When I was a Japanese-studies grad student, my colleagues and I often complained that we couldn’t write or read about Japan without having the introduction as “Many people think Japan is like (______), but, actually, it’s like (_______).” It’s hard to get out of the trope of East vs. West, or “Misconceptions about Japan.” This model is imperfect, but setting up one’s argument in this way challenges the beliefs of those without a solid background in Japanese language and culture, and, in theory, attempts to prove to them that Japan is more dynamic and more diverse than they originally believed.
The series of editorials that comprise this blog are meant for both those with a background in Japanese culture and language and for those whose only connection to Japan is me. I don’t want to drive the Japan-Studies people insane by explaining in great detail rudimentary things about Japanese culture, nor do I want to assume the causal reader can read kanji.
I am an American who currently lives in Kanazawa and works as a translator/web admin. Prior to this, I lived in rural Hokuriku for two years, where I worked as a Coordinator for International Relations on the JET Program. I hold an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan; my focus was contemporary gender and media.
Feministe. “‘A Mere Male’: Mansplaining Women’s Art.” 1 April 2013.
WordPress Freshly Pressed. “Tonami Tulip Fair 2011.” 16 June 2011.
WordPress Freshly Pressed. “Tongue-in-Cheek Tourism: The T-Shirts of Okinawa.” 26 August 2010.