Month: January 2018

10 Misconceptions about Japan

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I remember hearing once in a movie a reference that unlike Japan, Ireland is not far from America.

This line made me laugh. Although the movie was referencing the east coast of America, which is in fact nearer to Ireland than Japan, I think that many people (especially Americans) have the sense that Japan is very far and inaccessible compared to European countries.. even though for those on the west coast, it may be easier to reach.

Other misconceptions I’ve encountered include that Japanese people eat teriyaki chicken all the time, or Panda Express-like dishes. Many people also confuse Chinese (or even Korean) culture and customs with Japanese, or think that it must be hard to get around in Japan because of the language barrier.

Before coming to Japan and later moving here, I was guilty of similar assumptions! So, I would like to share a few common misconceptions about Japan, as well as some insight into what Japan is really like. (more…)

Our Miscarriage Story

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**Warning: the following post includes discussion of pregnancy and miscarriage in Japan. Please do not read if it makes you uncomfortable.**

Does it seem strange to talk about miscarriage at the beginning of a blog about our family? While it is tough to share about this part of our lives, we believe that loss is also a part of life that ought to be recognized.. and it’s sometimes from the ashes that come beauty and joy.

We were expecting our first child on July 29th, but I miscarried in the 3rd month of pregnancy.

While we believe that everything that happened is a part of God’s plan and trust His future for us, the following is an honest look at what it is like to experience both early pregnancy and miscarriage in Japan.. I hope it is helpful women who might experience a similar situation, to answer your questions, or to offer comfort through knowing that someone else has been through the same situation.

Please note that I am NOT a doctor, so please do not take any of the following as medical advice, and also note that every woman and every pregnancy and miscarriage are different.  (more…)

To New Places.. (Our Upcoming Move)

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In our last post, we shared that one of the big decisions we made toward the end of 2017 was not to renew the contract of our apartment in Yokohama, and to make steps toward moving to our bigger home sometime this year (2018).

It has always been on Masashi’s heart to live in the countryside, in his hometown located in Hyogo prefecture. To be honest, at first, I was hesitant about moving to the countryside (I desired to eventually, but perhaps after a few more years..), and thankfully Masashi never pressured me about the idea.

Yet, as we prayed about the direction for our family, gradually our thoughts began to synchronize, and any reservations faded into non-existence.  

Living in the countryside is not entirely unfamiliar. I grew up where the suburbs blended into the country in a small-town in California. Growing up in a small town was a good experience, but after graduating college, I moved.. first to San Diego, and soon after to Tokyo. (more…)

Reflection on 2017

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Happy New Year! Or in Japanese, 開けましたおめでとうございます!In 2017, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, were blessed with a first pregnancy, visited family in the U.S., reunited with dear friends, performed together as “Meoto”, and made many wonderful memories.

It was also a year of challenges that started off with recovery from pneumonia, and included clinic and hospital visits on my part for heart and lung troubles, as well as later for what might have led to surgery (but fortunately didn’t).

I struggled with the gap between looking healthy on the outside, and my true condition. Explaining to those around me was difficult, especially when the illness wasn’t obvious. However, managing my health issues brought my husband and I closer together, and made us realize deeply the meaning of marriage being “for better or for worse”. (more…)