Last updated: April 27th, 2018
I’m never one to write anything terribly auto-biographical in text form, but I hope to give the reader of this site some concept of where I am coming from.
Currently, I am a CIO of an international insurance company based in Tokyo, having lived in Japan for about seven of the last twelve years. I originally came to Japan as part of an International Masters of Business Administration program to both learn the language as well as experience the Japanese business environment.
I was born and also raised on the eastern coast of the United States. In the time around the turn of the century, I noticed the world around me beginning to change. From that point forward, I had set my sights firmly on an agenda of personal growth. This journey first began with creating music and accomplishing some personal artistic goals.
However, over the last 14 years with some additional travel and culture experience, my personal growth path has transformed in a more practical sense. I truly feel that one cannot fully appreciate one’s own culture and values until you experience a culture or value set that is skewed from your own. For this reason, and the need to continually satisfy a creative urge, I have decided to pursue a path of experience living in a different country and doing so while continuing to educate myself.
After life got busy, I decided to share this blog with my close friend, Terrance who has his own story about Japan. Now, both over 40 years old and a bit wiser, I hope that you too can experience “Finding Japan” through our experiences.
In interviews, a go-to question I’ll often ask a guest is “how did you find Japan”? Often times the guest will answer that they discovered Japan through a translated Dragon Ball Z comic book or on their first visit to Tokyo back in 2005 or after that first bite of sushi they had at “authentic Japanese restaurant” Edo in the strip mall in their hometown. For those like me, born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Black American father, the answer is both simpler and more complicated.
Although I was born in Japan, my earliest memories of life are from Ohio, where I lived as a young child. For years, the Japan I knew was through mom, a black and white portrait photo of my deceased grandfather, and a visit to Japan when we lived in Hawaii.
So in light of that, I could say I found Japan when we moved back to Japan when I was in the 3rd grade, to a Japanese neighborhood in the naval town of Yokosuka, where I made my first Japanese friends and learned to speak Japanese and played countless hours of Dragon Quest IV.
Since then, I’ve found Japan again and again. In 1998, I came back to Japan to Kobe, in the culturally distinct Kansai region, as an exchange student. I would end up spending over 12 wonderful years in Kobe honing my Kansai dialect and making lifelong friends. And now, for the past few years, I have once again found Japan in Tokyo as a translator.
One of the best ways to find something is through the findings of others. My close friendship with Chris began as such when we became friends through a silly little podcast (RIP Kobe Beef Show) I used to do and he visited Japan for the first time in 2005.
Chris started Finding Japan as a record of his discoveries and experiences. Now, the adventure continues together as two once young bucks, now medieval men, blog, vlog, and podcast our way through our thoughts on and experiences in this country and its culture that has played such a large role in both of our lives.
About This Site
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Thank you and welcome to Finding Japan.