Currently, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area working the nine to five. I grew up in a small town near Boston, the same one where Masako Odawa attended high school. My first grade teacher was wed to a survivor of the Hiroshima bombings, and incorporated a great deal of Japanese culture into our lessons. The point being, I had a great deal of exposure to Japanese culture at a young age that ignited my interest.
Throughout adolescence I explored this interest, but mostly through popular media which Boston was in no short supply. As I approached college my interest turned academic, but it wasn’t my focus. I studied the language, history, literature and media through electives. I continue some personal study to this day.
In August of 2007 I took a short term contract as an ALT, living and working in the second smallest city in Japan. I still keep in contact with some of my former students, teachers and coworkers from Japan. I learned a great dealwhile there, and found there were many things that none of my years of curiosity and study hadn’t revealed.
Now that I’m back in the United States, my curiousity and interest for Japan hasn’t waned a bit. I’m still trying to learn more and plan to make a return trip in the near future. I consider myself to have the benefit of study and experience, which is why I write this. Namely, to illuminate the not so obvious or often discussed aspects of Japanese living.