Jiro’s mom passed away in 2012 and since then we’ve decided to stick around here. I’m teaching English part-time at a small, private university in Oita and Jiro has built a workshop and is doing art full-time. We may end up back in the Pacific Northwest eventually, but we’re here for the time being and take frequent trips back. I still think of home as the US, but I’ve got a pretty nice second home here.
Everything seems to revolve around teaching and learning and global connections.
Grew up in a beach town in Southern California, catholic school through 12th grade, girl scouts just as long…. UC Santa Cruz in the 70’s introduced me to earth science, old growth forests, close friendships, vegetarianism and the Grateful Dead. After graduation I fell in love with persimmons during a short stint at Twin Lakes Market, selling fruits and vegetables. In December of 1978 I went to Japan to teach English and came back to the States in 1989, no longer a vegetarian and with a husband (Jiro) and two kids in tow. During those 10 years I taught English, farmed (rice, shiitake, chickens, and vegetables), started our family, and learned a lot. Back in the States, I talked myself into a teaching job and Jiro returned to bamboo craftsmanship which he had trained for several years before. I taught Japanese language at a state college and then taught for 14 years at an independent school in Portland, Oregon. I am sure I learned much more than my students did.
In 2006 I completed my MLS and left teaching for librarianship. From January 2007 to March 2008, I worked as the Undergraduate Services Coordinator at the Valley Library at Oregon State University, a job I loved and for me, the perfect balance of structure and autonomy.
Now Jiro and I are returning to his hometown in Japan to help out his mom and start a new adventure. He’ll continue with his bamboo art and I’ll be an Assistant Language Teacher for elementary schools in the Saiki School District.
This blog is an attempt to bridge the worlds of the Pacific Northwest and Japan, libraries and education, books and bamboo.