Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
A really memorable thing for me here in Japan has been circles, most notably Taekwondo and Yui Wadaiko. Both these circles were extremely physically intensive. However, they were all really fun and enjoyable. I met and interacted with a lot of native Japanese people in these circles. This not only helped my Japanese language skills, but this also kept me busy throughout my stay in Japan. When I leave, these people are the ones will be my hardest goodbye. In Taekwondo, we would meet up to four times a week. This would be a bit of a problem, but we could take breaks if we had too much work at the time or were too tired to go. Everyone was very patient with me since I hadn’t done martial arts until that point, so I’m very glad I was able to join and meet these nice people.
The same goes for Wadaiko. While I have been doing taiko in Hawaiʻi for 10 years with the Kona Hongwanji Taiko Group, it was only to musical accompaniment in a type of taiko I like to call “Bon Odori Taiko.” Therefore, Wadaiko was also quite a new experience for me. They too were very patient in showing me the ropes. I even made it onto their YouTube channel! As of now, you can watch me play “Miyakejima Daiko”and the 2018 Haru Koen Encore with the rest of the group.