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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Learning From The Past, Presents And Future

I was born in London, England back when The Beatles were in their heyday, but left with my parents when I was three-years-old to live in Toronto until such time that I was lucky enough to get on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme to teach English in Japan... which led me to create this blog about Japan some 16 years after I last set foot there.

While I probably lost my sexy London accent a few months after landing in Toronto, the three years I lived there was equal in length to what I spent in Japan.

While I have but a few memories of England, I have thousands more of Japan--funny how timing is everything.

While I do not recall ever going to The British Museum, I have been assured that I did indeed visit it, as my parents enjoyed soaking up history and culture, something I seemed to have also picked up along the way.

Being part of the JET Programme put me in contact with a lot of other people interested in history and culture. While I was never interested in Japan one iota before physically landing in the country--I really didn't want to go, nor gave two hoots to bother looking up any information prior to my journey--from the moment I got to the JET-sponsored hotel in Tokyo and dug up enough guts to go for a walk around the block, I was hooked.


Okay, that's not quite true. I was scared spitless.

Kindda like now as I head coach a kid's Select baseball team of 11-13-year-olds.

I'm not scared about what might happen on the field, rather I'm scared about actually finding the baseball field.

In other words, the actual physical journey scares me - not the actual doing of things once I'm there.

I don't know if that makes sense to you... but traveling to Japan scared me, just as driving to the ball park does now... bu doing stuff in Japan and coaching the kids... that's the fun part.


Anyhow... one of the great things about meeting all those fairly like-minded people on JET, just like communicating with the fairly like-minded people who dare to communicate with me on this blog, well... it's just that well... you know they/you get it.

One such reader/friend... is my buddy Vinnie... who is one of those chameleons... he can blend in to the surroundings a bit (I can't), but with every color change there's a whole new dimension about him that defies convention... but then again, it doesn't. He's just being who he is.

Man... I'm not sure where the fug I was going with that last paragraph. Ignore it. I was trying for something and it just failed miserably.

Vinnie recently went on vacation to London, and being a guy interested in history and culture, stopped off at The British Museum for a looky-look.

There, he visited The Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries.

While I don't have a photo album showing exactly what he saw, what I do have is the guide book for that exhibit.

Along with sending that to me, Vinnie also spent far too much money in purchasing four books for me (which I will discuss here at some time in the near future), and sending them to me via mail... no one asked him to do that... he did it on his own dime (quite a lot of dimes I can assure you). And, well... I can't thank him enough.

But I'll try. Thank you for being my friend. As you said, Vinnie, sometimes having friends is expensive. You can ask my friends Matthew and Rob - and they'll back you up on that.

What I have presented scattered throughout this long-winded thank-you note, are scanned images of that guide book.

Like Vinnie, I like to share.

Vinnie - kanpai!
Andrew Joseph
PS: The title of today's blog is about the past history of myself, JET and the museum and its artifacts. It is also about the presents I received. And the future? Well... who the heck knows. Stop worrying about the future and live in the now. It's full of presents.

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