RUDE Girl was an exchange student to Japan for 12 months from 1975 until 1976. It was a wonderful experience for a teenager, and long before it was trendy to travel to Japan. And also long before the Japanese cultural invasion of Australia.Most of what I absorbed in Japan was buried deep inside me on my return home. I went back to school and then on to various careers. My time in Japan was rarely spoken about, not just by me but my family too, and my year away became but a distant memory.
There were many times when I was treated like an outcast because I came back changed, into a routine that had remained much the same. For the Rude Record significant adults, Japan did not mess with my mind, and I coped very well in a foreign country. The young student that decided to venture out on her own at 17 years of age, has always been independent and confident.
These days, I do have the time to remember, and bring forth some of my experiences and influences, related to my second country. I guess sharing is easier these days, with Japanese culture more well known and embraced. And also with many Japanese calling Australia home.
It was wonderful to meet Miwako, a Japanese woman a little while back, who lives over my side of town. And also Taco, my daughter-in-laws’ brother’s partner. At both these meetings it was incredibly therapeutic to relive some of my time in Kita Urawa shi, Saitama ken. And also, for the first time ever, I have made contact with a Mr McDonald, a member of Rotary, who is tracking down past exchange students from the year I was in Japan.
Refer video below: When I spotted this casual summer kimono [yukata] at the TIP SHOP, I was aghast but also elated! It was my lucky day. I had found an abandoned, stained, and dirty hand stitched yukata, and only I realised its value. I felt a bit smug, but really very privileged to be rescuing it. The yukata was free, as it was destined for the TIP SHOP’S rubbish bin and landfill.
Beat The Man by Turning Japanese, and daring to be different!