Mesmerised by Culture

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During my first stay in Japan 1980 During my first stay in Japan 1980

I was born and raised in nowhere special. A rural Michigander– a real bumpkin whose feet were always black and leathery in the summer, culture to me was playing in the woods and streams.

That is, until a mysterious flyer about an exchange program appeared in our rural route mailbox. This little piece of paper, a piece of junk mail really,  brought a girl named Yuki to our house. The year was 1979.   In short order this petite girl from Tokyo and I became best friends.

This is how it all started for me. I was still in high school when I first traveled to Japan, to stay at Yuki house, and it was mesmerizing. I had only known Japan from old encyclopedias and post war history films. Shoot, I thought Japan was all geisha and rickshaws! But when I got there…

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