Dec 15, 2018

The Curious Case of the Turning Shoes

Every morning, I drop my daughter off at her yochien, dutifully removing my shoes before escorting her to her classroom. I wouldn’t say I leave the shoes in a messy fashion going inside, but they aren’t set up neatly—efficiency over aesthetics when it comes to wrangling kids, right?

Still, when I come back, they often look like this:

The Curious Case of the Turning Shoes photo

Those green shoes turned toward the door and placed neatly together are mine.  I’ll point out that mine are the only ones that are like that.  

I still haven’t seen who is doing it, either.  I suspect it’s one of the grandmothers who drops the kids off in the morning, since it seems like a very traditional thing to do to straighten up a person’s shoes.

Does this happen to anyone else?  Should I take it as a sign to stop being the messy gaijin???



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).


  • edthethe

    on Dec 15

    Oh I don't know! I make my son make his shoes neat every time and he happens to always straighten mine any time I go anywhere....

  • Jerry9230

    on May 7

    i am a japanese american and was taught to face the shoes out to make it easier to put on when leaving. Kind of like reversing into a parking stall. In hawaii, we all reverse into our parking stalls. when i moved to the mainland, i was one of the very few that did it.