Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.

Secret Life in Japan


Recommended Posts

This not really secret, but this is what I titled for film in NYU Video Documentary, Chun Yu, author of Little Green was doing about me.

I like to share the story.


Here are my memories I remember.

Memory I remember when I was living with my grandmother in Kyushu Prefecture (South Island), Miyzaki city in small country side called Umekita City.

My grandmother change my last name to Nagayama because my grandmother was.


My grandmother's house was on steep hill with three houses on top. Friendly neighbor was at front of our house and side by our house is another neighbor, not really friendly.


I was student at Umekita City Elementary School, and my grandmother worked in a supermarket.


Depends on day, everyone take turns with classroom task.

In the morning, we greet our teacher, "Good morning." by standing up, and bowing.


Before the lunch, I have to wear lunch uniform with mask (one you see Asian people wearing when they're sick). We eat lunch in classroom. Tables are mostly set by four to be equal except if it was odd, one table adds up with one of four tables.


With lunch assistant, we go to kitchen area where delivery truck brings our lunch.

Another student in lunch uniform make sure we have our nails cut. My nail was not cut, so she cut it for me.

My grandmother did not teach me yet.

After that, we carry soup, and other utensils into our classroom.

Next, we took our uniform off and line up in order to have lunch.


My grandmother had a tutor for me, and his name was Mr. Takayama. He was my favorite tutor.


Another memory I remember at Umekita City Elementary School, without permission from school, during the recess I practice school marathon 26.3 miles around school neighborhood.


My another memory I remember it was after-school, I was waiting for pickup by a taxi. My grandmother always hires a taxi.

My school was on top of slope and my crayons rolled down. Student helped me collect my crayons while my taxi driver passed by me and he came back.

After that, I boarded a taxi.

I remember taxi had hard time going up to my grandmother's house because of steep slope and also taxi was going on downward two-way streets. He tried it from approach, but he couldn't get it right.

So, next he turn around by making two left turns, then speed up on steep hill and he made it.

My grandmother paid for taxi as usual.


Another memory I remember, after my mother found me, my grandmother took me on train to some kind of place. It was special children orphanage-like shelter but it was actually it was almost like special school for children's parents who are bad. My parents was not bad. I don't know why my grandmother took me away from my mom.

When I go to sleep, nice female attendant there always bathed me and went I go to sleep, she kept radio on soft music to make me sleepy.

This is place where I tried tomatoes for (1) time and I love it after that.

Few days or week later I think, my mom found me and I boarded with my mom because she didn't trust my grandmother.


I also remember after my mom found me and few days later, my mother moved my back to many locations in Japan, transferring school about four times. I was very small than, I was bath in kitchen because it public bathhouse was far. I did not get to said goodbye to my teachers, my tutor.


My another memory I remember was when I was at Ogoto Condo, I was student at Ogoto Elementary School, which was on hill.

One day, on field trip day, I was suppose to go to Kindergarden Apartment to have breakfast, and go to school with first grader, which I escaped and rush to school. At crosswalk in front of my house, I said my first English word "STOP" automatically with and both vehicles stop on spot. After that, I raised my hand, looked both ways and cross a street, but only to get hungry.

It was field trip to ferry called "Umi no ko" and I think it means "Sea's Children."

Another memory I remember, when I was student there, there was female bully who live in same condo.

When I was going to use portable restroom, she wanted to come in with me. I said no and rush to restroom, but she sneak in with me.

I was so upset, I reported to my mom, and my teacher, including kindergarden apartment person.


Another memory I remember I forgot if it was before Ogoto Elementary School, I was living near Aikwa Station on Kyto Line operated by Hankyu Railways. This was five-corner intersections with no single traffic light!


On February 1996, we move to New York without telling my grandmother because my mom thinks she might going to return me to live with her.

It was connecting flight.

I was very scared at first flight to Seoul International Airport, but I passed time by reading a book.

At Seoul International Airport, we change to flight to JFK, and I wasn't scared at second one.

Next, when I arrive in JFK, I was surprise to see it was dark, where my American roommate was waiting with his checkered taxi, but not really taxi.


That's memory I remember so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your life was so good in Japan then why did you leave and come to the United States? I'd rather live in Tokyo than New York.


My grandmother was elderly and she spoil me lot.

I couldn't go anywhere because it was in countryside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.