I have been in love with Japan for a very long time now, I think it started when I was 12 and I saw the miniseries Shogun on television. I was fascinated with the setting and the characters. I may be mistaken, but the character thought that … was super cool, and I believe the character Lady Mariko was my first crush. Ever since then, I have been a Japanophile.
From that time until my mid-twenties, I spent a lot of time watching Japanese dramas, listening to Japanese bands, and visiting Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until I visited Japan that it really changed my life.
In 1995 I went on vacation with my parents to Tokyo. It was about a 5-day trip, and my parents acted as tour guides for me since they had visited Japan a few times before. We saw so many cool sights including Shinjuku, Tsukiji, Asakusa, Nikko, and Kamakura. It was such an amazing trip! Tokyo was everything I thought it would be: fast-paced, crowded, clean, and modern. It’s funny to think about it, but I remember feeling like that should be my home.
And when we returned back to the States, I felt what I think is homesickness. Isn’t that weird? But even though I was only in Japan for 5 days, I missed it so much and I was in a blue mood for a couple weeks.
At that time I was working at UCLA and was enjoying my life but after my trip I knew I had to move to Japan. It was a certainty. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I decided to give myself half a year to move there, and after I made the decision, my blue mood was instantly replaced with excitement.
More on this story to come…