Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Last Entry from Japan

Today is my last day at the eikaiwa where I work, whose name I shall not mention.

It has come to my attention that my attitude toward Japan recently, both in general and in this blog, has become an increasingly negative expression of my inner frustrations with this country through two years of exposure to Japanese culture from the perspective of a chain-school eikaiwa teacher. Though understanding the horrific aspects of Japan is important to understanding life here, it's dangerous to focus too entirely on the negative, because there are good things about living here, and there are people who can overcome the pressures of Japanese society enough to make their lives work.

There is still hope for Japan; it is only a question of whether the country can pull itself from the muck of bureaucracy and groupthink and create a better environment for the people who live here, Japanese and gaijin alike.

I'll be back in New Hampshire in mid-March. At that time, I hope to write about Japan with a viewpoint less inhibited by the daily stresses of living and working here. Look for my final tale from the Japanese workplace sometime next month. Look for a novel sometime after that.