FAQs for Foreigners in Japan and CA’s Answers

  1. Where are you from?
  2. The U.S.

  3. Where were you born?
  4. The U.S., specifically, Newark, Ohio. (See Places I'ves Lived).

  5. How long have you lived in Japan?
  6. Altogether for nearly 30 years. I lived here from 1982-1987 and came back in 1992. I’ve worked in Sapporo the whole time.

  7. Do you like Japanese food?
  8. Yes and no. There are many kinds of Japanese food.

    1. Can you eat natto?
    2. Why do you ask? I don’t understand why people want to know.

    3. Can you eat raw fish?
    4. I think the question is if I like raw fish, and the answer is some kinds. For example, I like tuna, scallops, and shrimp.

    5. What’s your favorite Japanese food?
    6. I like different kinds of nabe such as sukiyaki and shabu shabu.
      I also like sushi and yakitori. The persimmons in Japan are great!

    7. Which do you prefer, bread or rice?
    8. This question confuses me because it’s never asked in the U.S. Sometimes in restaurants we’re given a choice of rice or potatoes, but never rice or bread. At any rate, I like both, but not white bread. I prefer brown bread and rice (genmai).

    9. Can you use chopsticks?
    10. Yes, I've been using them since I was a little girl. My father and his family lived in China until he was 7 years old, so it never seemed unusual to use chopsticks, especially for eating Chinese food. For some kinds of food, such as salad, they’re easier to use than a fork.

  9. Why did you come to Japan?
  10. I was interested in living in another culture, not just visiting one. And I wanted to be in a culture very different from the one in which I was raised, so Asia seemed a better choice than Europe.

    I don’t like hot climates and wanted to live in a place with 4 seasons. Also, I prefer a place with modern conveniences. Hokkaido is perfect in that respect.

    There are other factors. One is that we had a teacher from Japan living with us for a year, and she got me interested in Japanese language and food. Also, my Aunt Taeko (married to my father's brother) is from Japan!

    Besides that, I've always liked haiku and had an interest in Zen. However, I discovered that they're not as much a part of Japanese culture as I had expected.

    Because Japan is very different from the U.S., I thought it would be educational living here. It certainly has been!

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Last updated March 5, 2016