On the meaning of "osu":
I do hear it occasionally, mostly from guys behind the bar or counter at the udon shop. Even as a toast, "cheers", "kampai".
Most interesting, though, was a scene on a TV show I saw my first week here. Before my cable got hooked up, all that was on TV was Japanese broadcast channels, and sometimes I'd watch, try to figure out what I could.
One show was some sort of medical drama, and part of the plot seemed to revolve around a young female doctor trying to deal with a difficult patient. In one scene, she'd apparently made up her mind to confront him or tell him something. And as she set off down the hall, she took a moment to gather her courage and determination, and said to herself, "osu!"
Then - here's the nifty part - as she walks down the hall, the depiction changes to a cartoon! Apparently showing her inner experience, she is walking into and against a strong wind, but still moving forward.
An interesting illustration of "osu".
Adding to the international tally, last night I met a young lady originally from New Mexico (now Hawaii, here as an exchange student) who's Native American. Just in ancestry though, I don't think she grew up on the rez in a different nation; still, another bit of the crossroads thing.
"Feeling in a Tom Petty mood", says the guy playing guitar, and it seems to me that there's a song in that line, Tom Petty and Walt Whitman take me home as I watch pretty Osaka girls drink tequila...maybe "state of mind has more good rhymes than "mood"? I shall consider.