The weft and warp of Japanese society

One of the best characterizations of the fundamental differences between living in Japan, and living in America, that I’ve heard, came from Diet Member Kikawada Hitoshi-sensei. I was working with his office for 3 weeks, and during my welcome dinner the conversation turned to our two culture’s approach to information flow and communication. Of everyone at the table, he was the only other person to have … Continue reading The weft and warp of Japanese society

A week on Mukojima

  I’ve spent the last 10 months teasing apart some of the differences and similarities between Japan and the US.  And while there are many things that set the two countries apart, one striking similarity is the zealousness of conservation biologists, particularly those who work out in the field. A field biologist is a field biologist is a field biologist, regardless of where they are … Continue reading A week on Mukojima


From February 1-3rd, the 21st class of Mansfield Fellows traveled to Nagasaki on a trip sponsored by both the National Personnel Authority and the City of Nagasaki.  We had a behind-the-scenes tour of the airport, a sobering and moving visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, the Peace Park, the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture, Dejima where the Dutch traders lived, Mount Inasa, Glover … Continue reading Nagasaki

Firehose で にほんご を のんでいます

Nihonglish. That’s what I’m calling my new conglomeration of Japanese and English as I start to cobble together new bits of Japanese and find that I’m forgetting some simple English vocab and grammar. My intent had been to write here about the process of language learning, and what I’ve learned so far from our 6 weeks of intensive Japanese classes. And I will just have … Continue reading Firehose で にほんご を のんでいます