In Japan, I’m usually called Buri-chan. Originally from Colorado (USA), I am a CIR in Matsue as part of the JET Program. I have studied Japanese in earnest since 2005, and have a BA in Economics and Chinese and Japanese Studies as well as an MA in Chinese Studies from Valparaiso University. My current area of informal study is now Japan’s San’in region, the often overlooked shadows of ancient Japan.
I have been drawing pretty much since I could hold a pencil, but manga has been my style of choice since middle school. Given manga’s current popularity abroad I am writing manga interpretations to explain the Kojiki mythology that took place in this region. Please take a look and follow this blog for updates.
I am by no means a beginner to Japanese culture at large, and am now a couple years into a deeper study of Japanese cultural practice and manner. Before this extended stay in Japan my knowledge of Japan was very wide, but not as deep as I’d have liked. I’ll continue documenting my growth and humorous mistakes over the course of my deeper studies as I practice naginata, kimono, and tea. Singing karaoke is also one of my favorite hobbies!
What is a CIR?
Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) make up about 10% of the JET Program, and start with a relatively proficient level of Japanese. They are placed in city and prefecture offices, boards of education, and cultural exchange centers. They perform a range of tasks, such as translation and interpreting, visiting schools, organizing cultural events, and supporting local internationalization efforts. One of it’s perks is that, to some extent, it’s my duty to indulge in culture.
What is JET?
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program places people from other countries in locations throughout Japan to be Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) or CIRs (or the rare SEA). Participants stay for 1~5 years in their assigned locations. It is a cooperative effort of many local and national levels of the Japanese government.
What is Matsue?
Matsue is the capital of Shimane Prefecture, and right in the middle of the San’in region. It is famous for Matsue Castle and Lake Shinji (and more, much more!). Expect to learn lots about it over the course of this blog~
Who is the old man on the banner!?
Matsudaira Fumai, seventh lord of Matsue and tea enthusiast!
I own all of the artwork unless otherwise noted. You are welcome to use them provided you credit this blog and provide the URL to San’in Monogatari (saninstory.wordpress.com), preferably as a link. Most of the photos are my own, but photos from other sources are linked back to their source pages, so click away.
I hope that both people who are familiar with other parts of Japan and people who know nothing about Japan can learn a lot about the San’in region though this blog.