|:gasp: The Maintainer Answers His Own Survey!
||[Jul. 3rd, 2006|11:06 pm]
We'd Rather Be In Japan: Gai-Nihonjin Unite!
( The Epic Gai-Nihonjin Intro SurveyCollapse )
( The Pic: Gaijin'ed!Collapse )
I'm really glad to hear that I'm not one of the only people who believes they're better off living in Japan. I first came across Japanese culture via anime in the summer of 2002, right before I started college. A year later and I had taken a class on Buddhism and was taking Japanese courses over the summer at UPenn. A year after that and I'd declared myself to be a film AND asian studies major and had decided to spend the year abroad in Tokyo. A year after that and I was lying in bed following ankle surgery (made necessary by a previous health problem plus all of the walking you do in Japan), wishing I was still there.
I think I really figured out that Japan is where I belong on my last night in Tokyo when I lived there, April 18th 2005. I went out in Shibuya for a meal at Matsuya (my favorite beef bowl haunt), one last visit to HMV and Tower Records (to spend what I had left on my point cards), and to get my keitai de-activated. I remember walking out of the AU store, testing my cellphone to see if maybe, just maybe it still worked. When I saw that it didn't, I felt this weight in my chest, I looked around and just felt so out of touch with everything around me to the point where I almost had to hold back tears. And then the sky opened up a little and it started to rain - not enough for everyone to open up their umbrellas, but it was almost like the city was telling me that it would miss me too.
My most recent voyage made me realize how much I missed living there - I still remembered all of the hidden side streets in my favorite districts, I still recalled enough of the language to remember how to order food and do various things. In referring to Japan's soccer team (I left the day the World Cup started), I referred to Japan as "we", causing my friends to say "Dan, you don't live here anymore." I'd usually reply with something like "I'm a non-residential citizen, dammit," and that's where the idea of the gai-Nihonjin first came into my mind.