Readers have occasionally asked about this URL since “Kisama” has no apparent connection to either the author or to the content of the Website. Those having an understanding of the Japanese language might be particularly curious, so some explanation would be in order here.

In my travels, as I often do, I began to pick up a few words in Japan during the 1970s, and the word “ki” (for tree) stuck with me, given that I had been raising Christmas trees in California as a hoppy. “Sama” of course is the most formal honorific, referring to someone worthy of great respect. What a great idea to adopt a nickname meaning, “very honorable tree person” – really bad idea !

What I didn’t know at the time was that “ki” has many meanings, including; air, flavor, heart, mind, spirit, humor, and who knows what else, but that was not the problem. Taken together with “sama” in the modern use of the language the two words have a profoundly different meaning. Kisama is a good way of saying anything from “bastard” to “scum”, “pervert”, or worse. Not surprisingly my California vanity license plate, proudly displaying KISAMA drew a fair amount of attention from the many Japanese Americans living in this area.

I lost that license plate some years ago when my favorite Chevy, 4 X 4 pickup was stolen. I suppose it is still motoring around, somewhere in the Mexican desert so I am sure the DMV would not reissue the plates. I suppose that is just as well, but the URL registration is still active so why not put it to “good use”? I use the word “good” advisedly and hope my Japanese and Japanese-American readers will forgive me for my crude abuse of their language.