Special Guest Blog Post By Tara Kamiya, Blogger, Mom, and Housewife Living in Japan
Check out Tara’s blog, tarakamiya.com, Youtube channel, youtube.com/user/smartalecky1, and Instagram, instagram.com/smartalecky, and see her full contact details below.
I’m a Black woman from NYC and I married a Japanese man. We live in Nagoya, Japan with our 3 children. My husband, Yohei, is a chef and restaurant manager and we have been married for 6 years. Yohei loves DJ-ing, rock, hip-hop, and punk music, houses, dogs, our family, and me – not in that order I hope! He is a special guy and we have a great family life having survived the challenges of living in both the US and Japan now.
I like to draw people into my world because I’ve realized that my existence and experiences here in Japan are significantly different from many of the expats you may run into. We were a family of 3 living in New York City. Our lives were “cool” and we had no intentions of moving to Japan so early in our marriage.
Unlike many other expats in Japan, I am not in the military, I am not 21, I am not single, I don’t watch anime, my husband was not sent by his company to work here, and I did not come here to teach English. There was no honeymoon period, I have not been to Tokyo, and I have not gone sightseeing. Straight survival. We came to help out in a family emergency. Living in Japan has changed me in ways I was not expecting.
Now when you come to Asia, of course you are prepared to live in an environment very different from the one you’ve always known, but you have no idea how different.
So after 3 years in Japan, here is my Top 5 – You know you’ve been living in Japan when…….
1. You get excited about Western junk food.
I don’t care if you were a vegan organic raw foodist back home. When you see Twizzlers you are gonna act a fool! Primarily because it is a reminder of home, something familiar that nobody gets but you. Cozy, comforting garbage food. Come home with me!
2. You hear English and must find the source.
Maybe not so much if you live in the city, but out here in the sticks……. you pray for an American, you hope for an Englishman, or anybody else. You just hope they can talk about current events outside of Japan.
3. You eat fruit very slowly.
It never occurred to me that melon would ever be worth $60 USD, but it damn sure is in Japan. Must be glitter inside. In any case, on the rare occasion I do feel like spending $5 USD on a mango, I eat it slowly and savor every bite!
4. You start to dress like a cornball.
Yeah I said it, you dress like you are advertising for Goodwill, and not in a Macklemore popping tags kinda way. You will throw on anything because the fashion sense of the Japanese is either beyond your understanding or so expensive that without a copy of ‘W’ lying around, you don’t know if it’s a shirt or an exhibit.
5. And last, but should have been first…..you get homesick during the holidays.
I have not seen a turkey in any form in 3 years. Need I say more?
(c) Tara Kamiya
A big thank you and dōmo arigatō to Tara for sharing a few pearls of wisdom about the Asian Black Couple experience with us. Feel free to share some love with Tara and keep up to date with her on any of these great sites: