About Me

My photo
I'm an American living in Japan for three years while my wife is on assignment here. (Three years has come and gone so I should probably say three years and counting.)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Back From Okazaki

My self-enforced exile from Yokohama has ended. I have finished my 4 weeks of Japanese language study in Okazaki. My lonely solitude of tirelessly studying with no breaks, my near monastic existence has come to an end. I'll share a few photographs chronicling my sacrifices to the Japanese language.

My lonely existence.

This is the main building for students preparing for university study.

This was the building for students working on basic language skills. (Me) I was in this building from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday.

These are my 3 favorite teachers.

Here are a few pics of fellow students and examples of my lonely existence.

This is actually a good friend of mine from Tokyo who happened to be in Nagoya (a city near Okazaki).

The campus pub. Zig Zag

My going away party at a local izakaya. (Japanese pub/bar)

My going away speech to teachers and students.

Okay, if you made it through all of the pictures, you might be saying, "That doesn't look that lonely to me!" Okay, you got me. I may have exaggerated the monastic lifestyle a little bit. I did discover that although my quest to acquire the Japanese language has been difficult (I seem to be language challenged), my ability to meet and make new friends still seems to be intact.

I have not been in a campus environment for a very long time. I found the experience to be exhilarating, exhausting, demanding, and fun. For learning language skills, the time was way too short, but 4 weeks away from my life in Yokohama and Marcia was about my limit. I would, however, go back again if I had the chance.

ja mata,



Anonymous said...

So, did your Japanese improve...?

Raven said...

Gary, This was a great post - thanks for sharing. Tell us, though, how much did your Japanese improve?

O.Kimeru said...

Dear Gary,
Stumbled across your blog and was amazed, as my last name is Kimmel and I did graduate work in Yokohama 1987-1990. Now I live in Chicago and am a Japanese language teacher.
Haven't seen a post after Oct., 2009; so maybe you and your wife have now returned to the U.S.
My curriculum blog for my students is at Kimmel.Japanese.Classes.blogspot., but it's not possible to leave comments there.
I have many questions, such as "Where did you live in Yokohama." I was in Minami-ku, up on a hill, and had to climb 145 steps every day returning home. My email address is kimmel.sensei@gmail.com, if you see this comment feel like communicating. I still miss Yokohama, and I've been back to Japan many, many times
Carol Ruth Kimmel