What is this so-called nampa? Nampa is the ancient Japanese art of pick-up. The seductive skill of girl-hunting. The discreet loitering around the train station, the thrill of the chase, the crushing rejection or ecstatic exchange of phone numbers. A much-maligned art which is becoming more and more illegal.
Awww, I remember my first nampa experience. I’d been in Japan less than a year and I was walking down a main street not far from Nagoya Station when a tall, skinny Japanese boy with a bleached anime-style shock of hair, a dapper suit and startlingly protuberant teeth smilingly approached me and struck up a conversation out of the blue. In Japanese! Living in conservative Nagoya and starved for human affection and contact, I and my fledgling language skills almost fell into his arms. I was so happy he was treating me just as if I was Japanese, making no distinction between me and the girls walking past in super short skirts (or maybe those were belts…).