☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life,  ☆ photos

Living Tall in Japan, part 39

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

My very first Sakura. To celebrate, I participated in my very first hanami, too.

Hanami, or 花見, literally means “flower looking,” and that’s what hanami is. Sit under blooming sakura trees, usually on a tarp, and eat and drink and look up at the pretty flowers. The people that I worked with decided to have an impromptu hanami after work, and I decided to go for it. Who doesn’t love sitting under pretty flowers, even though it’s really, really cold? Tokyo’s weather is really similar to Chicago’s, and in April, it’s very cold still.

But it was pretty, still. The only problem was that, for the second time, I missed the last train home, and found myself walking. *sighs* I should have known. At least this time, I wasn’t lost, and I could follow the long canal from Noborito station to Kuji, and home. It’s funny that I felt safe, after all that had already happened, but I don’t know.. there’s something about Japan that makes it generally easy to walk around at night, alone.

I took some photos back then, though! My first ever sakura, here they are. 🙂

So, on the 19th of April, something happened.

One of the girls that I worked with happened to be working two jobs. She was working in Japanese elementary schools part-time, and NOVA part-time, and she decided that she wanted to drop the other job and stick with NOVA full-time (I can’t imagine why). Knowing that I was looking for something else, she asked if I’d be interested.

Of course I was!!!!

After all…. a Japanese school meant that I’d more or less be working inside of an anime! After all those years of watching shoujo anime and reading manga, the idea that I could step foot inside a real. Japanese. school.. it was amazing. Plus, I could get paid for it! And I wouldn’t have to be at NOVA! SIGN ME RIGHT UP OMG!

So, I called them up on my break that day, and they asked me to come in for an interview the next day. Wow. My first interview in Japan. It was all happening so fast.

The next day after work, I took the train to Shibuya, and carefully followed the map that I’d been given, to a little English school tucked away in an office building quite a ways from the station. Hampton School of English. It was an adorable little office, and the lady that met me at the door was the daughter of the owner. Her name was.. yes.. Yoko Ono.

Hahahaa. No, not that Yoko Ono. This one was a total sweetheart, and even though I was nervous, even though I had no experience at all, she hired me on the spot. In less than a month, I’d be starting the new job!

YAAAAY!!!! New job, yay! And better than that– the next day, I took a tour of the guest house in Noborito that I wanted to move into, and agreed right away. I was so, so, soooooo eager to get out of that house! My horrible roommate celebrated by playing the hide-the-toilet-paper game again, but there was no way that could get me down.

Oh, and then there was the whole thing with Shonen JUMP…. That. Life was throwing me in some very positive directions all of a sudden, and I couldn’t turn any of them down! I suppose that it was to make up for subjecting me to so many sort of damaging things in my first few months. Stabbings, perverts, naked karaoke, screaming old men. It certainly seemed like things were turning around!

Aaaaaand, tomorrow, I will finally talk about JUMP! Oh yes, JUMP. Can’t wait to see you then! 😉

(260 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

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