Exploring Japan with Back of Town
Here we continue the Back of Town OT conversation on Japan.
For a little background, I came to Japan in 1990 and, with the exception of a three year stay in Canada, I have been here ever since. Currently, I am teaching basic computer literacy and English at a private high school. I live on the Japan Sea coast of Honshu, the main island, on the Eurasian tectonic plate. This means that while the Great Hanshin Earthquake of ’95 had me wondering if the bed I was lying on was going in head or feet first, I didn’t feel a thing in March 2011, when the Tōhoku Earthquake and resulting tsunami struck. Still, the ramifications of just the natural disaster (nuclear accidents aside) were, are, and will be felt for many years. While I hold dual Canadian/American citizenship, my wife is Japanese. Our three sons hold Canadian and Japanese citizenship.
I have been here in a non-itinerant capacity for long enough, that I no longer know the extent to which I have been influenced by the culture, language, and people. When I hear people mentioning that they “don’t get” Japan, especially in the context of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, I find myself wondering what it is that puzzles them.
So, here we discuss.