Life Scene: First Visit to Japan

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.

Tsukiji Breakfast
Tsukiji Breakfast. That’s me at 27 years old! My dad is the guy wearing sunglasses.

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…


Weekend Update

This past weekend was pretty good. Of course the thing that has been on my mind lately is my health and specifically, my knee. I really want to start running again but the healing process has been pretty slow. However, I did get out for a quick run on Saturday afternoon, and it started out not so good… After running about 100 yards or so, my knee hurt and I had to limp along, then walk for a bit, then run a bit, then walk. I was kind of depressed but tried to look on the bright side of things. I felt grateful that I could at least walk and enjoy the beautiful weather! So after several minutes of walking I tried jogging again and my knee felt better! I did adjust my stride and how I plant my feet a bit, but I managed to go for 2.5 miles. Upon returning home, I iced up my knee. I knew the real test would be if the knee still felt good the following day.

I’m happy to say that my knee felt great! Specifically, it wasn’t any more sore than before. This allowed me to enjoy Bay and my Sunday morning at the skatepark. I also took Lani for a long walk to test out the knee and it seemed good. So slowly I will start adding some more miles to the routine. I was averaging around 6 miles per run, which is probably where I want to get back to. I think by then end of the year I will be back to that schedule! Happy happy happy!

In other news this weekend, we saw a lot of friends, Koa had a couple of sleepovers, movies were watched and good food was consumed. I barbecued burgers last night and they turned out great! I love my little barbeque so much!

Making Stories

I recently read the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life” by Donald Miller and one thing that stuck with me was the thought that life is a story, and we should try to write a good story by living meaningful lives. Not only for ourselves, but involving the people around us.

When I look back at some of my favorite memories, I think they are like short stories or snippets. I like them a lot. Of course some memories aren’t so great, but those are still stories.

So, how does one create good stories? I am not sure, but I am reminded of something photographer Jim Richardson said – “If you want your pictures to be better, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”

I’d like to stand in front of more interesting stuff.

Yes Run

I just ran 2.5 miles and my knee, although sore, is feeling pretty good! Started off hurting but then it loosened up and I took it easy and ran farther than I thought I would. Iced up the knee after I got home and it’s feeling ok. I am pretty happy!

Halloween costumes

This past Halloween I really enjoyed dressing up in a costume, but it’s always difficult to decide what to be. I had a few ideas this year, but when I was thinking about different costumes, some things seem off-limits. For instance, dressing up in a costume of a profession that someone I know in real life actually is seems like it would be weird. A doctor or a policeman aren’t very good costumes for adults… kids would be ok I suppose. But then kids dressing up like baseball or football players is kind of weird because kids actually wear those things all the time.

Anyways, like I said it’s difficult to come up with costume ideas, but I have run across a few I thought were pretty clever… the problem is that when Halloween comes around the following year, I have forgotten what all those cool ideas were! Maybe I need to write them down, huh?