This blog is not a JET blog–it’s not even a “Japan blog.”  This blog is about me, in Japan.  It’s a selfish space where I can think out loud and detail my experiences in Tokyo.  So this blog will talk about Japan and my own engagement with Japan, but it will also talk about food, biking, history, architecture, and books because it’s about my life.


This year, I’m living in Tokyo where I’m working as an assistant language teacher (ALT) on the JET Programme.  I recently graduated from DePaul University where I spent a lot of time studying China.  Last year I even lived in Beijing, so I can safely say that not too long ago I never would have guessed I’d be getting ready to move to Japan.

A Japanese self-study textbook I’m using in a desperate attempt to prepare myself at least a little before jumping headfirst into a country where I don’t speak the language recommended trying to answer the question: Why are you learning Japanese?  And for me, that question is part and parcel with: Why go to Japan at all?

In some ways I’m going to Japan to become more fully what I am not. I’ve been super focussed on China, and I’d like to learn more about a different country for a while and avoid being pigeonholed as a “China person” (not that anyone has ever called me that).  In some small ways, I’ve always been interested in Japan.  And in some ways, I can see Japan becoming part of my future.

In any case, one of my biggest goals in Japan this year is to just not overthink things so I’m letting whatever will happen, happen — and try to make the most of it.


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