■ Job Type：CIR（Coordinator for International Relations）
■ Prefecture：Oita ■ Years on Programme：2000-2003
It brings me great pleasure being one of the few Japanese Canadians who are able to speak their parents’ language fluently. The ability to speak to my grandfather at 99, right up until his last moments brings back many memories. Living in a remote area of Japan definitely had its difficulties but it was this rural JET experience that made me realise my full artistic potential.
I have travelled extensively and it is extremely rare to find young people continuing in their parents’ traditional occupations. Although the tradition is passing, Japan is one of few countries where you can still see this. This was one of my deepest admirations one that I wish to continue for years to come. Through my artistic creations I am a bridge connecting Japan and the rest of the world to encourage peace and greater understanding of our ancestors, in order for our traditional folk arts to exist while encouraging rural youth to actively participate in their communities.