My blog started with an interview with Rob Orme, who is a successful DJ and music producer, in February, at my place in Manchester. He was learning Japanese with me back then until he left for Japan at the beginning of February. In October, when I visited my family in Japan, I managed to see him again in Tokyo, and he was kind enough to agree to have an interview with me.
I met him in front of the famous Hachi-ko statue at Shibuya station. I remember showing him the photo of Hachi-ko during a lesson in Manchester, saying this was one of the most famous and well-known meeting spots in Tokyo. It was so nice to see him again, now standing in front of the statue among Japanese people. We found a quiet Café, and started the interview.
There are many people who fall in love with Japan after visiting there for a holiday, and wish to live there. But being there on holiday is one thing, but actually living there is another. I asked him what was like to work and live in Japan. Was it as you expected? Now, please check out the interview!
I would think the “Senpai-kohai” custom is a hard one to understand, until you actually experience it. In Japan, if you are newer at a university, or a company, the ones who are senior, hence supposedly more experienced than you, have more power than you. This means you need to show your respect to them by, for example, speaking to them in a polite manner, and pouring their drink when you are having drink with them. Personally, I do not like this custom and this is one of the customs I’m not very proud of as a Japanese. However, as Rob learned, it is an important custom to follow, especially in business-related situations.
I thought about the time when Rob was learning Japanese with me in Manchester, and seeing him now in Shibuya, being successful and enjoying life to the full, my heart was filled with deep emotion. Thank you, Rob. You are an inspiration for all of us.