I now live in Japan. But to tell you the truth, I have just come back to Japan, after many years of living in Canada and the UK. Since COVID-19 happened, travel to Japan from the UK has become so complicated, so I made a big decision to come back to Japan.
I will tell you a little bit about me.
I went to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, to go to university. I decided to go all the way up to obtain PhD in psychology. I have taught at the university there. I came to Manchester to take part in a research project at the University of Manchester, where, unexpectedly, I met my future husband and got married.
Once I settled down in the UK, ironically, I was awakened to the love of Japanese culture and language. The more I’m away from Japan, the stronger my love for Japanese language grew. I eventually decided to embark on a new career to teach Japanese to British people. Around the same time, I started YouTube, cataloguing various people/organizations who were engaging in activities related to Japanese culture. Please check out my YouTube channel, Yuko's World, to see what I mean. (I was also writing a blog, Japan Outpost, which is now discontinued.)
Now I’m very happy teaching Japanese, and wish to share my passion for Japanese with you also.
While I was in the UK, I served as Chairman of Japan Society North West. I also worked as the Editor of the Newsletter from 2008 until January 2012. I was involved in the planning of monthly events for the Society and also took a leading role in organising Japan Day, a major biennial event that showcases a wide range of Japanese culture in the Northwest of England.
One of my great grandfathers was a samurai, and the other was a Shinto (Japan’s original religion) priest. Although I was born and brought up in the north of Kyoto prefecture, because my mother is from Tokyo, Tokyo has been my second home town.
The town of my birth contains one of the most scenic views in Japan, the famous Amanohashidate (roughly translated as “a bridge to Heaven from ocean”), which is a 3km-long sand bar with many pine trees on it. It's been famous for a long time, and the most famous Japanese ink and wash painter, Sesshu, painted Amanohashidate at the beginning of 16th century (bottom left). It also appeared on one of Hiroshige's Ukiyoes (right). I grew up near the sea, and walked my dog to the beach everyday. Looking at the beautiful sea always helped me feel better. While I was living in the Manchester area, I missed the ocean. Now I live right next to the beach in Kanagawa prefecture!