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The first time I came to Japan was in 2002 (with an excellent program called AFS) and, while it sounds cliche to say, it changed my life; so much so that I minored in Japanese in college and am here again to work almost 10 years later.  I may be leaving at the end of the this summer, but this is by no means the last time I will be here.  National AJET, an independent association that cooperates with the JET Program, created a facebook event called “Man (万) Up for Japan” which I thought was a good idea.  Man is 10,000 in Japanese, so the idea was that you would donate 10,000yen to Japan aid.  So I did in the form of the following charity items.  I had these sent to my house in America, so I don’t have any of my own pics.  I don’t claim to own these.  Donations can be made to the Red Cross here, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.

Ralph Lauren Japan Hope Polo, 100% of the proceeds go to the Central Community Chest of Japan, a part of the United Way worldwide network.

Kate Spade Japan Relief Tote, 100% of the proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.

My last pair of boots had a good run, but finally died when the sole started unpeeling.  I am unforgiving on boots, so I’m not surprised this happened.  It took me forever to find a replacement pair, but finally settled on this pair by Ecco.  I’ve had them for about 3 weeks now, so they are a bit dirty/worn in this picture.  Very comfortable though and they match with everything.  I’ll definitely go to Ecco for my next pair.

Going backwards a little bit.  Picked up this top from my favorite store, Rugby, on University Place while at home.  Love it, it’s so comfy and warm, not often traits in stuff I’d wear out.  Haven’t hit the Tokyo Rugby yet, but will probably on my next trip.

Home for the holidays.  Thank god, I think was hitting what they call the stage 2 of culture shock in Japan…i.e. the stage where you hate everything.  In America right now, so probably some posts featuring stuff I’ve bought while home because, well, I bought a lot.  Returning to Japan on Sunday.  As New Year’s approaches, I think more and more that I should have flown into Tokyo and spent a day there since they’re about to explode in New Year’s sales.  70-80% off at the 109, but you have to face insane crowds of anorexic looking Japanese girls shoving for the lucky bags.

Anyway, New Year’s Resolutions already made:
1. Study Japanese – I’ve probably gotten better, but this is the area where I’m slacking and I know it.  Starting next year making serious efforts at conversation class and the N2.
2. Blog more – I think I’ll roll this and my other blog into one and make a concerted effort to blog more.  And make sure it’s not just me bitching all the time.  Just bitching some of the time.
3. Kyudo – I will find a place to do kyudo.
4. Next year – This isn’t so much a resolution as a necessity, but I need to figure out if I’m going to stay in Japan or not after July.  That sounds far off, but I should at least start now so that I’m sure to do it.  I’m definitely not staying in the town I’m in (which for the sake of being polite I’ll just refer to as Kyo-town), so it’s really, do I go back to nyc and resume life or try to make it in Tokyo?  Right now I kind of want to try life in Tokyo, but larger payments on my student loans are going to be required starting midway through the year, so they might kill that ambition.


Grew up in philly, used to live in nyc, spent a year in japan. I like shopping. Gotta figure out what to do with this blog now...