“Even though I did my undergraduate in the United States, the reason I chose to live in Japan is because I wanted to see possibilities other than the typical track of getting a job, a green card and things like that.
I want to go different places to see how far I can reach, and see what really fits me.
“What really triggered my interest in Japan was a documentary, a film called Tomohiro’s Railway Tour of China. The story is about a Japanese guy traveling around China on the railways and along the way he meets different types of ordinary people like farmers, college students, and migrant workers. I was touched by the documentary, and struck by the fact that Japan and China are the closest strangers–we are close geographically but because of historic reasons we feel so isolated from one another. So I was thinking maybe I should go to Japan to see what it really looks like.”
“Just by pure chance I actually met the Chinese producer who assisted in the filming of this documentary. In the Beijing subway I was studying Japanese trying to answer a multiple choice question on the train, and a man nearby looked over and said to me, ‘choose A’. At first I thought he was Japanese, and we began to have a long conversation which ended with us exchanging contact information. It wasn’t until later that I realized he was one of the producers of the film. Last year I contacted the same producer to ask if he knew of any internships in Tokyo, because I wanted a chance to live in Japan. He connected me to a Tokyo documentary movie company where I was able to do an internship.”