I began the original nipponDAZE blog in 2001 using Movable Type. My plan was to get a dialog going with three other Americans who had lived in Oita-ken at same time I was there, 1989-1991. I was hoping that one memory would feed the other and that our different perspectives of the same incidents would provide a more complete picture of our experience.

That didn’t happen but with the help of the Internet, I tried to make sense of my experiences in Japan which took place mostly in a fog of ignorance. I didn’t know Japanese when I lived in Japan and with no Internet, finding out what was going on around me was a never-ending struggle.

August 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of my adventure teaching English in Japan. I decided to revive nipponDAZE with quite a bit of new material.

In that first version of nipponDAZEĀ (which you can find in the Archives to the left), I was integrating my current research into my memories to better understand my own story. The focus was more on the big events and lasting impressions I had of my stay. Memories alternated with current day Japanese events. I also went back to school for two years and studied Japanese and wrote about that. The original nipponDAZE is organized by topic.

In this new version of nipponDAZE, I’m taking a more standard blog approach and writing about each day as its 20th-year anniversary comes. The material comes directly from my accounting daybook, my daily journal, and copies of letters home. In short, much of this is the minutiae of everyday life which is even more interesting to me now because it is the record of things forgotten.

The story begins here.