Memoirs of a Gaijin

My Travels as an Expatriot

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日本で新しい最初 – New Beginnings in Japan

It should be obvious that this past week brought forth a slew of new beginnings in my life. The beginning of the 14 hour flight from New York to Tokyo, and the beginning of the jet lag that followed. The beginning of my new cell phone plan, apartment lease, and job contract, as I settle into my new home in Kiryu. The beginning of new relationships with my coworkers and newfound friends in my town, as well as the beginning of a new era in my friendship with my native Japanese friends from Geneseo. In the most succinct way possible, this week marked the beginning of a new life for me. The American bank accounts have been closed, the car sold, and the goodbyes said, replaced with Japanese bank accounts, a bike, and new hellos. I am truly beginning this new life, and only now has it begun to set it, six days after arriving in Tokyo, and four after coming to Kiryu.

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千里の道も一歩から – The Journey of One Thousand Miles comes from a Single Step

For those who know me, I have a bracelet that I never, ever remove. It’s nothing special, just a minimalist black silicone bracelet with two Japanese proverbs on it: the first reads “猿も木から落ちる” and means “monkeys also fall from trees;” the second one, the focus of this blog post, reads “千里の道も一歩から” and means “the journey of one thousand miles comes from a single step.” So far as proverbs go, I believe this one is particularly applicable to my current situation; though, my own journey is 6000 miles, not just 1000. However, the differences of scale notwithstanding, my own journey is still coming from a single step. But the question is which step marks the beginning of this journey?

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外人の意味 – The Meaning of Gaijin

What to Expect from the Blog

For this first post, I wanted to give an outline of what to expect as I go through this process as well as shed some light on the name of the blog, as I am sure many of my readers are unaware of its meaning. At this point in time, my plan for the blog is fairly simple: the Saturday of each week I will upload a blog post, and the topic will vary from week to week, though I do not expect to deviate too far from the formula I have in mind. Rather than documenting the experiences I have had throughout the week, I will instead use the blog post to unpack something that has been on my mind that week. It may be something that my student does in the classroom, or maybe something I saw while I was out on the town, or maybe just something that I think of and meditate on throughout the week. With this format, I expect to have no shortage of content to talk about, and I feel that this will help keep everything fresh and entertaining, the main goal I have with this blog.

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