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INTOUCH Magazine

Tagged under: Voice

Inland Sea Charm Voice

Inland Sea Charm

My list of places to visit in Japan never gets shorter. The country is endlessly fascinating.

This was reinforced during a recent visit to Kure and the Seto Inland Sea. I was dazzled by its beauty, history and innovative local entrepreneurs.

Lighting the Way Voice

Lighting the Way

A sense of adventure brought me to Japan. I arrived from Taiwan in 1981, and one of the first things that shocked me about Japanese society was how male-oriented it was.

This hit home after I mastered the Japanese language and secured a job at a local IT company. I soon lost count of the number of times I was asked to serve tea to my male colleagues, and I had to constantly remind my boss that I wasn’t comfortable doing it. 

Family Immersion Voice

Family Immersion

I come from a long line of travelers. Visiting Japan is a family business of sorts. I’ve been in and out of the country since 1966, and my first two arrivals were by ship.

Paving the way was my father, John F Howes, who first arrived here on January 1, 1947. 

Studying for a Better Life Voice

Studying for a Better Life

My new classmates are mostly from Uzbekistan. One, an engineer by training, now works the night shift cleaning a hotel. Another, a dentist by profession, hauls boxes at night for a courier. Another classmate works the graveyard shift as a bookkeeper.

Then it’s my turn to introduce myself. Your kids go where? ASIJ? What’s that? I say I’m taking time to learn the local language. So you’re taking Japanese class here because you just want to? I feel like a foreigner in the room.