So now it is finally happening. Ten years ago the seventeen-year-old version of myself left Japan forever. I hated Japan. I hated being the only gaijin boy of the only gaijin family for several towns around. I resented being robbed of a suburban childhood in suburban North America with suburban toys and a swimming pool--luxuries I somehow assumed I would be entitled to if I were living in Canada or the U.S. And here I am, twenty-seven years old, a ten year veteran of North American living and I still don't have a swimming pool or a four-wheeler. Instead, I find myself to be as much a gaijin here in my "home and native land" as I was in the Tsugaru, and I am ready to concede that there is no jurisdiction on earth to which I can or, for that matter, should pledge my heart and allegiance to. I am returning to Aomori.
17 July 2004
There are a number of reasons motivating me to invest time and energy into maintaining a blog, and a number of loosely defined purposes I have in mind. First, I have gained considerable knowledge and enjoyment from the blogs of Aomori JETs who have gone before me, to a point where I now feel fairly familiar with Aomori JET culture without having actually joined it yet. Also, I am very conscious of my identity as a "third culture kid" and would like to contribute a source of practical information and personal experience as one of the legion of those who spent their salad days in foreign lands. Aditionally, now that I have grown up I feel that Aomori prefecture is perhaps the coolest place on earth, and I am anxious to do my part in inspiring this sentiment in the hearts of others. And finally, as I have concluded (not “somewhat hastily,” as Henry David Thoreau would maintain) that it is the chief end of humankind “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” I wish to be ever vigilant (in these communications) of the question: “How should we then live?”