Life in Japan

Why are you interested in Japan?

I’m very often asked by Japanese people:

“Why did you come to Japan? What is your interest in Japan?”

There’s this documentation (interviews with people living in Japan) called “A Life in Japan”.
In the beginning various people tell us their reason(s) for coming to Japan.

– WATCH THE MOVIE HERE –

 

I guess everybody has unique and individual reasons for coming, but there are some things you’ll hear often such as:

Before I tell you my initial motivation, I want to know from you why you moved or would want to move to Japan:

What is it that interests you the most? (You can pick more than 1 answer)

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How I became interested in Japan

Actually I first came into touch with Japan when I practiced Karate in my early elementary school days.
Back then I learned to count in Japanese and also a few Japanese terms and Japanese discipline. I really liked it and practiced it for many, many years!

I also got in touch with a few anime in the mid-80s.
At that time I didn’t know they were Japanese anime. I just noticed that there were a few series I liked more than others. Funnily enough the ones I liked the most were Japanese anime and the ones that were somewhat ok were American or whatever (like He-Man, She-Ra, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and whatnot). smilie

When I was a teenager in the mid-90s I was a huge “Attack No.1” fan and after the 100th re-run, they unfortunately replaced it by a series I’ve never heard of before.
The name of the series was “Sailor Moon” and right after the first episode I totally fell in love with it. smilie
I got so interested that I researched a little and found out that it was a Japanese animation series.

At that time, it was tough to be an anime / manga fan in Germany.
For whatever reason we were behind most other “major” European countries. Almost no manga on the market yet – and only very few anime were broadcasted on TV.
A few years later Dragonball and Pokémon finally made it to Germany.

In my high school and early university years I was such a huge Dragonball fan! smilie
Slowly some more manga came out, but we still didn’t even have Dragonball Z on TV! I was freaking out especially after visiting Italy and saw how much stuff they had available!

Dark times. We had to get very creative!

Just one example: Back then I was able to receive a Japanese channel on TV, but only the audio, no picture. Luckily they had Sailor Moon and Dragonball and I immediately recognized it.
What I did was, I used the previously recorded episodes (on German TV) on VHS video cassette, turned off the German audio and put on the Japanese audio from the Japanese TV channel. With that I was suddenly able to watch anime in Japanese!!! smilie
Oh, the crazy old times!

 

Shortly after that the internet spread and most people had an internet connection at home.
And so did I. It opened a whole new world to me! I got access to a lot of information and also met people with the same interests. smilie

I think younger people often forget that just a few years ago things were much more complicated!
They should be happy about their lucky situation nowadays! (I sound like a grandma, huh?)

In the years after 2000 anime and manga finally grew BIG in Germany (mainly thanks to the broadcasting of Dragonball Z) and more and more series became available. Thus, in the following years more and more people became fans.

I studied a bit of basic Japanese (apart from the stuff I learned during my Karate time in the mid-80s) in the late 90s.
After graduating from high school I was thinking about taking Japanese as a major at university, but then again I didn’t want to make my hobby my profession and so I decided to go a different path.

In 2002 I took some basic Japanese lessons that were offered at my university.
I didn’t really learn that much and I also didn’t have so much time to spend on studying Japanese although I really wanted to.

Around that time I also discovered Japanese dramas and my interests slowly shifted from anime / manga a bit more to dramas.
During my whole university time I never lost interest in Japan. Through the dramas I got to learn a lot more about life in Japan, Japanese customs and culture and wanted to visit the country in the future to see some of the places I saw in the dramas, to hear Japanese spoken in real life and to buy tons of anime / manga merchandising.
I also saw a lot of delicious food in said dramas and couldn’t wait to taste it myself.
That was my motivation at that time.

 

How my motivation finally got me to visit Japan:

As a university student, I didn’t have any money and no free time as my vacation time was spent earning money.
So I had to wait until after graduation. Exactly one day after my graduation I found myself sitting in a plane to Japan. My long-awaited 3-week vacation started. That was back in 2007.
I began my journey in Kyoto with day trips to Osaka and Himeji. After 1 week I was off to Tokyo for 2 weeks with day trips to e.g. Hakone, Kamakura and Enoshima.

Kokoen Garden in Himeji (next to Himeji Castle)

While in Japan I learned so many things I didn’t know yet.
I wasn’t disappointed. It was even better than I imagined it to be. However, there were also things I didn’t like … and I was kind of happy to be able to go back home after a few weeks.
Back home I missed Japan, though. I was just so curious what else there was to see and experience. I just strongly felt that those 3 weeks weren’t enough.

 

And then I moved to Japan:

Shortly after that I decided to move to Japan.
I had nothing to lose. I just graduated from university.
I got the working holiday visa and was off to Japan in early 2008 – just a few months later after my return from my short vacation.
You can read more about how I got a job in Japan here: “How I made it to Japan

 

I still remember how much I enjoyed my first year in Japan. smilie
There was so much food I wanted to try – and I did. All the snacks and weird drinks were also very interesting.
I became super serious about studying Japanese and I taught myself so much in such a short time that nowadays I can hardly believe it.
I bought tons of anime / manga related merchandising, doujinshi, figures and whatnot within the first few weeks. smilie
I sat in front of the TV, squealing like a little kid when my favorite drama was on. smilie
I took photos of everyone and everything. smilie
The “honeymoon phase” was really like paradise!

 

I became a travel geek!

Then, my first vacation since moving took place. It was only 1 week, but I thought I should go somewhere.
And that’s when my travel history really started.
I enjoyed exploring Japan through my trips more than I had ever expected.
From that time onwards I tried to use every single day of my short vacation time (only 3 weeks per year, oh Japan!) to travel to places that sounded interesting.
The more I travelled the more I found out about further worthy places I could visit next time.

I can’t remember when or how exactly it happened but within a few years my interests COMPLETELY changed!!!
Until the end of 2010 I was obsessed with studying Japanese and I reached quite a high level. Through all this time I kept travelling, but from then on I got more and more serious about it.
It was the thing that suddenly interested me the most and I also enjoyed it too much!

I didn’t have time to care about anime / manga or dramas anymore.
I still watch a drama every now and then, but my true interest is traveling and through that getting to know Japanese culture more.
Slowly I also discovered my love for Japanese castles.
Soon I’ll reach my goal of visiting all Japanese prefectures. Meanwhile I did. I went to all 47 prefectures as of December 2012.

By reading this blog you can clearly see what my interests and motivation are now.

I could get anime and manga even back home, but experiencing Japanese culture and traveling around like that is only possible while I’m in Japan.

Now, I’m curious about you! smilie
Why are you interested in Japan? smilie
If you moved to Japan, did your interests change after a while?
I’d love to hear about your experience! smilie

36 Comments

  • I have been in Japan since I was a girl and read a lovely book [with illustrations] about Japan, and then a book of Japanese tales [Lafcadio Hearn]. Then, when at university, I stared reading Japanese authors and watched Japanese movies. Finally I visited Japan and just fell in love with the place.

    Since then, I have read more and more Japanese books [including the Monogataris]. Then, thanks to the internet, started watching the dramas. And that caused a deeper addiction! I have never read mangas nor been particularly interested in anime, though there is a nice [partial]version of Genji in anime. Here is the first episode:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYwJaO88mm4

    I don’t think I will ever be able to live in Japan, too many obligations at home. But I do love to visit. Maybe one of these days I can make it a longer visit.

    • That’s quite a unique story and very interesting!
      Thanks for sharing! :luvit:

      Can you remember how old you were when you first visited Japan?
      Yah!!! I mean, I think you’re more often traveling in Japan than me!!!?? *g*

  • Haha, that part about the anime could’ve been written by me. xD It’s kinda scary but I had more or less the same experiences and did the same things with my friend. (like recording audio from NHK and playing it along the videos of the recorded German episodes xD)
    We also went totally crazy over a one million times copied vhs video of the last 20 minutes of the Evangelion movie. The quality was so crappy and it had spanish subtitles but that was all we could get our hands on back in the 90s before the internet got big. *lol* Later we also found out about downloading stuff (mostly music <3) because there was just no other affordable way to get anything here in Germany. We also imported many items but they usually were about 3 times the price they were in Japan and they took ages to arrive.
    Everything seems so easy nowadays compared to the 90s. I feel old too! /rant

    • Really???!!!!!
      And here I thought I was the only one, because it’s just too crazy!! I’m kind of glad to hear that I wasn’t the only “desperate” one back then! :hihi:
      At least we could appreciate the few things we had and I think we know the few things we had available very well (I knew 50% of all Sailor Moon episodes by heart – could speak along …) :sweatdrop2:

  • I was lucky to have studied Japanese as a major at University as part of my Business Degree. I initially planned to work in Japan for a year after graduating to improve my language skills and experience the culture I had been studying about for 3 years. I loved it so much that I ended up staying for more than 10 years. A lot of the best things that have happened in my life have happened in Japan and I now consider it to be my home as well as Australia.

    • That’s very interesting and that sounds similar to me, too!
      At least the part about only planning to stay for 1 year at first and then ending up staying much longer! *g*
      I wonder how much longer I’ll stay!

      Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Oh, I think that is the hardest question ever, I decided to study in Japan for several reasons, but as you have mentioned, traveling is really something unique; you can get manga, anime or watch dramas in the internet, but you can’t experience Japan from far away. The food is also something that captivated me. I really can’t decide, since the things that attract me have been music, dramas, food, travelling, etc. But I guess that at the end, the combination of all your interests its what takes you to fulfill your dreams.
    By the way, I got accepted in the University and I am going to live in Japan from September :D
    PS. I hope you can visit my blog someday (its on the link of my name) , its in spanish, but I hope you can enjoy the pictures, later I hope I get the time to make an english version

    • Hey Ernie!
      That’s great news!! Congrats!!! :happy:
      I will check out your blog. I’m sorry my Spanish got very “rusty”. I think I can understand part of it, though.
      I hope you’ll enjoy your time in Japan and can do all the things you came here for! :thumbup:

  • When I was 12 or 13, Neo Tokyo opened in Berlin, and because I liked manga (Chobits and X/1999 mainly), I went there. There I met lots of people who were into Visual Kei, and made friends with them. Looking back, they were all quite crazy, but it was my first step into getting to know about Japan apart from the “mainstream”.
    So for years I was really into Visual Kei, spending lots of money on it, trying to get a hold of the clothes (mainly h.Naoto). Then I started dressing as Gothic Lolita, and dumping my money on that, and meeting some of my best friends through it (though almost none of us are still connected to the scene). Through all of this my best friend was Japanese (and a huge nerd), and so I played Japanese games at his home or we watched NicoNicoDouga.
    Before I graduated high school I had decided I wanted to go to Japan for a year with the Working Holiday visa. It’s not as if I had had any other plans, really. So my present for my 18th birthday from my parents was a plane ticket, and before graduating I worked to get the required 2000€ together. As you know, in that year I met my now-husband, but returned for two years before finally getting married last year.
    Just like you, now that I’m here, my interests have changed. They already had the first time I was living in Japan, but now I’m not really interested in manga, anime or dorama (we don’t have a TV). I always think it might be because it’s not “special” anymore. Back in Germany, if you had Japanese magazines it was quite special, now I barely buy any anymore. I wished I could get as enthusiastic about Japan as I was before I came here again :sweatdrop2: I mean, I still love living here, and it’s my new home and everything, but where has the thrill gone? :bleh:

    • Wow, I didn’t know that yet at all!
      I’m glad I wrote this blog post, so I finally get to know the “background” stories of you guys! :luvit:

      I know, right?
      But I guess the honeymoon phase is over for all of us after some time.
      I rarely get enthusiastic about things anymore, but I wish I still could.

  • Nice post. Thanks.
    I’m surprised to read that you like Japanese castles. Always, when i wanted to visit some castle together with a woman, comments came like:”pffft, uhm, yada, boring, mendokusai” and so on. So, since i am free now, i’m visiting castles during my biztrips and my rare free time. Last and on of the most impressive ones was Kumamoto-Jo.

  • That’s the question, isn’t it? My interest in Japan started with a strange combination of haiku and video games, but it wasn’t until I had a couple of close friends go and live in Japan and tell me about their experiences that I actually considered doing it myself. Even then, I went there on holiday before making any life-changing decisions. While in Japan, and still now, I have always tried to learn as much as possible about “real” Japan (history, traditions etc), but I love the juxtaposition with the old and the new. Japan is such a unique country, and once it’s got you in its grip, it’s very hard to get out. ;)

    • That’s a very strange, but super interesting, combination indeed! *g*
      It feels like there’s ALWAYS something new to discover and learn, right?

      Thanks for sharing your story! ^-^

  • Hello,

    do you remember me?^^

    Anyways, I’d like to give a short answer, too :)

    I was somehow interested in Kanjis, which I could always see in the manual of some technical products. For me, it was and still is a kind of arts. But at that time, I didn’t care about its origin. But there was always a latent interest in Asian culture, especially China and Japan.I also liked martial arts movies and the beautiful Japanese gardens.
    Furthermore I was always in some kind of connection to Japan by my hobby tabletennis. The my favourite rubbers and rackets were made by TSP, a Japanese company (I could met the owner of this company last year by accident. I taught him some German^^).

    Then I entered the university to study some kind of computer science, I had to choose a foreign language. I was very lucky that at that time, a Japanese course was offered. So I took that course for one semester. The lessons were a lot of fun. So I decided to do my internship in the third semester in Japan if possible.
    It was very hard to find a company, where I can do an intership. And I already had signed a contract at a company in Berlin, when I got a mail from a company in Tokyo. My boss in Berlin said, it is a very big chance to go abroad. And so I landed in Japan with a working holiday visa. The internship itself wasn’t really good, especially for my studies. But I felt home the second I arrived in Tokyo somehow. It was a great adventure and I made a lot of good experiences and grew a lot.
    I had a strong re-culture shock, when I came back to Germany… But now I live here since some years in Osaka and I am very happy to be here :)

    • Hey!! ^-^
      Yes, I do, but I think the layout of your blog changed quite a bit?! Or did you get a completely new one?

      Thanks for sharing your story!
      I think you were very lucky to get such a great chance and it was a smart thing to take it!
      I’m glad to see that you’re still in Japan, loving it a lot! :D

  • X-JAPAN!
    basically… ive been interested before, because of culture and stuff (you like those things as a kid) and then in 95 i discovered x… saved money until i could afford it and came over in 2003 for vacation… then i continued to come back until i applied for whv last year…

    • Wow, X-JAPAN!
      That sounds old, indeed! *g*
      I can see that you’ve been interested for quite a long time now!
      I hope you can manage to stay for however long you want to! :D

      • x japan rulez^^ though recently i dont even listen to them anymore… they got sugizo, who is my favourite guitar player, now… but they still have yoshiki… and that is a problem for me^^
        well no idea how long ill stay… at least the next 20 month i guess… until then my japanese should be good enough… it isnt bad, but it isnt good, too… still not used to it… hard to describe… strangely it works when there are no english speakers… and my friends usually understand english (i dont know any foreign people here)… so it depends… anyway… if i wanted to be back in germany one day, i wouldnt have done it the way i did, i guess^^

  • You don’t have to be *interested* in Japan to live here and have a great and fulfilling life. No more than somebody living in, for example, New York City, is interested in New York City.

    • Hello Annal,
      Thank you very much for your comment! :)

      I totally agree with what you said.
      Many people just end up in Japan for whatever reason whithout being interested in Japan, but that was not what I wanted to talk about in my article anyways.
      My intention was to get to know why people are interested in Japan.
      Most of my readers don’t even live in Japan.

      I think more often than not you’re not very interested in the place you live. You just live there for other reasons (job, family, etc.).

      • That’s true. But in your article you did specifically ask “I want to know from you why you moved or would want to move to Japan”. I was simply stating that an interest in Japan is not necessary to move here ;-) And while I consider Japan to be a great place to live, and honestly, I’ve lived in many other places in the world, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, I’m not particularly (actually – at all) interested in M&A, J-pop, geisha, samurai or martial arts. And I’m not even into Japanese guys, even though my husband is Japanese. He’s just a guy I liked who just happened to be Japanese. But he could’ve been any other nationality, I never had a case of “yellow fever”.
        However, in many ways your blog post above does what many other newbie J-bloggers do – that is equate an interest in Japan with the desire to live in Japan and vice versa and portray Japan as some sort of a geek paradise. And that’s a very slippery slope.

        • I’m really not sure if I can elaborate this well as my lack of English skills (I’m not a native speaker of English) seems to cause misunderstandings, but I’ll try.

          Yes, I wanted to know WHY people moved to Japan.
          I’m well aware of the fact that there can be many reasons, e.g. they were dragged along by their parents, they had to move for a job etc.

          I DO assume that 99.9% of all people who read this blog ARE interested in Japan in some way, so asking them about their interests in Japan (and if some of them live, have lived or want to live in Japan then also about that motivation) is a good question.

          I was personally very interested in hearing how people’s interests might have changed after living in Japan for several years.

          I don’t know, but can it be that my article offended you in some way? If so, I’m really sorry.
          It’s not my intention to display Japan as a geek paradise. If you look at some of my other blog posts, I do quite the contrary.

          I’d also like to mention another thing: you called me a newbie J-blogger.
          I might be a newbie in your eyes, because I don’t know for how long you’ve been “around”.
          I don’t know for how many decades somebody needs to blog about Japan to not be a newbie anymore, but just calling somebody a “newbie” without actually knowing for how long they’ve been around is not a very nice thing to do.
          I know you didn’t directly call me newbie, but that’s the feeling I got from this:
          “your blog post above does what many other newbie J-bloggers do”

          If my blog content gives you the impression that I’m a total Japan newbie, then that’s ok with me. It just shows that I’m not a great writer, but I know that. It’s a shame, but this is my personal blog and if people don’t like what I present here, they’re free to leave anytime and forget about it again. ;)

          I just wanted to clarify things.
          I hope that this time my English was a little bit better to understand and won’t cause new misunderstandings.

          Thank you for your honest opinion!
          I think it was a justified and necessary point you made because obviously it wasn’t that clear in my article – that there are people who move to a country not because they hold any special interest in it, but for other reasons.

  • Und ich schon wieder… ;P
    Deine Posts sind einfach so interessant!

    Ich musste eben schmunzeln, weil ich da einige Parallelen sehe.
    Größte Gemeinsamkeit: Ich sitze gerade (sollte dran sitzen…) an den letzten Zeilen meiner Masterarbeit, die ich Donnerstag abgeben muss und dann am nächsten Dienstag nach Japan fliege! :ehehe:

    Liebe Grüße!

    • Freut mich sehr, dass es dir so gefällt! ^___^
      Und ich freue mich auch sehr über deine netten Kommentare! :D

      Dann wünsche ich dir jetzt schon mal einen guten Flug und dass heute(?) bei der Abgabe alles glatt läuft!

  • The flat out reason I’m interested in Japan is…. I don’t know or understand the reason!

    It might have something to do with Japanese women. I traveled to Okinawa in the 70s and met Japanese wives married to American servicemen and I wasn’t very impressed with the whole picture they presented to me (I wasn’t into submissive women). I was instead interested in why they all had such pretty hands. I don’t have a fetish for hands, but that stuck with me. I wasn’t exactly impressed with their hair or face or body type and I didn’t see them as very attractive. Now that I’m older, I can say that I’ve been attracted to the idea of a woman that is submissive after having married a very combative and assertive woman.

    I can also say that I am regretting more and more that my ex-wife had an abortion (without my knowledge) and killed my only daughter before I had the chance to know her, so when I watch those Japanese dramas or anime shows that have the portrayal of these cute adorable Japanese girls, I often find myself getting emotional and having this overwhelming protective urge to see nothing bad happens to them.

    My son got me into Anime and gaming when he was a teenager and through his adulthood (he’s now married and his wife is an Otaku) we have discussed these types of entertainment. Now that I’m retired, I find myself spending a lot of time watching Japanese (and Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese) Dramas, Anime and news on the internet. I watched an anime series called “Chihayafuru” about the card game used to teach Kanji and culture to elementary students in Japan and fell in love with the image of people playing competitive Karuta in formal dress sitting on tatami mats. I would have to say that I truly wished that I had a daughter like Chihaya Ayase (the main character in that anime) after watching that series. I have grown to accept anime as an expressive art form that portrays snippets of the human existence in all of its variety and vagaries.

    I fell in love with the Japanese drama “Nodame Cantabile” and then saw the anime of the same name. Again, the female “kawaii” main character was so mesmerizing and adorable that I wanted to protect her. Somehow, I find that I want to protect the Japan that can bring out such emotions in me and make me feel happy watching such entertainment, even if its only for a brief time. I’m glad that Japan has a safe society and that they feel secure and I’m willing to accept that they might have some ingrained racial prejudices… as long as they protect their women properly. ;P

  • Well I mostly got hooked by the same anime. Sailor Moon Dragonball z. I started drawing manga around 2001. I was naive at the time wasnt sure what this was. Then my friends introduced me to Final Fantasy. OMG. 2004 I was hooked. I havent played through all of them but 7 was the first for me. I cried during some parts of the game it was awesome. I continued to draw. I liked it but it wasnt something I wanted to make a job out of. I mean I could draw anything just by looking at it but it wasnt really my passion. I think I got more entranced after reading memoirs of a geisha. I love reading about ww2 for some reason. Everything about that book changed my love from anime to the culture itself. Geisha’s were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I wanted to learn more. So from then on I’ve been learning more about the culture and the food. I love cooking the food. You can always find that one asian market that has everything. I’ll admit the US is nice place but the general state of things lately has caused me to think about moving abroad. Granted Im used to hot humid weather. Arkansas is notorious for it. But I would prefer the cooler parts of Japan. Hopefully in the future I will find a career in America that switches over to Japan and then move there myself. There’s so many things I want to see and learn. The good far outweighs the bad. Even if the bugs are 10x bigger.

    • Hi Jenna! :D

      It’s very exciting to see how other people’s interests have changed over time.
      You are so lucky that you can get basically everything in the U.S.
      Back home in Germany I had a hard time finding ingredients. No natto, no goya … it was tough to cook original Japanese food.
      As I’ve been away for 6 years, I don’t know how much things have changed by now.

      I hope you can make your dream come true and eventually work here in Japan.
      And I hope that you’ll still think that the good things outweigh the bad ones then. A lot of people come here with wrong expectations and leave again, frustrated.

  • I think in some aspects as you, I started to be interesting in Japan eight years ago when first I started with martial arts. Today I practice Aikido (I am Aikidoholic :) in fact ). By the other hand as you mentioned, the first cartoon  I saw in Spain were Yackie ‘ n Nuca ☺️ At that time Mazingerzeta and later Dragon ball changed two differences in Spanish childhood. Nowadays and leave this behind, I love nearly all that have to do with Japan, shodo, chado, haikus, sushi.  I have read a lot books and seen a lot Japanise films some several times. I love Samurai films. Even I m interesting on Zen budism.  Travel to Japan and practice Aikido at Hombu dojo is a dream that it will be came true hope soon. Since I follow you and read your blog I couldn’t avoid compare on some aspects with the dojo where I practice Aikido. They try to practice and transmit Aikido as similar as the original dojo. So traditional to Occidentals. I think thanks to your blog  again and the point of view from an Occidental about Japan and Japanise people when I visit It I will have a lot of very good and useful information.

    • Maria, thanks so much for sharing your story with us! ^___^
      It’s always so nice to read how others became interested in Japan.

      That’s awesome! I hope you get to live your dream SOON! :D
      And I’m happy to hear that my blog is useful.

      • Thanks to you.
        One question, are you still practicing Karate in Japan? I know get black belt and go on it is not easy way. I hope your do. If not why you stop practicing?
        Cheerio

        • I’m not practicing Karate here in Japan. I stopped when I was a teenager because there was another sport I also wanted to do and I couldn’t do both at the same time. Simple as that.
          I don’t know if the colors are internationally the same, but I went up to the “purple / violet” belt. That was decades ago.
          I wouldn’t mind practicing Karate again, but right now I have so many other things that I really want to do as well and they keep me busy enough. ^_^;

  • This is great! I love you and your blog, you post sounds so much like my own experience.

    1) I saw a traditional Japanese series on TV where they wore kimonos, I don’t know the name but it was scary obake type of series. I was very impressed with the kimonos and the house interior.

    2) I loved “Candy-Candy” – my first anime but never knew it was Japanese as it was dubbed.

    3) I did Karate and Aikido in school where I learned how to count in Japanese and I liked karate dress too :)

    4) My mom got our first computer and Internet and opened me a e-mail box where I decided to find online friends to practice my English. I posted an add and my all friends turned out to be from Japan so I got to know about Japan from the pics and magazines they sent. Also they used to record their favorite songs on cassettes and send me, so I got to hear some j-pop/rock.

    5) My mom banned TV from the house saying it’s bad for kids to watch so I became a crazy book rat. I read only Japanese tankas and novels until I became obsessed with them and they started to affect how I behave. I tried to learn Japanese but I had no idea how to do that on my own.

    6) Then there was a “gap” of a few years when I left my school and migrated to UK for work which was a busy time and then I got married an Indian and settled in India (till now).

    7) The day I brought my daughter from hospital (she was born), I felt like writing Kanjis…(postnatal craving, I guess) I just googled some kanjis and wrote them for fun. Then started buying Japanese self-learners and courses etc which failed after 3 years of no time.

    8) After 4 more years I got my Japan craze come back and joined another course where I passed JLPT5, then I decided not to learn Japanese anymore and stopped my course.

    9) After 6 months I am back watching Japanese dramas and “listening to the sound of language” on Youtube….I thought that if I was to die at any point of my life, the only thing I would ever regret is of not pursuing my Japanese dream. So I started the language course again and currently preparing for JLPT4. I have no “reason” to go to Japan any time soon but perhaps one day it would be great.

    *My real passion is Japanese language, history, folk art, movies and literature. Hope I didn’t bore you with this :sparkling:

    • This wasn’t boring AT ALL!
      I truly love to hear about other people’s passions and how they came to like Japan.
      Thanks so much for taking the time. :D

      Good luck with the JLPT!! ^__^