I’m fueled by a passion for history…being a social studies teacher is kind of related to that. Among other things, I also love studying about Japan and I’ve swallowed a bit too much seawater.
My two great passions in life are Japan and the sea.
With regard to Japan:
I’m what’s called a Japanologist, which is like an Egyptologist, but oriented towards Japan. This means I’ve spent the better part of the last 15 years (and counting) researching about Japanese people, society, culture, history, and language. I also lived in Japan for 5 years working as an English teacher. I love Japanese culture (being Japanese-American helps). That being said, my interest in Japan goes beyond mere superficial things like anime, sushi, or the Japanese language, but rather is more along the lines of sociology. Truth be told, I’m not that big into anime, I don’t read manga, and I only study the language insofar as is necessary.
With regard to the sea:
I’ve spent too much time (10 years and counting) around Navy sailors and Coast Guardsmen (the occasional Marine as well). While I’m certainly no Ferdinand Magellan, Horatio Nelson, John Paul Jones, or Douglas Munro, I’m fascinated by the stuff that covers 70% of Earth’s surface, how it has influenced our history, and the vessels that move on, above, and below it.
When you combine the two passions, it means that I spend a lot of time researching the Pacific Theater of WWII, but I have a general interest in East Asia and maritime history. Hence, how this blog came about.
I mentioned that I was a teacher:
That’s right! I’m a licensed and certified social studies teacher (at the secondary level). Being a teacher is pretty tangential to be honest and was sort of the logical field for me to go into. Not that I don’t take what I do seriously…I do, but careers in Japanology are hard to come by and I don’t plan on getting a Ph.D. (another master’s degree…maybe). Bear in mind that I’m not some master educator, but it pays the bills. I’ve done a number of things in education (or in related fields). For example, I’ve spent numerous years tutoring various subjects both in a volunteer and a professional capacity, I’ve taught English as a second language abroad, and I’ve even been a martial arts instructor.
When you add it all up, it’s a wild and strange ride. But it beats working retail or flipping burgers at a fast food joint.