I, karakuri

I don’t think there is another group in Kyoto that I enjoy half so much as the Asian Studies Group. I’ve written about some of our gatherings before and since the ASG offers so much enrichment to my experience of Japan, I doubtless will be writing about them again and again. We had our annual […]

Still welcoming in the New Year…

In Japan, there is a lovely tradition of celebrating whenever you meet an old friend for the first time in the new year. Of course, the first celebrations are with family and closest friends, but like ever-widening circles rippling across the surface of a pond, a succession of parties called shinnenkai or New Year’s gatherings […]

Finding community

Facing a new life in a new culture with a new language can be daunting at times, even for the most adventurous. I often hear friends in America complain about immigrants not learning English and I’m certainly aware of Japanese who suspiciously grumble, “Nihon ni nihongo de hanashimasu!” (In Japan, speak in Japanese!) But the […]