Nezumi Bancho

Monkey lately keeps calling me “Nezumi (Rat) Bancho (thuggish boss of ruffians)” because of my way of talking in Japanese, which is pretty boorish and full of swear words used by ordinary street thugs.

Apparently, when people imagine him having a Japanese wife, they picture someone who fits one of these 4 stereotypes (from left to right, the Virgin-Maid Cafe type, the Sadist cool queen type, the healing calm maiden type, and the active, sporty “gal” type)…

Les femmes japonaises

And they’re kind of…surprised? dismayed? when they learn my general way of speaking in Japanese is more like this
Kuze Daisaku, the manly-man from Yakuza 0, one of my favourite video games. 

In light of that moniker, I decided to draw that “Nezumi Bancho” on my tablet….


nezumi bancho7
Nezumi Bancho (Rat boss) – what Monkey always calls me

And wear it as a T-shirt. So there’s no confusion about what to expect.


Nezumi Bancho T shirt

Rat cage dance

I have two beautiful rats now: Mana and Lucy.  They’re gorgeous, but every now and then they do this “cage dance” of hopping on the cage and trying to grab our attention to be let out and played with.

It looks something like this…

rat cage dance

But you can imagine how it makes me think of this.


So I made a little comic about Mana and Lucy cage-dancing and gyrating to be let out.

Cage dance - Rats

Dungeons and Dragons – three anti-heroes

We were missing a few players last night at Dungeons and Dragons, namely the two people playing archetypal hero characters. As a result, all three of our characters were slightly scummy, morally questionable heroes who would think of all kinds of dirty tricks to a) not fight b) trick the enemy c) inflict cruel and unusual punishment on the enemy. Worse, all three characters were unsympathetic to children.

We got into a lot of dumb conversations around dirty tactics to get the upper hand. One of them was about charming a monster so we don’t have to fight it head-on.


1out of the abyss-Dungeons and Dragons

New story – “Tea”

I’ve been quiet about the Rat Chronicles for awhile and that’s because I’m working on 2 new stories, set in the Apocalypse. The first one, a short, is called “Tea.” Characters are Dru, a former slave with a missing leg, and Virgil, a blind kid whose father worked for “N” water corporation (also known as the “Three Birds”).

Details coming in upcoming week.

Dru and Virgil

The perks of being a dungeon master (DM)

Monkey is a giant, lifelong Dungeons & Dragons player and DM (dungeon master). He’s a gifted storyteller, and never misses an episode of Critical Role with Matt Mercer. I never got into it until he showed me how to play. There’s an awful lot of planning that goes into DM-ing: reading the story, creating the world, playing the characters.

I asked him what he and other DMs get out of it. Is it the feeling of calling the shots? Is it the friendship? This was our convo.

10-Rat Chron-Dungeons and Dragons

Feeding the footslugs

“Foot slugs” are what Monkey calls my socks, left haphazardly around the house. They look something like slugs, randomly crawling on the ground. When I go about my morning, I feel like I’m just eating and relaxing normally, but I often walk around dropping crumbs onto his carpet. This is what it looks like from his perspective.



Different types

I wonder sometimes about people who get married yet are totally the opposite types of people. Monkey is extraordinarily organized, likes to stack his books organized by series, keeps them in pristine, spotless condition. I on the other hand am disorganized by default, my books are all over the place in at least five locations throughout the house and regularly drag my favourite books to the bathtub to read.

He likes direct communication. For cultural or personality reasons, a lot of my communication is indirect, implied, and we fight sometimes when he doesn’t immediately understand what I’m trying to imply.

My mother says opposite types sometimes end up getting along pretty well. Here’s hoping!


15. Rat Chron-opposite types-1


A work in progress…I’m basing this sketch on an incredible dagashi bar I went to with my Monkey hunny in Tokyo’s Shinjuku. これから、どう生きるか。

I came back home for the first time in a long time. My father looked at me using this new tablet and said, え、らしくない!もっとこう貧乏くさいものでないと。He felt it was very unlike me to use advanced technology, that it was unlike me to be fashionable and trendy, that it was unlike me to have trendy nice Jin’s glasses.


わたしはあらゆるひとを失望させている気がしてならなかった。でもおとうさん、わたしはまだおなじ私なんだよ。ちょっと変わっただけ。I am still myself. I’ve changed and evolved but I’m still none other than myself.


My dad thinks I ought to bave faith. believe in Monkey. I will.