New Zealander by nationality, High School Teacher by profession, teaching both Japanese and English in a private school in Japan.

Have returned to Japan after a 16 year stint away. I lived here for 10 years from 1987 through to 1997. Now it’s 2015 and I’ve been back for almost 4 years. I am reasonably fluent in Japanese and have numerous Japanese friends most of whom are not terribly Japanese.

With age apparently comes wisdom. I am not sure I know and understand Japan any better than in my younger days. I have come to the conclusion my wisdom is in the realization that the more I know from a linguistic point of
view the less I actually understand about the Japanese people and their way of thinking.

When I started this blog my aim was to share my confusion and bafflement over things Japanese, have the odd rant and vent some pent up gaijin frustration while having a bit of a laugh, at my own expense more likely than not.

That is still happening but as I have learnt more about blogging, explored other people’s blogs and taken up some of the photo challenges I found my blog growing and sprouting branches. It now seems to have morphed into

  1. My Japan observations / bafflement
  2. My Japanese outings.
  3. A retrospective look on my travels until I manage to catch up!
  4. Blogging challenges
  5. My own weekly challenge, I hope you will join in and share a post!

I hope you will continue to drop by and I look forward to checking out your blog!

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)


77 responses to “About

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  3. Hi Leanne,
    I came across your blog from this week’s photo challenge. It is so amazing to read your stories of your NZ home and Japan and I think you are so smart to master the language. I went to a few classes to learn Japanese a long time ago but got nowhere. I am now addicted to watching Korean dramas and love the way the Koreans speak but I haven’t learned to speak Korean yet other than a few words.
    Anyway, ya, just love your blog.
    Cheers, Jess, Little Borneo Girl.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Saw your lovely response to Arpita on Writing 101 — and arrived here. How lovely your blog looks, and how fascinating your life sounds! I look forward to reading more about your experiences as an English teacher in Japan (having just finished seventeen years as an Indian teaching Middle School English to a bunch of affluent white Americans here in the US, I feel delighted to see another cross-cultural teacher on WP!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great to find your blog through Writing101! I got interested in Japan in an unconventional way I guess, through Nintendo gaming! I’ve even tried my hand at some Japanese games in Katakana/ Hiragana. Learned the signs, but that doesn’t by no way means I know what they say. But I have fun painstakingly trying to translate them!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Delighted to find your great blog after seeing you on Writing 101. i teach Japanese in Western Australia and am thrilled to find your interesting links. I am looking forward to reading more. Best wishes with the course and hope to keep in touch in the blogisphere. Best wishes. TJ

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the Like on my comment. I lived on Okinawa when I was 16 and 17 years old, and loved it. It was a third world country then, and was not part of Japan at the time, even though the official language was Japanese. We lived about 50 feet away from a sugar cane farmer and his faithful water buffalo. I was reluctant to return to the states – I wanted to stay another year or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t made it to Okinawa yet but have it in my sights! I am sure it will have changed a lot since your days. All the best with building your blogging community. I can see by the comments on your about page there will be many people who will appreciate it and find a voice and comfort by participating,

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love your blog. Japan? What an interesting site! You’ve giving me some inspiration. Photos are a great way to further one’s message. Although writers are supposed to do that with words. Will follow your blog. Thanks for inviting me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Mine is photo heavy but many writers use one photo as a visual prompt and write about that. I am doing the Photo challenges but there are a heap of writing challenges out there too. I am sure if you ask for recommendations you will find heaps. If you take part in those fellow writers will check out your efforts. Thanks for the follow. Off to see your site now! Also remember some people choose not to follow because they don’t like getting all the emails and updates but they may chose to bookmark your blog and visit once a week or once a month to see what has changed.


    • Hey there. Just Checked your blog. A fabulous intro. That will pique people’s interest but I think you now need to get stuck into this class. Don’t worry about traffic etc. That starts to come after your blog takes shape. as you said you are just starting. You probably need to get 10 or so posts up over the next month or 2 and then I think you will see things start to move. The quality writing is there! At the moment you have the place of business set up but there is no merchandise to look at just yet!

      I like your side panel picture but it is difficult to read your tagline as it is white. Every theme is different but maybe you should see if it is possible to use a darker colour on the font?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely about the tagline. I haven’t learned how to change the font and size yet but it’s on my list of things to improve. Also, I’ll be adding pages with more examples of my writing and will ask for new starting sentences to challenge a new story maybe from a picture that I post. Not sure yet. PS – hope you don’t start invoicing me for this wonderful advise. Thanks


  11. Sounds intriguing hearing a gaijin’s perspective and I so admire your language skills! Japanese must be so hard to learn. I’ve always been interested in Japan and I even took a short course in Japanese phrases for tourists a couple of years ago, just for fun, in my home town, but didn’t learn much. Except how to recognize and eat some foods! All those seaweed-packed triangles and dough balls can be a bit baffling! 😉 Anyway, l’m glad we “met”, looking very much forward to following you! PS. Is that person wearing a bunny tail in the background of the photo of you cooking?!


  12. I’m an American living and blogging in Britain. I’ve come to think that sharing bafflement is sometimes better than sharing grand conclusions. Maybe it’s always better–at least it lets me avoid generalizations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes even with the same language, we have different cultural perceptions. For me over the years travel has moved away from the guide books. Of course I love to visit certain “must see” spots but I love talking to locals, eating locally, finding local markets, concerts and theatre and factoring in time for exploring local neighbourhood places and time for unexpected destinations I find out about once there. Look forward to reading more of your bafflement and UK observations!


      • Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your reply caught me just as I was thinking that pretty soon here my partner and I should declare ourselves tourists for a day and go someplace nearby but new. It kind of wakes up our perceptions. Plus it’s a great day out.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Great blog. Just found you through “My Friday Blog”. I lived in Japan twice in my life as well. Though not for as long as you did. I also felt I was a bit wiser the second time around. I’ll enjoy following along on your adventures and reminiscing of Japan!


  14. Japan is a country I’ve longed to visit and it looks as though my dream will come true in June! We’ll be visiting as guests of business partners and not able to freewheel, but that’s just fine. I like your gravatar, Leanne, rather gets the point of your blog across quite succinctly.


    • That’s marvellous Barbara. I am sure the business associates will have you well covered but if you need any advice or have any questions feel free to ask! Tokyo is like my hometown.


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