E-mail to Dad 4.28.2003

Hello Dad,
Today is a national holiday in Japan and I’ve finally got some time to relax here.  The weather is finally getting warmer and I put all my coats away yesterday.  As I told you before I work for myself 2 days a week teaching English at a Japanese company (Tobacco Distributor) and I don’t have to wear a suit and tie there since there is no language company involved.   That’s really nice because it gets so hot here in Japan, just about as hot as in Columbus.  Only here we have to walk everywhere and by the time everyone gets to work they are soaked.  I’m also still doing some work for Berkeley House but am only there about one day a week.  For them, I do have to wear a tie unfortunately. 
I know Easter just happened and the holidays are one thing I really miss about home.  Here the holidays pass without much  fanfare except for in the department stores where they capitalize on every American holiday trying to get people to buy things.  The Japanese don’t have any fun holidays and when they do have a holiday it is usually spent sleeping. 
Mom says you are going to have a computer expert come to the house to fix all that is wrong.  I really suggest that you get rid of AOL because it is superfluous to have both Roadrunner and AOL.  I also have a very good guess as to what is wrong with the MSN instant Messenger.  On one of those automatic updates that AOL does, I’m positive that it knocked out MSN.  Their two messaging programs are currently fiercely competing for market share.  I’m really itching to do another telemeeting.  It’s just so much better than talking on the phone.  Also, it helps Peanut to see that I’m doing ok and refresh her memory that I still am part of the family. 
I also have one request and it is regarding my birthday present.  If possible I would like to get a digital camcorder.  I checked on the internet yesterday and found that a decent one can be had for $400.  Then I will be able to put the video on my website and show you and the rest of the family exactly what my life is like here in Tokyo.  Windows provides a free Movie Making program where I can edit the video and make it presentable.  I also think it would be neat to show people like Aunt Mary how I go through a day using 4 different languages.  I checked out some models online and found the Panasonic SV-AV30 which includes many gadgets and the Cannon ZR 60.  But I was thinking that the tech people in the Dispatch or 10TV would have better advice as to which is the best low cost camera.  Basically, I just need good video, with a lot of memory so I can shoot at least an hour or more of video. 
I also had the idea to keep an Online journal and perhaps you and the rest of the family might read it from time to time and could keep tabs on me here in Tokyo.  I’ll get around to starting that today or tomorrow.
I just tried calling the house, but you guys are never home!  I hope to hear from you soon!

E-mail to Mutsumi 4.19.2003


Yea, you can call me too if you ever get bored.  But I must warn you, I’m
really bad at making plans and usually I call only about an hour before to
see if someone wants to go out that night.  I hate making plans too far in
advance especially if it’s just going out.  But my friends and I do often go
out in Takadanobaba and I would like for you to join us anytime!

Waseda Karate Club E-mails 4.8.2003

Honda – Senpei,
Again, I’m sorry that I didn’t understand that we were supposed to come to practice during the Spring break.  I cannot understand Japanese well yet and I thought Karate practice was finished until the next semester except for a few “special sessions.  So I worked fulltime and as you know will return to part time when classes begin.  That is why I didn’t understand why everyone was angry with me.  Now I know the system and will not make the same mistake again.  I really enjoy learning Karate and really want to continue
I have received my schedule for work and class and I can attend the Karate session 3 days a week every week.  I want to attend 4 days a week but I must ask permission from the company and will get my answer in the next 2 weeks.  Is it ok if I attend practice this week on Friday and Saturday, and then next week on Monday, Friday and Saturday?  After that I will have a set schedule and will be able to attend on the same days every week. 
Thank you very much,
Hello Kato-San.  I realized yesterday that I had made a mistake.  As you know my Japanese is not good and I misunderstood.  I thought Karate practice was finished until the next semester except for a few “Special Sessions.”  Therefore, I worked full-time during the break and will return to part-time work the first week my classes begin. Honda – Senpei told us that there was practice during the Spring break and the group was upset because we didn’t attend the practice.  Again, I didn’t know about this and since I’m a foreigner I didn’t understand the Japanese system and nobody told me that I was supposed to come to practice during the break.  So I am sorry my friend and I hope you can forgive me for my mistake.  

Journal Entry – 12.21.2001

     I’ve been in Japan for three months now and I’m on my way back to the United States.  I’m going home for Christmas and am pretty happy.  Life in Japan has been fine, and time has flown by.  My first month was kind of weird especially in the beginning.  I remember how I had to walk to the orientation in a typhoon, and how hot it was in my suit walking.  I was getting drenched from the outside as well as within.  At orientation I couldn’t believe how much information they were expecting us to digest.  I was never nervous but I hated trying to figure out everything like how to use the ATM and how to take the metro.  I remember looking at my room and unpacking my stuff thinking how small it was but it was no big deal.  My first day at NOVA was also equally interesting.  I remember getting there very early and sitting outside reading the paper and smoking a cigarette.  Every time I go to a new country I am pretty stressed out and smoking usually helps with that.  

Arrival in Japan

     It is now 4:43 in the morning and I am sitting in my new room jet lagged as hell.  I spent all day yesterday traveling to get here.  I left home at 9am and did not arrive in Japan until 3 am.  Then I didn’t get to the apartment until about 6am Ohio time.  My first impressions are obvious.  Everyone here is Japanese and speaks Japanese!  All the signs are in Japanese.  I cannot understand why the Americans here do not learn the language.  I cannot survive here if I do not learn the language!