Life in Seika, Japan

Howdy there! My name is Kai and I am the Coordinator for International Relations in Seika Town, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Hopefully by reading this blog you all will get a good picture of what life is like in Seika town, and all the great things that happen down here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

光陰矢のごとし Time Flies



Time sure does fly by quickly! This month marks two years of me living and working here in Seika Town as the Coordinator for International Relations. This is also my final entry into this blog as two years is the length of my job contract. When I think back over my time in Seika it is hard to believe that two years could fly by so fast, but at the same time I have experienced so much, and met so many people that its hard to believe that its only been two years.

One of my favorite parts of my job here has been going out into the community and interacting with people of all walks of life. For example, I think that from my visits to all five elementary schools in Seika I know every single young child living in Seika. Also, my visits to the Kashinokien Day Service Center gave me a great chance to meet and talk with some of Seika’s more experienced citizens. Then of course all of the people I was able to meet at all of the international exchange events and festivals that I have taken part in. Everyone in Seika has been so kind to me in my time here and because of the warmth of the people here I have been able to have many amazing experiences.

My only other experience living in Japan was during a year of university in Tokyo. Tokyo is a fun and exciting place, but I am very happy to be able to have had the opportunity to live in a more traditional town like Seika where the people are friendly, the air and water are clean, and I was able to experience things like rice planting/harvesting, the Igomori Festival, and my favorite of all; eating school lunches with the kids at elementary schools.

I honestly had no idea what to expect before I came to Seika, but my time here has allowed me to meet interesting people, and take part in experiences I would not have been able to imagine before coming here. But of course my job wasn’t all about what I could learn, rather what I was able to contribute to Seika. So I truly hope that in my time writing the newsletter column, teaching at schools, giving presentations in the community, and helping out at various festivals that I was able to have an effect on the lives of Seika’s residents. I would be happy if something I did or said changed people’s impressions of Americans and foreigners for the better, broke down a long held stereotype, or helped to aid international understanding. My biggest hope is that I was able to encourage the younger children to think of the world beyond Japan, and hopefully to inspire some of them to learn more about foreign cultures, peoples and languages.

I want to thank all the people who have been reading this blog and for helping to make my time here a wonderful and rewarding experience. I know that no matter where I end up in life I will always consider Seika as a second home.

 時間がたつのは何て早いのでしょう!精華町で国際交流員として働くのが今月でちょうど2年となりました。そして、仕事の契約は2年間ですので、今月のコラムは最後となります。私が精華町に暮している時を振り返ると、2年間がそんなに早く過ぎ去るとは信じられませんが、一方で色々なことを体験し、多くの優しい人々と出会ったので、もう2年たったのかあと言う感じがします。

 精華町のコミュニティで様々な住民の方とふれあうことは仕事の業務の中で一番好きな役割でした。例えば、町内5小学校全ての学校訪問のおかげで、精華町の小学生は全員知っていると思います。また、かしのき苑への訪問では、お年寄りの方と出会え、素晴らしい話し合う機会がありました。そして、たくさんの国際交流イベントと祭りなどで多くの人々と出会うこともできました。精華町に暮していた間に、みなさまが非常に親切で、心の温く接してくださったおかげで、大変素晴らしい経験になりました。

 日本に住む経験の中では大学の時、東京に一年住んだことがあります。東京は面白くて、楽しいところですが、精華町では人々が優しくて、空気と水がきれいで、田植えと収穫を体験でき、いごもり祭りを見られ、小学生と一緒に給食を食べることができ、これらの伝統的で文化がある精華町に住むことができて、大変嬉しく思っています。

 精華町に来る前は、どんなことをするのか、正直全く知りませんでしたが、ここでは予想できないことを体験しましたし、面白い人と出会うことが実現しました。しかし、私の仕事は、自分自身が何かを学ぶことだけではなく、むしろ精華町に貢献することですので、このコラムを書いたり、学校を訪問したり、地域の講座に行ったり、祭りに参加する時間の中で、精華町民のみなさまの暮らしの中で何か影響を与えることができたらと思っていました。私の発信や行動によって、アメリカ人や外国人の印象を変えたり、ステレオタイプを打破したり、国際理解を深めたり、することができたのでしたら嬉しいです。子どもたちの世界観を広げて、将来に外国の文化や人類や言語などに興味を持ってもらえることは私の一番希の望していることです。

このコラムを読んでくださったみなさま、そして全ての方々に、大変素晴らしくて、価値のある経験をさせていただいたことを感謝しています。私の人生の旅は、どこまで歩んでも、第2の故郷は精華町であると思います。

4 Comments:

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Human anatomy or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I think it was my first time combining thinks back and the one brain cell left in her brain dies*) and I was a little nervous. I didn’t know if they would look too Halloween,but I think it worked out alright. The color scheme kinda’ reminds me of watching the sunset at the beach, with grey sand.

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At 5:18 AM, Blogger Yoshimi said...

There is too much kanjis going on there but it forces me to study at least.

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. Should I win the lottery/ever stop buying shoes, and therefore save money, I will come visit.

 

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