After the reading the one of the Ken Seeroi* article here, I was upset some time, remembering and forming my own attitude to this. Some kind of my thoughts I wrote below. These are incomplete parts of my real thinking on this subject, but I like to keep it, as is.
My interest always was in Japanese. I wanted to be like Hayao Miyazaki. I even have been able to “sell my soul”, as a joke, for visiting Tokyo. Visiting of Japan was my dream. Well, I was 11 years old. I believed in different kind of things. But I had no money. I started to keep up the Japanese culture. I read Haruki Murakami, who is my favorite author ever since, watched all asia’s doramas, and listened to their music. I knew a lot about the Japanese education and was afraid of nothing. I was absorbed in thought of my dream and amazing country, like Japan.
Quite late, when I was 21 year old, I entered the fourth year of my University and started to learn Japanese.
When I was the five year student, I found a part-time job, as assistant of Japanese teacher at J-center.
When I graduated the University, I became the specialist in economic cooperation at this center.
My boss was Japanese. Old man, who have his own rats in the attic. My teachers, Japanese, was so active and unsociable at the same time. But pen Pals in internet always been so kindly and interesting. At that time I wrote in twitter, facebook and had to used the other social accounts, where were a lot of Japanese students around.
I learned and lived in this atmosphere, but never was in Japan. We discussed about different things: the distance without us, the difference in studying and problems of adults life. We invigorate and support each other in our study. And I thank them all that they were in my life and helped me then.
But when all around me became so close to the Japan, I understood, that something inside of me are changing.The final was the internship in Japan.
It was just about 10 days, when I was living in Tokyo, near of Ueno station. Every day I visited the small businesses and enterprises to study managing. I didn’t see a lot of amazing places. I had no time to walk in Ueno park, because came back to the hotel after 6 or 7 p.m.. It is getting dark so early, thought I. I went somewhere for shopping or photographing. And I wouldn’t enjoy a lot of Japanese food, as note. I have an soya allergy. Twist of fate… In the end of this hard business trip I wanted to come back home.
One night there I remembered the first part of the film “Lost in Translation”. Something, what was behind the curtain was moved into me. I felt this: the loneliness, solitude. It was feeling of doom for the first time. And I started to forget the dream to be the artist there, and the wishing to live in Japan. Ghibli was almost closed. Dream was lost. And friends became to disappear. We all to get into a groove of adults life.
I’m on the touch with my Japanese friend, Jun. Every half year I write the big e-mail for him and the other friend from Germany. We all met in twitter. I write, what happened to me for this long time. How I changed and what changed around. I write about my experiences, my new or last job, about the future projects in my head. Unfortunately, the distance, time and our age are changing us and the relationship with friends are changing too. I get the answers from them. Maybe not at once. Maxi write me the same big message and share with me his students life and plans. BTW, I didn’t see him in real life, just on photo. And it is no matter for a good, normal friendship between the pen PALs. Jun met me in Tokyo, when I was there. I was surprised, when he found me in the hotel and speak with me the whole hour till the last train! I didn’t see a big different without him in Internet and in real life. It was interesting. But every year we write smaller and smaller. But I wanna be better!
What about my best friends from Russia. We learned Japanese together on special courses. We were really the best friends. When we leaved our hometown, we lost each other. Now we are on the different parts of continent. The one of my best friends, she moved to China to teach kids the English. And I can’t find her. He closed her society accounts and never answer the phone and skype. I don’t know her address. Amazing listener, storytellers, friends. Stacy, блин-оладьи I really don’t know, where are you and how are you!? Write me, please!!!
And a lot of such examples. That time was amazing. I miss it… I miss them.
Why it happens to us? Maybe the answer not in the people. And it just because we are becoming adults, more or less.
In august 2014 I moved to St. Petersburg to my fiance. Here I worked in bank. It was an awful experiment, although I was a diligent and a good worker, for whom was even offered a promotion. But I was fed up with this work with money and a lot of contacts with angry people. Over the time the destiny returned me in to beginning. I started work in the Gallery of Japanese art. Then I started work in the little trade company, which cooperation with Japanese factories.
I tried to return to Japanese courses, thanks to my first Japanese boss, but in spite of my good knowledge, leaved it, because of work and tiredness.
I remember some of thorough knowledge of Japanese language. I studied well and almost was ready to pass the JLPT3. But till today I can’t learn something new and do my best. I’m forgetting the kanji, though I don’t want to forget. It seems I lost the interests in the working with Japanese 3 years ago and in the atmosphere of loneliness in Tokyo. I don’t have an aim.
Tokyo for me is not a big and noisy place. It was for me a big village. Little houses, cars, shops, cafes, izakayas… Little aint-hill, where you can’t be different. You can’t think otherwise… Even harajuku people seem just hide their feelings for the colored motley garbs. Everyone hide the feelings…
Maybe because of the emotions I can’t write all that I think to say and what I feel.
The message was: NO matter who you are, a man or a woman and what kind of color is your skin, we live in different places, but think about the same things in one time: love, work, the past, the future etc. We are similar initially. We are becoming different.
Our relationships depend on the temperaments, mentality, culture, education, thinking, ideas in our head, but formed in the end under the influence of the society, which fix its own rules in every different place.
*Ken Seeroi is an English teacher in Japan, and very famous guy in a narrow circle of persons, who live in Japan or study Japanese. He is writing his own blog about Japan, its people, culture, and language. And give us his own point of view on all of these.
He said: Unfortunately, much of what has been written (about Japan) either glamorizes Japan or treats it with cartoonish Orientalism. And some is just butt wrong. It’s certainly not easy to depict an entire nation in a few words, and I don’t pretend to do so. Well hey, Japan’s a big country. But maybe that’s the point. It’s not something that can be summed up easily. Even living here, I barely know what the hell’s going on half the time. So I’ll simply give you my perspective, for what it’s worth. As the Japanese say, Hope you enjoy.