all could you please tell us your name, what
part of the world you’re from, and which schools
you teach at in Kanoya.
I’m from a town called Exeter in California,
USA, and I teach at Kanoya Joshiko High School,
Hosoyamada Junior High, Hosoyamada Elementary,
Nishihara Elementary, Nishiharadai Elementary,
Tasaki Elementary, and Minami Elementary.
brought you to Japan?
I love traveling and learning about
different countries and cultures. My grandmother
was Japanese, so I’ve always been interested in
living in Japan and experiencing my family’s
culture and heritage.
you like to do in your free time?
I love being active, traveling and exploring the
outdoors. During the spring and summer I like
snorkeling, swimming, camping, hiking and
biking. I also like playing volleyball, watching
movies, reading, and going to concerts.
you think is the best thing about living in
I love the tranquility of the countryside and
all of the outdoor activities in Osumi. Osumi
has great beaches for snorkeling and swimming
and beautiful mountains for hiking and camping.
you think is the least appealing aspect of
living in Kanoya?
Kanoya is a little too rural and isolated for
me. I would like a train station or highway that
connected Kanoya to the rest of Kyushu so travel
would be easier.
your favourite spots, shops and restaurants in
I like Bulldog for its unique gifts, Avail for
clothes shopping, Araheam for coffee, and the
Penang Garden in Kirishimagaoka Park for the
view of Kaimon-dake and Kinko Bay!
came to Kanoya over a year ago, was it your
first time in Japan? If no, when had you been in
Japan before? Was there anything that surprised
you about life in Japan?
Nomihodai. It’s difficult to just go out for one
beer. It’s 20 beers or nothing!
anything about life in Japan that you’ve found
hard to get used to?
Hands down: the cold. Keeping my apartment
warmer than the outside temps in winter is a
ever lived overseas before?
IYes, I lived in Seoul, Korea for one year.
you miss most about the U.S.?
I mostly miss my friends and family, but Mexican
food is a close second!
you think are some of the most striking cultural
differences between the U.S. and Japan?
Japanese culture has a formality that is
strikingly different from American culture. We
tend to be much more casual in manners of
meeting new people, work attire, ceremonies,
people in your country learn from the lifestyles
of people in Japan, or the Japanese way of
getting things done?
I think Americans could benefit from a Japanese
sense of unity and shared social responsibility.
For example, during cleaning time at school, all
students and teachers work together to clean
their school. It instills a sense of pride in
one’s school and motivation to keep things
same way, what could people in Japan learn from
the lifestyles and ways of doing things in the
I think Americans value innovation and focus on
efficiency, whereas Japanese tend to stick to
tried-and-true albeit outdated methods. I still
receive manual faxes from my schools when email
would be so much more efficient and facilitate
please tell us a little about something you’ve
taken up since you came to Kanoya?
I’ve taken up a little bit of travel writing on
my blog and like to write about my adventures
here in Japan and sightseeing in and around
Kanoya. I’ve also become interested in Japanese
calligraphy and continue to practice on my own.
any particular parts of Japanese culture that
you’d like to learn more about during your time
I’d like to learn to play koto before I leave
Japan. Any willing teachers out there!
done now! Could you please tell us something
about yourself that the people of Kanoya might
not know about you?
I like gardening and pickle my own cucumbers,
finally, is there anything you would like to say
to the people of Kanoya, any words of
inspiration or a maxim to live by?
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be
sorry.” – Jack Kerouac