The last day of March and feeling a little shaky because April promises something of a radical change and upheaval around here. I suspect that some readers of this blog return because of an interest in not just fountain pens, but also with some curiosity about things Japanese seen through American eyes. From the very beginning back in November of last year, the daily posts have been focused on impressions revolving around not just fountain pens and ink, but on an assortment of topics I thought might be of interest through my Tokyo perspective. That perspective will soon change.
After twenty-eight years of living and working in Tokyo, April 23 will see me leaving Japan and returning to live in the US. On occasion, people here have asked how long I’ve been in Japan, and more than once in the past couple of years there’s been the temptation to reply, “Too long.” But, that shouldn’t imply that I don’t like it here, or that there’s something ‘driving’ or ‘pushing’ me away. Simply put, I just have a desire to live now in my native country, for better or worse.
Japan has been my home for longer than any other place in my life. Clearly a great part of my world view has been shaped by the time here. To be honest, I’m more than a little anxious about the adjustments facing me when I wake up one morning soon to find the world has spun me into a new, and in many ways unfamiliar orbit. The differences in Tokyo and the little Florida beach town I return to are differences comparable to Venus and Mars, but hopefully, the experience of my annual summer holidays in Florida will put some cushioning between me and the bigger culture shocks.
Much of my time now is spent packing boxes and cleaning out closets. Perhaps I’m on schedule, perhaps not, but either way, it must all be done by the 20th, when the shippers come to take everything away.
Well, enough of all that…
Between now and the time my Internet connection is cut off on April 18, this blog will stray from the familiar topics. Time for writing is being squeezed by other things in my run to the Tokyo finish line, and I expect more distractions in coming days. Normally, I keep a record of thoughts and what I’m doing in a journal, but that too is losing time to other concerns. So, with that in mind, and because I think the process might be of slight interest to some, from tomorrow until the time I leave Tokyo these pages will relate some of my steps along the way toward finally departing Japan.
Once I am settled in Florida with the Internet connection restored, I will put the blog back on track, though without the same Japanese frame of reference. Bear with me, please, and thanks for reading.