I’m going back to Japan this summer, and I couldn’t be happier. Japan is home to me, a home on the other side of the planet.
When I am in Japan, I feel as though I am in a familiar place, even though I see new things there every day I open my eyes. It is a new home for me.
As a foreigner in Japan, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to pretend to fit in, to aspire to be just like everyone else. In Japan, it’s OK for me to be odd. I’m expected to be weird! Frankly, the fact that I speak a serviceable crude Japanese (with interpretive mime-dance) only makes me more endearing to most Japanese I come across.
I’m returning home to the land of the kami and the buddhas, and my heart is full of joy.