Step up to the mic

Tell A Story

We’re actively looking for stories to feature on the site, on the stage and on The Moth Radio HourRead more »

Sam Thurman

Japanese Mosh Pit

Added: Apr 8, 2014

Recorded: Jan 30, 2012

An exchange student experiences Japanese mosh pit etiquette.


More from this storyteller »

Photo by Eli Goldstein

Extras from this story:

Sam wearing a school girl uniform in his favorite picture from “a crazy time.”

We asked Sam how he ended up at the festival he describes in his story. He wrote:

I was in Japan studying abroad at the Osaka University of Art, a large and not-so-prestigious art school in the Japanese countryside. I didn’t know any Japanese, and suffered from moderate social anxiety, so I spent the first half of the semester sitting in my tiny apartment microwaving instant noodles.

After a month or so I met Chris, a punk rocker from Hong Kong. He was trilingual (Cantonese, English, Japanese) and always had a large backpack that made him look like an anarchist turtle. Chris always said yes to everything. Do you want to stay out all night getting drunk in the red light district? Yes. Do you want to go to a dance battle in a stranger’s apartment in America town? Yes. Do you want to see what a Japanese orgy looks like? Yes.

After a while I started saying yes too (no orgies for me though). And when Chris asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip with him and a grungy hippie girl named Moi I said yes. That’s how I wound up at the Fuji Rock Festival.