The Preamble
   
Dekkai (でっかい) : Huge, gigantic or just too damn big.

Sensei (先生) : Teacher. The one that you bow to.

     I remember the feeling I had as the plane touched down at Narita International Airport. At no point in the weeks leading up to flying halfway around the world did I have this feeling that now weighed so heavy on my soul. As the wheels hit the runway, the question of “Did I just make the biggest mistake of my life?” hit me like an unblocked defensive end. Here I was, at the point of no return, only now second guessing altering my entire life.
     Some of you already know me, but for those of you just tuning in, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeff Maack and I am a native Oregonian. Up until recently, I was selling computers at a Best Buy and using my dulcet tones to grace the various podcasts of No Sell Entertainment. I have a family that has been more than supportive and friends I would gladly take a bullet for. To be honest, I lived a very easy and blessed life. I love my family. I love my friends. I love doing podcasts. The problem was, I was going nowhere fast. I was in a job that I hated and only did out of an unwillingness to apply myself. The life I was living was killing me, physically and mentally.
     Enter Robert and Nick. Robert was my supervisor at work. Nick and I had been working together for years. They are the ones who really get this story moving. Robert recognized I was going through the motions and said I needed to either start into leadership or find something new. Nick, knowing me for so long, had heard me talk about Japan for years. They got together to make me finally take my chance. I wouldn’t call it an intervention. It was more being called out for talking a big game. I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for them. Granted, Nick probably just wanted an excuse to visit Japan again.
     This left me with two important factions I needed to reconcile with. First off was my family. They have been nothing but supportive of my decision. Dad was probably the most concerned about this as a career move and as a financial decision. But in the end, he told me to follow my dreams. The other group I was worried about was my “No Sell” family. I have been a part of No Sell Entertainment since its inception. I spent more time with these people on a weekly basis then I did anyone else. My cousin and I have been talking about professional wrestling for around 30 years. I was on every show, hosting all but the flagship. I won’t sit here and say it was always sunshine and rainbows. That said, getting to sit there and talk about some of my favorite things, with some of my favorite people, was an absolute blessing. I’m excited to see where the channel will go. I would say, in many ways, the product is better now than when I left. The addition of new talent on the shows and on the website has been wonderful.
   
   
     The internet, though definitely a hive of scum and villainy, is a Godsend when you live half a world away from those that mean the most to you. I can message my friends and family instantaneously(This is not to say I am any good at this endeavor). I don’t have to worry about my Niece and Nephew forgetting who I am. Time zones still play havoc with scheduling at times. I had to rely on auto draft in my fantasy football league this year (So many wide receivers). I wasn’t going to play at all this year, but it’s a way to keep connected with my friends back home.
     So I now find myself living and working in the small mountain city of Minami-Alps. I am an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) for two Elementary Schools. A story that isn’t all that rare. There are plenty of ALTs and JETs, of all different backgrounds, here in Japan. The thing that makes my experience different then many others, and makes my life here a bit difficult, is my size.
     I am not a small man. Even back in America, I was considered a large fellow. I am just a bit over six feet tall. Not tall by American standards by any stretch. Here in Japan though, there are very few instances where I am not the tallest person in the room. The big difference is in my weight. As I was in preparations for my move, I weighed in at 350 pounds. I am twice the size of most of the people I meet and the difference is even starker when it comes to my students. Even my shoe size (14 in the US) makes life a bit more difficult here. I haven’t been able to go bowling yet due to the lack of shoes in my size.
     This blog will go into the issues I have with being “Big in Japan”. What it is like to deal with sticking out like a sore thumb in a country that loves uniformity. I will also go into more everyday life discussions, being a teacher, my travels around Japan and of course the amazing food and culture that Japan provides. From time to time, I may even have thoughts on other topics such as sports, pop culture and wrestling. I am still the same “Voice of a Generation”, but now I am also “Dekkai Sensei”.      
  
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Here I was, at the point of no return, only now second guessing altering my entire life.
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Jeff Maack
 
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