Catrien Ross on Joining the Blogosphere in Japan

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 - 2 Comments

In my last post I wrote about how being illiterate in Japanese helped me
develop communication through empathy.

Now that I have begun blogging in Japan I find myself navigating a medium the Japanese have uniquely interpreted.

The biggest and the most active blogging culture on Earth exists right here in Japan.

Worldwide, English speakers outnumber Japanese speakers by more than 5:1.

But a greater number of blog postings are now written in Japanese than in English.

The Japanese also read more blogs, more often, than anyone anywhere else.

Japanese has become the language of the global blogosphere.

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Catrien Ross on Developing Communication Through Empathy in Japan

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 - 8 Comments

Being illiterate in a foreign country works wonders for character building.

For one thing, you become very, very humble.

Any image of yourself as an articulate adult crumples under the fact that:

  • You don’t read the language.
  • You can’t follow a normal conversation.
  • You are unable even to speak at toddler level.
  • You are a lost ignoramus, and everyone you meet confirms it.

But if you survive your loss of identity and embrace your helplessness, intriguing aspects emerge:

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Catrien Ross on Shouldering Lessons in Personal Growth in Japan

Monday, December 7th, 2009 - No Comments

For more than a week I have been nursing a sore shoulder so painful I have spent several sleepless nights.

Kohdoh’s acupuncture helped.

Holding energy points moved the pain along.

But with stiffness remaining I have been asking myself how and why this particular injury occurred at this particular moment.

Maybe I raked up this year’s harvest of ginkgo nuts with misapplied enthusiasm.

Maybe I hauled one too many logs for the hand-built masonry heater that warms this old minka in the mountains.

Maybe I walked through the winter garden careless of the cold wind.

Or maybe this is something else entirely.

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