The rules for sailing in Japan are simple: Do as you’re told. So when the Aburatsu harbormaster indicated that my wife, Diana, and I should raft up next to a run-down fishing scow, I turned in Roger Henry, our 36-foot Damien IV steel cutter, without hesitation. As we approached it, I saw jagged shards of wood and rusty bolts jutting out from the splintered rubrail, poised to wreak unspeakable havoc upon our boat’s topsides. I yelled forward to Diana to drop our 32-inch-diameter polystyrene fender over the starboard side. We named this disposable orange monstrosity Freddy Fender because its job was to “be there before the next teardrop falls.” We barged in boldly and tied up, lying a safe distance off.