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LunaDragon

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My name isn't really Luna, but that's what you can call me. I moved to New Jersey almost two years ago, and I can say it's not as bad as some people believe.

I'm trying to learn Japanese, but I'm stumbling over katakana at the moment. I have a few words committed to memory which may or may not be useful.

At the moment, I'm trying to find work in Japan, although I believe I'll fare better if I try to further my education. I'll likely post about my situation in another area of this forum.

Beyond that... I'm not sure what to say at the moment, so I'll talk to you all later!
 

Davey

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Welcome to the forum!

So what are your interests in Japan?
 

LunaDragon

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I hate using the word otaku for a number of reasons, but that's the short answer.

I just remember flipping through the channels one day and landing on Sailor Moon, not knowing what it was or anything, and just being hooked. It was the awful DIC version, which I didn't know was awful until I spent too much time on the internet and read something that listed all of the changes made. I got into watching other anime, reading manga, and then I started listening to L'arc en Ciel and becoming a fan.

At some point, I was curious about what it was like in Japan. American schools teach you the word "culture," it's a vocabulary word used at the start of the year in almost every history class you have. They teach you the major religions of a country. They teach the wars we've won, because we're America and we win wars apparently. They don't spend the time to teach the other parts of the culture. Over here, you find out that Asian soup bases are high in sodium. You don't realize that they're full of salt because of dehydration in the warmer months. You watch anime and you see school girls in uniforms that look like a feminine version of our Navy's uniforms, but you don't realize that we had that influence. I realize there's only so much time in a school year to teach anything, and too many countries to cover all of these things.

Even to have an interest in Japan, I would be marked with a pejorative by people who don't share my interest. It's said that a true weeaboo hates America and loves all things Japan, and they've probably never been there. I don't hate America, but there's a lot of things I wish I could change. I don't think Japan is perfect. I admire Japan's cleanliness, their efficiency, the fact that it's so much safer than America right now. I don't know what I'd change about Japan, mostly because I've never been there, but also because everything seems to work like a well-oiled machine. If I spend some time there, I might find things I don't like, and those things might be issues I'd have anywhere. I could have an interest in any country in the world, and geek out over half of Europe or something, but having an interest in Japan is a horrible thing to some people over here.

I moved to northern New Jersey from the Syracuse area of New York state. I didn't realize it at the time, but I moved closer to Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese supermarket that's in NJ (if you cross the George Washington Bridge for $13 and end up in NYC, you've missed the last exit off Route 80 in NJ and have gone too far. I know from experience). In Syracuse, we have Wegmans, which is your usual grocery store, but they have an international section. Mitsuwa is like the international section has taken over the whole store, but it's all Japanese food, rice cookers, health and beauty products, you name it. There's a bookstore nearby with imported books, and another shop that sells toys and housewares from Japan. Let's just say that if I had set a budget that first day, I went over that budget. I found too many food items I wanted to try, too many books I needed,... it was bad. I laugh when I look at any receipt since then, because I've managed to control myself and spend less.

My dad was in the Air Force, and was stationed in Okinawa back in the 1970s. I've heard a few stories. I don't know if his experiences planted a seed in my head that was watered by me watching anime. I do know that I find the country to be fascinating and I want to visit somehow.
 
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