The Japanese way of saying “I love you”

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Act 1 of this week’s episode of This American Life is about a makeshift phone booth in Japan where people go to “talk” to relatives who died in the 2011 tsunami. It’s a total tear jerker—especially, I think, for those of us who resonate with the Japanese way of expressing deeply felt emotions, like love and loss and mourning: “He never says I love you directly. Real feelings are communicated through small gestures, especially ones of concern. Like when he asked his wife, are you staying warm?”

Listen to the episode

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