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My Japanese Beginnings

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

I arrived in Japan not knowing a word of Japanese or much about Japanese history and culture. I was born in the midwest, United States, with little knowledge about my newfound homeland, Japan.

Equipped with fascination and respect for the Japanese, I wondered how I could connect without a common language. What do I do? How do I act? Where should I start?

With no map or understanding, I decided to focus on the sameness of all human beings. That is what we, as humans, need and how we need each other.

What are the emotional needs of all humans? We all seek to feel appreciated, accomplished, connected, safe and a part of a community. Our emotional nourishment is as important as food. We need a secure attachment to others to feel safe, secure and connected. We also desire to feel empathy. We yearn to be heard, validated and supported.

As I focused on these needs, I began connecting showing appreciation, and empathy in a safe and respectful manner without my cultural traditions to lean on. I began to learn basic Japanese and non-verbally communicated what we need to feel harmonious, regardless of language barriers and limitations. Communication takes many forms, and we feel each other with the heart as we look into each other's eyes with genuine respect and curiosity.

I made a friend, Takuro, who owned a bakery in Tokyo. He did not speak English and I did not speak Japanese. I pointed to his delicious creations, smiled and bowed. I became a regular customer and introduced new Japanese words with a feeling of accomplishment! He was so welcoming; my body language and thank you "Arigato" created a sense of anticipated connection, community, and trust, I taught him basic English phrases and he loved learning! We had empathy and respect for each other as was felt with our hearts and eyes. I made a friend, without a common language, history, or experience. The depth of our experience lasted for years and grew in trust and joyful connection.

My About Me page shares more of my journey in Japan and introduces my podcast which details my life in Japan. COREJapan grew out of my love of serving the Japanese and those who wish to embrace Eastern and Western Philosophy for personal and professional development!

COREJapan is the Center of Relationship Enrichment. A place to enrich your relationships and empower your life!

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