I have been working on learning Japanese since I was very young. I had a family friend named Ken Yamamoto who, was like an Uncle to me. He would go home to Japan for visits but went to school in Oklahoma. When he would come back from his visits he would always bring my brother and I something back that was amazing. I got Sailor Moon PJs and books and candies and books and all kinds of neat things that I wish as a young child I would have realized how much they would have meant to me later. Ken passed away when I was still relatively young, I don’t even know if my brother remembers him. I miss him every day and if I ever want to make myself cry, I think of him and how unfair it is that he is gone. However, because of him I gained the insane love of Japan, so much so that I am 26 today and I can not remember a point in my life where I didn’t think about living in Japan one day.
I have done copious amounts of research, I can tell you the different ways that you can get a Visa, and qualifications for each. I know about lots of the little things most people don’t know. Such as Trash days are broken up into types of trash, That talking on a cell phone on the train is a no no, how to bow appropriately for a man and a woman, and that telling your Host “No thank you” is a HUGE insult. Some of my learning is via others learning it, some of it is from visiting when I was 17, and some of it is from speaking with my Uncle’s beautiful wife who is Japanese. Aunt Mika had HUGE amounts of patience with me in teaching me so many things. I think I almost broker her with my miss understanding of how to take a shower….Good times.
One thing during all these years is the fact that I have always attempted to learn Japanese and I wouldn’t say I have failed, but I can’t carry on a conversation, I can’t read instructions written down for me, and I think that needs to be fixed. Over the years I have learned how to introduce myself, typical greetings and how to count. Most recently because of my husband, I have picked up MOST *not all* of the Hiragana and Katakana.
Well Today is my 26th Birthday and as a gift to both of us, My husband and I decided that we wanted to hire a teacher to do lessons with us one on one. Oklahoma didn’t have something like this for us, but after moving here to Austin,TX we have found so many teachers! We have picked out one and are all set up to start our first lessons! Our ultimate goal is a life long dream of mine, to live and work in the country that I love with all my heart so much that it hurts, Japan. We are luck enough to work for a company that has a branch overseas that makes it a real possibility! However unlike JET, or any other Teach in Japan program, we can’t just go in blind with no Japanese. We would need to know enough to talk about our jobs and live life. It is going to be fun. We can do it.
So starts my journey on learning Japanese and on preparing more knowledge so that if we have the wonderful chance to move, we won’t be shocked.