Golden Week, The Cockroach, The Atomic Dome, The Love Hotel, Typhoons, The Speech Contest, The Ghost of Yoneyama and of course, Ribbons of Fate.
Matt and his wife, Junko and their son, Yoshiki now live on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington.
Reviewed in the Dominion Post, 14 July 2011:
About Matt Comeskey
Matt Comeskey lives in Paraparaumu, New Zealand. He contributed a short story The Love Hotel to the collection “Forty Stories of Japan”. He said that he had more stories like that from his time in Japan. It was just a matter of dusting them off and sprucing them up. Here is an extract from The Love Hotel:
On a warm July night, my lovely companion (she was my fellow investigator to be henceforth referred to in her own strange words as ‘the noisy squirrel’) and I chanced on one such brightly-lit building near the highway. Glancing in my rear-view mirror to make sure no one was following us, Iturned offand we coasted down the narrow street towards the ruboo hoteroo called Happy Dream, filled with nervous anticipation.
As we circled the building looking for a parking spot, I noticed the first of many odd things. Most cars had large metal sheets with pink and yellow stripes resting against their front grills. Secret Squirrel to my left informed me that these coverings were for customers anxious to hide their registration plates. I figured that suspicious wives or husbands who happened to be drivingin the vicinity would certainly be prevented from recognising their family cars’number platesby the metal sheets; however upon thinking about this for a few seconds I decided that they would surelyrecognise the car far more quickly and a glancebehind the metal mask would of course confirm their suspicions. It was the first of many super-discreetdevices I was to encounter that evening.
From 2001-2004, Matt Comeskey taught English at a high school in
Japan. His teaching proved memorable to his students:
“Matto, I don’t know English, but I could feel your being very hard”;
“It was so-so. But it was great. I want more”;
“I was not like a little English, but I like English little now.”
Matt now works as an editor with the New Zealand Police in Wellington.