I am a writer and translator based in Tokyo. I also make videos on YouTube as well. Here, I would like you to know a little bit about me and my life.
I have been living in Tokyo for more than eight years, but I am originally from Kagoshima, in the south of Japan. I lived in my hometown until high school, and then I moved to Tokyo to study at Waseda University. When I was in high school, I took science courses, but at university I studied narrative studies, which is probably an unfamiliar word for you, so I will explain it later.
While I was in university, I travelled around the world by myself when I was 19 and 20 years old over the course of 6 months or so. I wanted to see the world and historical sites with my own eyes. I might have visited your country.
In my last year of university, I participated in beauty pageants. It was for my writing career. I thought, to be a great writer, I needed to know the world more by meeting various kinds of people. Also, I thought I needed to stand out more or less.
It was just pure coincidence, but beauty pageants led me into the modelling world. I worked as a model after graduating from university. I had never thought about becoming a model, but I became one, for my writing career.
Since I was ten years old or so, everything I have done has been done with my intention to become or improve as a writer. I remember I wrote “I want to be a famous author” in the yearbook (obviously, I wrote it in Japanese, though). I chose to study English hardest among all the subjects, and I chose the university that many prestigious writers and novelists had graduated from, and I chose narrative studies for the field for thesis. All with the intention of becoming a writer.
Narrative studies are a study of the narrative, apparently. Here, “narrative” not only means stories and tales but all things spoken and written, and these are the subjects of narrative studies, from literature and biographies, movies and lyrics, to advertisements and everyday conversations.
I chose ancient history for my thesis theme. I studied how historical events and people were described, as well as the intentions of people who recorded them. History is modified and manipulated more or less, sometimes even made up, by people in power. It is not only in history, all narratives are the same.
For becoming a writer, it matters a lot that I knew the knowledge that narrative studies has given me; with the knowledge, I understand the structures of narrative and its senders as well as their intentions, and when I write, I have general ideas about effects that my writings influence readers.
Let’s go back to the original topic; all the things I have done is with the intention of becoming a great writer. I also expected that becoming a model would work effectively in my writing career, and it brought reasonable results. First of all, it was an interesting experience being a model, in both a good way and a bad way. There is not enough space here, so I will write about them some other time. Also, “I’m a model” enabled me to widen my network of people. Networking is one of the most effective ways for models to get jobs, and of course, for writers as well.
One of the other reasons I became a model is because I did not want to be a salaryman straightly after graduating from university. Because of the Japanese job-hunting system, except for STEM students, almost all university students start working in companies right after graduating from university. It would be extremely difficult to get a job if you missed the opportunity in the system.
The job hunting system for university students does not allow them to choose the occupation or position mostly; what they can choose is only the companies to submit their resumes to. Therefore, even if you apply your resume to a publisher, you might not become a writer or editor; you might need to work in human resources or accounting. Especially as writing is a technical job and writers really do not belong to a company, there was little chance I could be a writer if I hunted jobs within the system like my friends, at least at a big or famous company.
Also, being a salaryman in Tokyo is really tough, with a lot of overwork and overtime, and your private life could be completely ruined. I was scared about it, not because I did not want to work, but because I might not be able to study the way I wanted after graduating.
Through studying humanities I realised that I have a more logical and science-oriented mind. Humanities do not give us one solid answer. It is natural, because if all humans were the same, there would not have been a subject called humanities. I also think if there is no difference and variety among humans, the world would be a very boring place. I understand that, but dependable answers cannot be expected in humanities, so it was very frustrating for me.
On the other hand, science is the subject that pursues a fact, principle, law and truth… things cannot be replaced or would not have an alternative. Answers by science are universal, even though humanity is extinct.
It fascinates me that literally countless species are existing on Earth, but all come from an original replicator from the primitive earth. All the complex motions and reactions can be convergent with extremely simple formulas like “F=ma” or “E = mc2.” Time and space can be extended and shrunk in the Relativity theory, and it can be proved with experiments; the clock on top of the Tokyo Tower goes faster compared to the clock at ground level. Science sometimes sounds like magic, but it really is not.
Humanities is a lot of fun to study, but I thought I could not devote my life to it. I love literature and history, and I always want to catch up on the latest works and research. However, it is okay to be as a hobby.
I love science, I always have. I did not recognise it until I stopped studying it. It is like health; you will never realise the value of your health until you lose it. I chose to study humanities since I wanted to become a writer so badly, and sometimes I do regret that I wish I could have chosen the school of science at university. But I think it was not a waste that I studied narrative studies, at least I could find my love for science. However, in order to return to my original path, indeed I needed to walk a detour.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, and to be a trustworthy writer in science fields, it was necessary to study science further after graduating from university. I would not be able to do it if I was a salaryman in Tokyo. Except for Tokyo, we do not have decent job opportunities in Japan elsewhere unless you have a steady certification like doctors or lawyers. This is one of the big problems in Japan. Most of my friends without any qualifications came to Tokyo, even though they went to different regions for university and wanted to stay there or near their hometown.
However, modelling allowed me to study a lot while working. I could choose; when to work, where to work, and I could not choose the job if it is not worth the money. Most photoshoots do not last an entire day, and if I did not have a job or audition for a day, I was simply free. Therefore, I could prioritise writing and studying while being a model.
These were the reasons why I became a freelance model/writer, but I quit modelling soon after. In my entire life, writing has always been my priority and passion, at least for now. Also, just so you know, there are girls who devote their lives to becoming famous models, which makes getting jobs too competitive, and I did not have the motivation to join the fray. Unless I did the same, I did not think I had a chance to get more modelling jobs. Plus, sadly the value of models is the highest while they are young, which is the opposite compared to many other occupations.
Finally, I am a full-time writer. I still study a lot because it is a part of my job. Writing, studying, translating, blogging, vlogging, cooking, spending time in nature sometimes… This is my life at this time.
When I have spare time, I love going to the woods or exploring a town that I have never been to before, grabbing a cup of coffee, and a good book or two if I go by myself. I enjoy traditional Japanese dance called Nihon-buyō. It is an elegant style of dance. The Gaisha dance also falls into this category. When I work from home, I like trying new recipes.
I am happy with my life. Indeed, there are still things missing… I am trying to make my ideal life come true.