Impressions of a Japanese American in Seoul

Impressions of a Japanese American in Seoul

Before I came to Seoul, I was trying to prepare myself to face some uncomfortable situations because I knew that some Koreans do not like Japanese people. But now that I live here, it feels like I would probably not face that kind of situation. Especially in Seoul. Although I’ve noticed both negative and positive aspects of the issue, the negatives wouldn’t affect me personally.

Whenever I hear any news about Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks, I wonder why we can’t share it, split it, or take turns. It probably sounds stupid to people who understand this issue well, but I just think that it is unfortunate that there is a dispute. Compared to Tokyo, Seoul seems to be big on raising awareness about this issue. There is a historical museum with a cute mascot, ads are in the city hall and subway stations, and elementary school students make posters about them in class. When I was living in Japan for a year, I never had that kind of impression.

My Korean co-workers and friends have enjoyed traveling to Japan, and some have studied there and speak the language quite well. When I told Koreans around my age that I am Japanese, they told me that they like the manga series, One Piece. Seems like that is what comes to mind when they think “Japan.” Japanese cuisine is also popular here, so it’s not difficult to fulfill my Japanese food cravings.

I’m glad that all the tension between the two countries we see in the world news doesn’t affect our personal lives.

This photo is from the first day it snowed in Seoul! The kids were quite excited but I was only scared because it’ll only get colder from now until February…

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