When I saw a tweet from Micaela Braithwaite humbly promoting herself with the above photo of her on the cover of some KitKat chocolate bars (and autographed, no less!), my first thought was: Who the fug is Michaela Braithwaite and why is she important enough to have her smiling, pretty, vee-forming fingers (vee = victory over Japan! LOL) plastered there?!
Well... since the photo on Twitter was from her account (there is nothing wrong with promoting yourself), I clicked on it and found a link there to a section entitled "About Me". Here's a LINK, but I'll reprint what she has to say. I've fixed a few minor spacing issues, but otherwise it's exact:
Hi! My name is Micaela Braithwaite. I was born in Canada, but I came to Japan as a high-school exchange student at the age of 17, and I’ve been building a life here ever since. I live on the southern island of “Kyushu”, in a lovely port city called “Fukuoka”. The beaches are nice, the people are friendly, and the food is great. It’s a great place to relax and get away from the hectic buzz of Tokyo, where I am often working.
I started working for an entertainment company called Yoshida Masaki Jimusho in the summer of 2012, following my graduation from Fukuoka School of Music, a music and entertainment college here in Fukuoka. Throughout this past year I’ve been exposed many new experiences which have helped me form a clearer vision of who I am, and what I aspire to be.
I run a popular channel on Youtube with 130,000 subscribers and over 21 million hits. I’m fortunate enough to have had big name brands like JVC, PUMA, LG and NESTLE sponsor some of my work. I also work, from time to time, with the Canadian Tourism Commission to create content and promote travel between Japan and Canada–a role that I thoroughly enjoy and cherish.
As a general hobby, I operate this blog bilingually in hopes that language learners like myself can gain something extra from reading it. In addition to this, my two friends and I also operate a bilingual Youtube Channel called, “Afternoonの昼下がり“, which features bi-monthly situational skits in both English & Japanese. We enjoy it, and luckily 5,000+ others do too.
Aside from what I do independently, I do appear on TV occasionally as well. As much as I enjoy it, I do not feel as though this is my main platform. The content that I am the most proud of appears online. I love having total control over an image or a product that I create.
It is partly due to the nature of the industry that I work in, that my direction, interests and ambitions are in perpetual motion. I’m always looking to further my skills, and try something new, and therefore, my content, style and presentation are always changing as well.
Admittedly, as a foreign-born “alien” to Japan, I do find it tricky trying to fit in with a Japanese society, and there are days that are better than others. If I’m certain of anything, though, it’s that being here has helped me develop a strict work ethic and a spirit that could not have been obtained in Canada.
Every experience is a valuable one, and I’m taking it all in stride as I navigate through foreign waters with ambition and loads of やる気。
Okay... so that's who the fug Micaela is. She's so cool that I actually feel envious of her - and not because she's got her cute face on KitKat wrappers!
I am very impressed that someone who came over as a high school exchange student had such courage and conviction to decide to make a life for herself here - and by all appearances, it seems she has... and I couldn't be happier for her.
Go ahead and check out her YouTube channels - see what she has to say... maybe it will inspire you, and you'll get your own picture on a chocolate bar!
In the meantime, click HERE to see her bilingual blogs on Japan (and Canada). She sounds... very... kawaii (cute). You'll see what I mean.