Japanese warehouse

In-laws as parents: adopting for marriage in Japan

When Hitoshi and I got engaged, I started thinking about changing my last name. I love Hitoshi’s family name. It includes some of my favorite natural objects. Taking it shows recognition of my Japanese connection. Best of all, it is his mother’s last name. When I told Hitoshi I was going to change my last name to…

washlet toilet

Culture shock and showering toilets

Culture shock can include the obvious like language, food and climate as well as the more advanced (for me), like toilets. Moving to Japan was the fourth time I had lived (or tried to) like a local in a new country. The first was Finland for a university exchange. Much later was volunteering in rural…

leaves with dew on them in the morning, Jasper National Park

Countdown to my Japanese family visit!

The countdown begins! My husband’s family arrives soon for a visit. This will be their first visit to Canada. This will also be the first time my mother-in-law has left Japan. I feel elated that okaasan (mother) is exploring outside her country at 60 years old. I wonder what she is feeling and thinking. My father-in-law…

a pickle jar as big as my hand!

Expectations and culture shock

Since we had seen her last, our friend had spent three weeks in Japan visiting her family and friends. She wasn’t sure how the visit would go but had no expectations and found the trip really nice. This was a big change from the previous trip to her homeland where she had high hopes of moving back yet ended…

happy couple

Marriage, weddings and new beginnings!

The inspiration for this post was the British Royal Wedding of 2011. The Royal Wedding I love weddings! The Royal couple was so sweet and I’m looking forward to more pictures. I giggled watching Prince Harry grinning and whispering reports to Prince William as he snuck peaks at Catherine making her way up the aisle. A…