May 13, 2009

This being my first post on my move, all I can say is I am exhausted from packing and ready to hit the hay!

Before setting out to move to Japan, I had a lot of preparation work to undergo within the unfortunate time limit of 2 months. I may expand in post-dated entries about some of the rigmarole involved, but for now will continue posting moving forward. At this point, we are about to ship our belonging and are simply waiting for the plane ticket to arrive in the mail.

The first thing I did when I learned I was going overseas was to hit the bookstore. I purchased a variety of non-travel literature aimed at persons who intend to live abroad for extended periods . We also purchases some travel literature later, but for starters I wanted to get my head around making a major cultural shift.

The booklist:

The Rules of Living in Japan by Fuhito Shimoyama, published by Gakken

Living Japanese Style by the JTB (Japanese Travel Bureau)

Japanese Family & Culture by the JTB

The Illustrated Guide to Japan Daily Life & Society by the JTB

Living Abroad in Japan by Ruthy Kanagy, published by Moon

I’ve lived in Japan before during a summer homestay in Yokohama when I was 14, and returned later as a tourist for a week in Tokyo as part of my family’s college graduation gift. I also have studied Japanese over the course of my life, although I have abysmal speaking and listening ability. I’m able to type and read in Japanese to my certain extent. However, I personally wouldn’t consider myself really all that well-armed for this major move. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more sensitive to the concept of minority discrimination, which is a new hurdle that my childhood self was blissfully incapable of taking offense to. I have a belief that preconceptions and self-entitlement lead to the biggest burn-out amongst foreign visitors to Japan, and my current philosophy is to drain myself of all the things I think I know about Japan and endeavour to enter into my new country as blank a slate as possible.


4 Responses to “Welcome!”

  1. Nhatsu said

    Welcome to Japan!
    If you’re lost and need some assistance, I recommend you to find help among the foreigner community http://www.japan-i.jp/forum that’s where I go.
    Good luck for your endeavour.

  2. Ford said

    This is one lovely web site, with graceful writing and photographs. They all speak of a generous respect for Japan and your environment — we all want to visit you! Arigatou….

    • ellydishes said

      Oh, thank you so much, Ford. I could not be more flattered! I do hope you check in on my site now and then, I’ll be sure to update more and more frequently as time goes on and we’re settled in. I hope you’re doing well, I miss you very much!

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