Bringing you up to Speed!
now youíre probably asking yourself, ďThis kid has been gone
for almost two years, so what has he been doing this whole
before I get into my writing, allow me to take some time to tell
you what I have been up to.
Since 2002, Iíve turned fifteen, finished my
year at high school, began my sophomore year, met a few friends,
lost many Internet pals, improved my writing skills, became more
obsessed with Japan, purchased a Playstation 2 (I had to throw
that in there ^ ^), andÖ
Surfed the Internet aimlessly.
I guess you could say I havenít really done a lot, but
inside I am feeling more confident about being able to go to
Japan. I was very
surprised and happy with the feedback I got from working on my
last MyNippon article (Meeting
Japanese women), and I
want to thank everyone who contacted me about the article with
nice comments Ė you guys are part of the reason why I decided
to work on a second article!
: ) I would like to thank my ďfansĒ and the great
folks at MyNippon for
helping me decide to make another article.
Iím very pleased to be working on a sequel to my first
article, and I hope that you all enjoy reading my work as much
as I do creating it! (Related article: Tips
on living permanently in Japan)
Meanwhile, on the ComputerÖ
I wrote my last article a lot has changed in my ďcyber
lifeĒ. In order to preserve other peopleís privacy, Iíll refrain
from mentioning their names and wonít go into detail about
them. Here goes.
A few days after writing my first article I dated an
older girl from
Australia for a while.
I really liked her, and she was the first ďtrueĒ
girlfriend that I had ever had, that is, if you call an online
true love. I
wasnít aware of it until a year later, but the girl lied to me
about a lot during our relationship and had cheated on me many
times Ė plus she was never honest about her feelings for me.
I eventually got over her and stopped talking to her.
I befriended a kid from the US while I was dating her and
he and I had become the best of ĎNet pals.
I talked to him for 1 Ĺ years, but because I always
bothered him with my many problems and issues I eventually
pushed him away not too long ago.
The Asian girl that I mentioned last time, the one who
disappeared, I did end up running into her a few more times long
ago, but everywhere I found her she had left and ignored me.
This kept up for a few months until I got into a fight
with her and lost contact with her. Many
of the friends I had made who were so nice to me at that time
either back-stabbed me or vanished, and when I went to talk in
chat rooms I had little luck finding any Japanese people to
befriend, let alone nice, civilized people.
To make things short, I only have three main friends at
the moment Ė one is a friend of the girl I used to date, one
of them is a South Korean girl with a unique sense of style, and
the other moved to Canada from Europe.
While I did date the first two girls a little, both of
the relationships failed, and it wasnít until after that that
I realized Internet relationships are impossible (for a teenage
kid pursuing them through all kinds of free websites - I
understand that adults are succeeding in large numbers by using
high quality websites). Currently, I
talk to those three girls and three of my pals
when Iím online, but I donít have much in common with all of
those people. Iím
hoping to meet Japanese people to be friends with, but I guess I
wonít have much luck at that until I learn Japanese. Actually, things havenít turned out so bad, though.
Iíve had time to grow and learn more about
I think that one day Iíll be looking back on those
ďrelationshipsĒ and realizing that it was all rather
seems like only yesterday that I sat down and began to write my
first article for MyNippon.
That happened almost two years ago.
I didnít believe it myself, but I have spent about two
years of my life surfing the Internet!
Well, luckily my habits are about to break as I enter a
new stage in my life Ė I like to refer to it as the
ďpreparation stageĒ. This
summer I turn sixteen, and in a matter of two years I have to
decide what I want to do with my life Ė and I have
decision already, officially.
After two years of planning Iíve finally made the brave
decision to prepare for my adventure to Tokyo!
Although I donít have a job yet I will search for one
this summer and
save up as much money as possible so that I can
go to Japan after high school ends.
how does a young American boy go about preparing for his journey
to the orient? As I
said before, I havenít done a lot lately, but that is all
about to change. While
I spend most of my time memorizing the locations of hidden items
games, I will put my controller down more often this
summer and take time out of my schedule to learn Japanese!
I have wanted to learn Japanese for some time now, but
due to various delays and partial laziness, I never managed to
learn any. Now
Iím going to get strict with myself Ė Iím just going to
keep telling myself, ďI know this is hard, but I have got to
master Japanese in order to fulfill my dream and move to
amazing what I can do when I stop being lazy and become
determined Ė I even amaze myself sometimes.
I would give that advice to anyone else out there who
really wants to move to Japan Ė try your best and just force
your way through learning Japanese, and it will be worth it in
I know Iím giving myself a lot to live up to, but Iím
willing to do whatever it takes to get to Japan.
I have given thought to this for some time now and I know
that this is what I really want.
Most people that I talk to always tell me, ďYouíre
crazy, why would you want to move to Japan when you live in
America?Ē Well I
hate to say it, but the US isnít for everyone.
USA is a great country, and
I am happy to be from here,
but people who want to move here should also keep in mind that
there are many restrictive laws here, many of the locales (at
least where I come from) are generally mean people, and you
pretty much end up letting go of the traditions and beliefs that
you carried with you from your home country.
Donít let that discourage you, though Ė there are
many great reasons to live here as well.
People have given me many reasons not to move to Japan,
but do I let that bring me down or change how I feel?
No. You canít tell weather or not you will like living in a
country until you actually go there Ė you canít make a
judgment until you get the whole story.
(Related article: Experience
of living long-term in Japan)
Words of Warning
inside of me, I must admit that sometimes the
rumors people tell
me about Japan get me thinking.
I learned a little bit about the history of Japan last
summer and we talked a little about WWII in history class just
Just imagining what the Japanese did back then is
horrible Ė the things they did were truly terrible.
Itís hard to believe the Japan that slaughtered and
raped many other Asian countries is the same Japan that is the
world leader in robotics now.
As cruel as the Japanese were back then, though, these
arenít the same people in charge now Ė their children and
grandchildren are different people living in different times,
each with their own individual thoughts and beliefs.
I want to say that I forgive the Japanese people for
whatever happened back then Ė those were tough times and,
after all, the Japanese military
was what caused that chaos back then, not the women and
I feel great
sympathy for the other countries of the Far
East as well, but if Italy and Germany can be forgiven, then I
think Japan should be too.
It has been over fifty years since those tragic years,
and times are much better now, so I would like to see the
countries join in peace instead of separating in war.
Aside from what has happened in the past in Japan, I
admit that I do feel worried about the media over there, and the
rich businessmen who work in buildings by day and look for young
girls who sell themselves by night (or enjo kosai).
I totally disagree with a few of the things that the
Japanese believe in and approve of, and this is one of them.
The government over there should give women the same
equal rights that men have, I donít like the way that
still thought of as the dominant gender over there.
It isnít right.
Still, no matter how many rumors and worries there are
concerning Japan, I wonít let it stop me from finding out what
it is really like there first-hand.
Racism in America
people will admit it, itís true that a lot of Americans (at
least around here) are racist.
Honestly, racism toward African-Americans has reduced
somewhat over the years, but there is lots of racism going on
here with Hispanic and Asian people. I wonít go into detail about what is said, but
disappointingly enough, even kids younger than me are making
terrible remarks about foreigners.
I hear adults bring up the fact that foreigners come here
and take American jobs for lower wages, and the teens bring up
the fact that the foreigners smile and giggle as they walk past
you in groups, seeming to
make fun of you.
There are reasonable explanations for these things of
course, I think. But
even if there isnít, I do not think it gives Americans the
right to start saying terrible things about foreigners, and we
should try to make friends with them and accept them into our
country instead of threatening them.
We have got to stop racism; itís the only way that we
can hope for a peaceful future.
And everyone, donít let what someone says about your
heritage bother you Ė you are unique and great just the way
you are. (Related:
Black women and Japanese men)
New Dreams and Goals
future awaits me in Japan; Iím sure it does.
Iíve always had this feeling that Iíll fit right in
when I go there, but I know it wonít be that easy.
YetÖMaybe Iím not too far off, either?
I have wishes just like everyone else, and Iíve made
some new ones recently. I think Iíve discovered what I want to be remembered as
when I go to Japan Ė I want to be a legend.
Here in America every day of my life has been the same
Ė I wake up, go to school, people depress me, my parents never
give me privacy, I play games, sit bored for half an hour, then
go to bed. I
donít like this lifestyle, and I certainly donít want to
live this way anymore when I go to Japan.
I want to be happy for a change; I want to walk down the
streets of Tokyo with a heart of gold and a
smile that brightens
everyoneís day. I
want the schoolgirls to wave to me and
give me the peace sign, I
want the guys to bow at me and holler to me.
I want people to stare at me with a mix of pride and
shock, and I want to be noticed, but not talked to.
I want to become the most popular Gaijin in Japan! I want everyone to love me and adore me, and I want to have
close friends for a change.
Okay, so it is a lot to dream about, but it would be so
nice if I could at least be accepted over there and find good
someday, when I least expect it, Iíll meet the girl of my
dreams and weíll fall in love with each other? -^_^- (Yeah, I
dream too much).
realistically, I do have many goals that I would like to
accomplish before moving to Japan.
I am becoming more interested in trying Japanese
For me, the idea of eating raw fish isnít so bad, as I
really donít care much about food as long as I get something
to eat. I think it would be interesting to try something new, and who
knows, maybe Iíll like it?
I have to eat something other than ramen and rice for a
change, after all. As
I mentioned earlier, I plan on learning the Japanese language in
a few days. I want
to start out simple with basic phrases and words, then work my
way up to complex kanji pronunciation and stuff.
I would like to see anime and styles with a more oriental
feel, so when I go to Japan I will probably be changing my
wardrobe and favorite manga series.
I would like to get an expensive cell phone when I go to
Japan, the best kind that I can afford, and it will have all
sorts of neat features and gizmos. Iíll add the phone numbers of all of the friends I meet in
Japan to it, and Iíll use a telephone for one of the first
times in my life. (I honestly never used telephones much in my
life, I never liked them.)
Also, Iím anxious to try out their seat-warming toilets
and other enhanced versions of popular inventions!
Iím going to love it! ^ ^
Recommended links: American teenagers love Japan
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on enjoying Japan
Note: This article was
written in 2002 by an American teenager who loves Asia.