Monday, August 9, 2010

The New CIR in Seika Japan

Seika Town 精華町So apparently in order to celebrate the opening of this blog, the clouds disappeared today, so you can see the Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka without too much trouble. Of course the sun being out also means it is approximately nine thousand degrees and my pale skin turns Kentucky fried in a manner of seconds (Japanese summers are not for the faint of heart), but it is still amazing to look out and see so much of Japan’s history just a stone’s throw away.

Oh, by the way, name is Kai and starting last week Wednesday I took over as the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) for Seika town, a town of over 36,000 people just south of Kyoto and north of Nara. The title implies much more power than I actually have (assistant/ helper to the planning division would be a more apt title), but I still get to do a variety of things to help promote internationalism in the town. This can run the gambit from writing the Town’s English newsletter to translating documents for the foreign residents of the town, and even helping out at events. I may even get the chance to plan and event if I can manage my schedule out right.

However, despite what I may say, I’m not the main focus of this blog. Rather, this blog is about the place that I have the good fortune of being able to work, Seika Town. Located about 15 minutes north of Nara City, an hour east of Osaka City, and just 30 minutes south of Kyoto City, Seika is basically smack dab in the middle of traditional Japanese Culture. After having lived in Tokyo for a year, it is nice to see a more traditional side of Japanese life, and the idyllic scenery (Japan is by far the greenest country I have ever seen. Well, except for Greenland) and wonderful people make me think that I’ll be very happy working here.

Seika Town Hall 精華町役場
Speaking of the people, I will say this about Seika; there are an astounding amount of children here, and I hope that I will get the chance to interact with these kids and teach them something about my home and American culture. They certainly seem receptive to me and I’ve already played hide and go seek with a few of them when I should have probably been working. Of course, there’s more than just kids here, and the adults I’ve met so far have been great in teaching me all about Seika Town and Japan. In particular, the folks here seem very excited to teach me the Kansai dialect. It’s great to feel so welcome, even though the difference in dialect can sometimes make me feel as if all of my Japanese study was for nothing.

Even though I’ve only been here in Seika Town for a little while, I’m already excited for the coming years. And for it to stop being so hot.


Seika Town 精華町でも、このブログのテーマは私ではないですね。このブログのテーマは精華町よ!奈良と京都と大阪の間中にあって、本当に日本の文化を感じられると思います。私は一年間東京に住んでいましたが、日本の伝統的なところを見ることが出来るのを本当に喜んでいます。景色もきれいだし、人たちも優しいし、精華町で働くのを楽しみしています。



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