Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Journey to Here

From meeting other people my age who are interested in Japan, I tend to find a common starting point: Sailor Moon. From watching Sailor Moon as a young child, a subliminal attraction to Japan grew within me. The colors the shapes the sounds and the magic tantalized my young, curious mind. Of course, this interest grew with the introduction of more shows and even more video games from the land of the rising sun.

After some weird years in middle school and high school, college came, and with it the opportunity to decide what I want to do with my life.  It was also my first opportunity to study Japanese. I went to a smallish liberal arts Jesuit school in Seattle. While I had a variety of majors (computer science and international business being the two majors I opted out of due to lack of aptitude/interest), studying Japanese was a constant through my education, starting my very first quarter of school.

This lead me to decide to study abroad at a sister Jesuit school in Tokyo, Sophia University (上智大学), for one semester. I was there for four months and cherished every moment of it (well, the moments not in class....), living with a real Japanese host family, joining a real Japanese school club, and going to real Japanese places. But it was not all sushi and Pokemon. There were definitely some undesirable aspects. But overall, this time was one of the greatest in my life where I've made the best friends anyone could ask for.

During my time between returning from study abroad and the end of my college career, I attempted several times to return, but lack of funds ultimately cut that dream short. I finished undergrad, ending up with a double major in International Studies and Asian Studies with a focus on Japan. Buttttttt, there's not much of a market for that sort of thing. So from January 2011 to August, I worked an entry level job that wasn't going anywhere for me. I was planning on saving up to go to language school, but I couldn't survive the separation from Japan that long, so I followed the footsteps of many a college grad and turned to the English teaching option to get me over there FAST. So now, here I am, three days before my initial training and starting my blog.

Now I'm going talk about what I want this blog to be. First, the explanation of the play-on-words title. The Japanese characters read NI-HON-SHIN. The first two characters together mean "Japan". The last two characters together mean "true feelings". So, the purpose of this blog is to share my true feelings on Japan -everything from the positive to the negative. These are my own personal opinions are they will probably contain some factual errors and irrational thinking. You are free to disagree to me (in fact, I'd like some discussion!).

This blog will also mostly be just a synopsis of my daily life as I live out my days in Tokyo.

I also want this to be a positive-minded resource for anyone who aspires to come to Japan to live, work, or study.  Many websites for Westerners interested in coming to Japan are usually full of bitter expats who want to keep out as much competition as possible.  This will be a positive space for those seeking advice.  The main reason I was able to get where I am now was through networking, so I want to give others that opportunity as well.


Special thanks to:
-Caroline Josephine for inspiring me through her blog. It motivated me to get over here as well as write this blog!!! She's an amazing writer and a true friend!!!
-my friend Emie for coming up with the name.
-my friend Julie for pushing me towards Japan and being one of my bestest friends and giving me tons of great blog ideas.
-oh, and to my parents, I guess.............. <3


  1. I'm so happy that you're here! And that I could be a part of the process. Can't wait to meet up soon!

  2. Beautifully written, Ant! Can't wait to read future postings!

  3. Ooh, I especially love the picture, very you >.<
    I can't wait to read more! Hope you're enjoying your first few days before you actually have to start work!

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  5. This is so well written!! You really do write beautifully, and I am excited to read more of your blog as times goes by. I am also so touched that I inspired you in some way!!
    You always inspire me to be a better person with your positive attitude and always pushing me not to give up on my dreams either!!<3

    I can't wait until we are reunited in Tokyo once again!! ^^

    And I do love how Sailor Moon is the most common denominator in our generation of those who became interested in Japan. 月に代わってお仕置きを!;)

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the comments and the support!!!!