The Big American aka Billy Bob Stretch-Buttons

Ok, back to the living in Japan series. Question 3 was….

Is it hard to find clothes if you’re “American sized”?

Hard finding clothes? No, impossible is the word needed here. You’re asking the right guy about this one. I’m 6’1, weigh about 370lbs and wear a size 12 shoe. I can not buy clothes in Japan. Up until about 5 years ago I couldn’t even buy shoes here, at least not in Shizuoka. I usually buy my shoes and a lot of my clothes from eastbay ( Other clothes I do a lot of shopping online at Rochester Big and Tall. They have a lot of major brands in big sizes.

Now, I haven’t always been this big. There was a time when I was in the 230 range, which made me fairly svelte……finally got to use that word. I feel best in the 220-240 range. I played sports growing up so I do have a lot of muscle packed under here. It’s just got a few layers of padding over top of it now. Even when I was down at my fighting weight I couldn’t buy clothes here. Oh, they have big and tall shops, but it’s almost comical. You see, one thing people need to realize is that Asian people are not built the same as westerners. Even when a Japanese person gets fat the proportions are totally different. We tend to have longer upper bodies and longer legs so where as we get bigger and bigger the Japanese tend to turn into a round, fat ball. So what you get going into a big and tall shop here are shirts that don’t cover the lower half of your torso when you raise your arms up and long sleeves that stop at your elbows. Not to mention the neck sizes. I have a pretty thick neck. If I buy a shirt here that will fit my neck then the body is so wide it almost looks like I’m sporting bat wings. If I get something to fit around my gut then the neck is so tight that it almost chokes me to death.

You’d think socks would be safe. Nope. For the most part a standard shoe shop only goes up to a 28cm in shoe size, I think that’s around a 10 in US size. Their socks are actually foot shaped right out of the package, not like our tubular style socks that mold to your foot. So when you buy socks here they’re pretty much made at shoe size. I gotta tell ya, not too many things more uncomfortable than having the heel of your sock not exactly fitting around your heel. It feels like there’s something inside your shoe. Very irritating.

I don’t even want to get started on the underwear.

Y’all come back, I’ll leave the light on for ya.




ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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5 Responses to The Big American aka Billy Bob Stretch-Buttons

  1. Mary Carnes Nitschke says:

    Jim, Just wanted you to know that I enjoy reading your posts. They are quite interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • A friend here kept telling me I should start a blog. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that anyone would want to read about the things rolling around in my head. I gotta say I’m very surprised at the reaction my blog is getting. There aren’t a whole lot of comments but I’m getting pretty good hits every day. Thanks for reading.

  2. Robin Downard Reis says:

    Hey Jim!
    I just have to say….you go dude!!! Love reading your blog. It’s very interesting and entertaining, to say the least! I haven’t had a chance to “dig in” until now. Keep it up…you’re on to something here!!!! 🙂 Take care!

    • Thanks, Robin. A friend here at school has been on me for months about starting a YouTube channel and doing a blog. I’ve never entertained the idea of having a blog because I don’t feel that I write very well. But I keep getting positive notes like this one. Thank you very much. I’ll try my best to keep it up….and hopefully do better.

  3. Mr. Fat Man says:

    Hi Mully,
    I’m Taiwanese and I’m 5’11, weigh about 320lbs and when I went back to Taiwan and it is impossible to find clothes that fit me, too. Kind makes me feel like I’m huge in Taiwan 🙂

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