Interview by Chris Simmons
The spotlight is back! It’s been a nice break, but now it’s time to start meeting all the new faces. To kick things off, we meet up with Oirase’s new ALT, Harrison Gordon. He may be fresh off the boat, but Harrison is no stranger to Japan. Check out the interview to find out more.
Why did you choose to join JET?
After many life goal changes, I realized that what I really loved to do was learn languages. So I put all my focus towards learning Japanese at the end of college. When graduation was coming up, I figured joining JET would be an ideal way to continue learning the language and culture. I also liked the idea of helping spread my own language and culture at the same time. Seemed like a fair trade.
What do you hope to gain from JET?
Well, I’ll be reaching towards Japanese fluency while I’m here. I’ll see how close I can get. But I’m also looking to meet a lot of great people while I have this chance.
What are your plans after JET?
Not sure yet, haha. But maybe I’ll work towards becoming a translator or interpreter. Maybe cross-cultural relations through a business.
How long do you plan on staying in Japan?
As long as they let me.
Do you participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities/hobbies?
I haven’t found any just yet, but I’ll try and find a taiko class, and I’m definitely going to find the closest bouldering gym soon. But really, I hope I get thrown into something that I wouldn’t have thought of joining. Something new would be pretty fun.
What are a few things you like about Japan?
I’m a big fan of most of the food I’ve had in Japan. Also, I can’t get enough of the different matsuri. Such high energy! I’ve yet to be disappointed by one.
What are a few things you dislike about Japan?
The humidity. That might be the only thing I dislike about Japan right now, but get back to me in February and I might have snow to add to that list…
What do you miss the most from your hometown/country?
I miss seeing rabbits, squirrels and coyote all over the place. I’d love to see more animals here in Oirase.
What was it like growing up in your hometown?
Pretty nice. I had good friends and knew the area really well. There was always somewhere to go if I wanted to move.
Do you have any interesting or embarrassing stories about adjusting to Japanese culture?
Not really interesting… I just continuously find myself in situations where I forget to take my shoes off. I know to watch out for it, but it always slips my mind.
Did you do anything exciting for summer vacation?
Well, I wasn’t able to spend summer here, but back in the States I was finally given the chance to hike around Yosemite. That was pretty exciting for me.
have some natto-maki or natto-rice? Natto rice. I need to look my enemy in the face.
crank up the A/C or head to the beach? Beach. Always beach.
play some vidya games or read a bizook? Probably read, but there are times when gaming has to be done.
eat horse or ride a horse? I’d rather ride a horse, but while I’m here I’ll be finding out what the former’s like as well.