Tokyo Stories from Curious Outsiders

017 : Yuko Enomoto at a now non-existent parking lot near Yoga Station.
Born the 20th century in Tokyo, Japan, Yuko Enomoto currently works as a translator, teacher, mother and wife. She came to Japan on a resident visa. Why Japan? Because she’s Japanese. She digs the following Tokyo bits: Kikukawa, unagi restaurant in Setagaya, the trains when they’re not crowded, new Year’s holidays, washlet and the crazy but kind and obliging people She, however, is a touch miffed by the trains when they're crowded, smokey cafes, the lack of sidewalks, the crazy and nosy people and August For more info on Yuko Enomoto you should send an email.

image: Life Cinematic

“I was fifteen years old and it was one of those nights.”

I was fifteen years old and it was one of those nights. I awoke to the sound of my father—normally a gentle soul—shouting, yelling obscenities to nobody in particular. A high-ranking executive at a fast-growing company, my father had come home stumbling drunk after midnight with a weird and scary glimmer in his eyes that anybody who’s known a bad drunk immediately recognizes as a danger sign. I ran down the stairs to find that he had shoved my mother to the floor and flipped the dining table over. The dinner my mother had prepared for him splattered all over the kitchen and dining room walls. I hated him so much that moment. I told him that I was going to kill him. “Try it if you can,” he said. So I reached for the butcher’s knife and pointed it at him, my hand shaking like crazy, but wanting to end it once and for all. I heard my mother yell at me, “Do you want to go to jail for the rest of your life for this bastard?!” I dropped the knife and began dialing 110[1]. The police answered immediately, but I couldn’t get a single word out through my hysterical sobs, my father’s yelling and my mother’s wailing. I hung up the phone and with a strength I didn’t know I had, I propelled myself across the small living room and slammed my father into the wall. He collapsed to the floor and finally everything was quiet.

I threw on my flip flops and ran across the street to an empty lot, sobbing uncontrollably and wishing that I had a brother or sister, wishing that I were someone else, living with a different family.

That lot is gone now.

referenced works

  1. The emergency phone number for the police. 119 is reserved for medical and fire emergencies.

location information

  • Name: a now non-existent parking lot near Yoga Station.
  • Address: 1-8-14 Tamagawa-dai Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
  • Time of story: late night
  • Latitude: 35.610889
  • Longitude: 139.627969
  • Map: Google Maps


  1. Heather Scott-Goddard in Canada thinks: “it was one of those nights”. A powerful piece, which in few words conveys so much.

019She laughed at my effort and responded in English, ‘Long time, no seduction.’ — Qi Rari

018In my dreamy state, oblivious to signs and announcements I often boarded the wrong train.— Momus (aka Nick Currie)

017I was fifteen years old and it was one of those nights.— Yuko Enomoto

016That ear of corn just wanted to go home— Guttersnipe Das

015With his painstakingly coiffured mane blowing in the wind— Digits Wolfowitz

014Her voice, even across languages, betraying her worry.— Olly Denton

013I saw them drawing bamboo sticks from a silver rectangular box.— Daphné Haour

012A simulacrum of someone else's home, equal parts comfort and loss.— Adam Greenfield

011Jumbled Escheresque insanity where geo­graphy in any traditional sense ceases to exist.— Joseph Badtke-Berkow

010I could hardly make out anything apart from his glowing eyes...— Uleshka

009Shibuya was like a stroke.— Alice.d

008I cried for a while and wiped the dead bracken off my karate pants.— David Cady

007Both my tie and my disposition hang limp as I calculate the remaining distance to the station.— Chris Tobber

006I once read about a Chinese maiden whose feet were unbound by a cruel man …— Claire Tanaka

005The Bad Girl strutted off and I was left with a ham egg pie.— Guttersnipe Das

004I arrived expecting an irritated Japanese person to step out of the crowd and identify himself as Hideki.— Ashley Rawlings

003The woman at the ticket window seemed surprised to see another human being. I was the only visitor.— Andrew Douglas

002Flanked on either side by adult manga shops and the like, the smell of yakitori in the air.— Jean Snow

001For two weeks the day began with this morning walk, our shared routine.— Joseph Squier


Art Space Tokyo

Interested in sponsoring Hitotoki? Contact us at sponsors@hitotoki.

Write for Us!

We’re looking for short narratives describing pivotal moments of elation, confusion, absurdity, love or grief — or anything in between — inseparably tied to a specific place in Tokyo or New York.

submission form


Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Or receive updates by email