Many of my students here Smith’s School of English Hashimoto have asked me why I came to Japan. I believe that one’s direction in life is often driven by circumstances, which was the case for me. I auditioned for the US Army Band when I was a senior in high school, joining in October of the following year (1979), and my first duty assignment was in New Jersey. One day I went to work. and the bandmaster called me into to his office. “How did you do it,” he asked. I did not know what he was talking about until he said “you are to report to Camp Zama, Japan in January.” So at the young age of twenty, I found myself playing trombone in a great band that traveled all over Japan.
I grew to like Japan, and have moved back and forth three times, 1995 being the final time. I love my homeland of the USA, and try to return for visits once a year, but every time I do, I find myself missing something about Japan within a week, which tells me that the USA is my homeland, but Japan is my home. I like the direction that life has taken me so far, and look forward to what it has for me in the future!