Hello, this is Jimomin director “snowmonkey”! JIMOMIN100 Lifestyle No.3 is dedicated to my cheerful friend Dre!
It's been about two years since I've known Dre and he is always super positive and enthusiastic. We do not usually speak too seriously, so I want to take this opportunity to ask him some questions about why he decided to come to Japan and what goals he wants to achieve in this country!
What are you doing in Japan now?
I teach English to 3-year-olds at a nursery school! Now, I am sure what you’re thinking is: “How can you be able to teach 3-year-old children?”. Well, my students are indeed very talented, and watching them grow everyday makes my job very stimulating.
What brought you to Japan?
Before coming here I worked in the United States as an aircraft maintenance specialist. Then, when I realized that even before that I’ve always had a strong passion for Japanese culture, I told myself: “One day I will go!”, and here I am.
Also, while everyone thinks “It would be fantastic to speak English”, I actually think that the actual Japanese language is “really cool”. Then, after coming to Japan, I attended both community colleges and studied Japanese through online conversation lessons.
Now I live in Osaka and work in Kyoto. Due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, there was a time I had to spend a total of four hours commuting to my work in Kyoto and back again to Osaka, everyday. Luckily, in June the quarantine was lifted, so I could use the train again, but even if the number of companies adopting telework has increased considerably, I feel that the hurdles are still high for my type of job environment.
One of my favorite things to do is playing instruments. I can play the piano, drums, bass and guitar! I also have a three-member-band in Osaka. Of course it is quite hard to even hold a live concert at the present moment, but I am practicing hard, so 'll be able to go back on stage again soon with the other members.
Are there any cultural differences that surprised or shocked you?
Haha yes, there are so many…
One is the cultural concept of "honne” and "tatemae".
As you know, in the United States (laughs), it is natural to express one’s opinions and feelings in a straightforward manner. But here in Japan you have to hide your emotions! However, I recently learned that this way of acting creates trust among people. It is in fact true that, in the United States, opinions often collide head-on, and things go wrong in most cases. It's difficult for non-Japanese, but it seems that the real trust is created by hiding one’s true intentions.
Future plan / Prospects
I want to create a live studio!
Karaoke bars and live music for young people are quite popular in the United States. To create a space where everyone can enjoy my favorite music: that is my present dream!
That’s it for the snowmonkey’s surprise interview now!
I think that countries like Japan and the USA are on completely opposite sides when it comes to making a living, especially regarding people and culture. Sadly, I've heard stories about how people looking for a job in Japan are ignored or avoided because of their skin color. When living in a country other than our own, there’ll undoubtedly be “unfavorable winds”, but Dre’s vitality, which allowed him to fully enjoy his time no matter what, is something I want to emulate!