Japanese Exchange Student Taken To Japanese Restaurant

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Vol 38 Issue 13

Lutheran Minister Arrested On Charges Of Boring Young Children

PERU, IL— St. Luke's Lutheran Church was rocked by scandal Tuesday, when Rev. Bob Tillich, the church's pastor of 12 years, was arrested on suspicion of boring as many as 23 children within the congregation. "Reverend Bob always seemed like the sweetest man," parishioner Vera Crandall said following the arrest. "When my son said he made him watch three 1975 filmstrips about the suffering of Job, I was shocked." In the wake of the arrest, seven former Sunday-school students, dating as far back as 1989, have stepped forward with charges that Tillich subjected them to inappropriately tedious parables.

Breakup Doesn't Seem To Have Changed Relationship

CARY, NC— Six weeks after their breakup, Daniel Bey and Janette Forsberg seem to have undergone no apparent change in their relationship, friends of the ostensibly ex-couple reported Monday. "They see each other all the time, and they still argue about every trivial thing, just like when they were together," friend Rich Gascone said. "Daniel even told me they're still having sex. But apparently, in some science-fiction way I can't comprehend, they're split up."

Either Jay Leno A Repeat Or P. Diddy Got Arrested Again

MOUNT LEBANON, PA— According to Pittsburgh-area TV viewer Erik Allen, either Monday's Tonight Show With Jay Leno was a repeat or P. Diddy got arrested again. "Jay's monologue had all these jokes about P. Diddy getting busted for some kind of gun possession," Allen said. "I hadn't really heard anything about another arrest, so I figured it was a rerun. But that was, like, more than a year ago, right? Plus, I think he was still Puff Daddy back then, and Jay called him P. Diddy." Allen said he had hoped to gain insight from Leno's interviews with guests Lisa Kudrow and zookeeper Jack Hanna, but "neither seemed to be plugging anything all that time-specific."

What Does Not Kill Me Only Makes Me Whinier

I've endured a great deal of hardship and pain in my life. I'll never forget the gastrointestinal distress I suffered two years ago after consuming an entire bag of caramel popcorn. Or the humiliation I felt in 1996 when I was stood up by a blind date. Or the time I spent an entire day wearing a shirt that, unbeknownst to me, was marred by unsightly deodorant streaks.

Clinton Dragged Up On Stage To Sing 'Sweet Home Alabama' With The Band

LITTLE ROCK, AR— Former president Bill Clinton joined local rock band Jimmy Ellis & The Houserockers onstage for a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" Saturday. "Come on up here, Mr. President!" Ellis urged Clinton, whom he spotted near the back of the crowd. "Show the nice folks how it's done!" Following the performance, Clinton remained onstage for a rollicking rendition of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places."

Arafat Under Fire

Trapped by Israeli tanks in his West Bank compound, Yasser Arafat is under fire for not doing more to stop the recent Palestinian terrorist attacks. What do you think?

Tax-Code Changes

The Aptil 15 tax-filing deadline is fast approaching. What are some of the changes in this year's code?
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Japanese Exchange Student Taken To Japanese Restaurant

BETTENDORF, IA—Takashi Miyazawa, 16, an exchange student from Nagoya spending six months in Bettendorf, was given the opportunity to experience authentic Japanese cuisine Monday, when host mother Bobbie Tucker arranged a visit to Edo, a restaurant in nearby Davenport.

The Japanese restaurant to which Miyazawa (inset) was taken.

"The Eagle [Food Center] has take-out sushi, but I didn't think there was a place you could sit down for a genuine Japanese meal," Tucker said Monday. "But as I was reading the paper Sunday, I happened to notice an ad for Edo. I knew Takashi would be so thrilled."

The outing marked the first time any of the Tuckers had eaten Japanese food and Miyazawa's 18,358th.

"I just knew Takashi would love Edo," Tucker said. "The walls were decorated with all sorts of beautiful fans and paintings that reminded him of home. Takashi said Edo is the former name of Tokyo, which is the capital of Japan."

Added Tucker: "It was expensive, considering the portions, but it's worth it if it makes Takashi feel more at home. We already love him."

While youngest son Derrick, 14, steered clear of "anything raw" at the restaurant, ordering the chicken-teriyaki platter, the other Tuckers were fairly adventurous. In addition to sushi and sashimi, they sampled miso soup, edamame, and seaweed salad.

"I've always wanted to try sushi," said father Bill Tucker, 51. "Now I can say I did."

Midway through the meal, Bill asked the restaurant's owners, Makoto and Midori Furukawa, to come over and personally greet their countrymate.

Said Bill: "The two owners, who moved here from Japan three years ago, came over and talked to our honored guest in Japanese for a few minutes. Takashi must have been so thrilled."

Miyazawa, who arrived in Bettendorf last Wednesday, exchanged a few awkward sentences with the Furukawas in his native tongue.

"I told them they had a very nice restaurant, and that the food was very good," Miyazawa explained. "They welcomed me to America and wished me a safe and pleasant stay here. That was pretty much it. Mr. Tucker encouraged me to keep talking to them in Japanese if I wanted, but I said it wasn't necessary."

After dinner, the Tuckers and Miyazawa headed to Davenport's NorthPark Mall. Miyazawa spent two hours happily browsing such stores as the Gap, Musicland, and Electronics Boutique—until Bobbie pulled him into a store called Oriental Gifts.

Miyazawa said he hopes he can convince his host parents to bring him back to NorthPark Mall to see Blade II at the adjoining multiplex. For now, he will have to settle for the "movie night" Bobbie has planned for Saturday.

"Mrs. Tucker is forcing me to sit down with the family and watch something called Gung Ho," Miyazawa said. "She said it's 'a very funny movie that uses comedy to point out the differences between our two cultures.' I wish we could rent The Fast And The Furious instead."

Miyazawa, Bobbie said, has "adjusted beautifully" to his new surroundings. She added that the transition has been eased by her own efforts to lessen his culture shock.

"As soon as we got home from the airport, I went through the house explaining to Takashi how various household appliances work," Bobbie said. "I told him, 'I want you to feel completely comfortable here, so don't feel embarrassed about asking me how to operate something.'"

Bobbie said she also pointed out the family's Sony TV, Panasonic stereo, and various other Japanese products.

Said Bobbie: "I told him, 'Even halfway around the world, there's still a little bit of Japan right here in Iowa.'"

Last Wednesday, as Miyazawa was getting ready for his first night's sleep in the house, Bobbie apologized for not having a traditional Japanese sleeping mat. Showing him his twin bed, she offered to find him "more traditional bedding" should he desire it.

"She was being so nice about everything, I didn't have the heart to tell her I don't sleep on the floor at home," Miyazawa said. "I also don't need her to explain what a bagel is, but she seems to enjoy helping me."

Miyazawa was equally patient when Bobbie suggested he call her "youbo."

"I didn't understand what she was saying at first," Miyazawa said. "But after she said it four or five times, I realized she was saying 'mother' in Japanese. That was nice. Mrs. Tucker is very kind to me. I always make sure never to laugh at her."

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