People I met-1999


I have put these people here as it was the friends I made the first time that strongly influenced me to continue studying and to return in 2003. I am very grateful for the kindness and assistance I was given. It certainly gave me a connection to the place and a much deeper cultural insight.

I met Kazuko at the city hall when I first started attending free classes for foreigners. She was one of the few who could speak English well, and I asked if she would teach privately. From then on I went to her house every week, studied Japanese and learned to cook Japanese food. I was very lucky to meet her and she contributed greatly towards my passing the level 3 Japanese Proficiency test in only 8 months.
Totsuka sensei was a volunteer teacher at the local city hall. He is retired and enjoys teaching Japanese to foreigners. He has traveled extensively around the world, but is yet to come to Australia. I had a two hour lesson with him every thursday.

Yukiko and Ayaka
Yukiko was a student at NOVA when we met. She had Ayaka just before I left Japan. 
Yuriko was also a NOVA student, and a student of Tokyo University. She did an honors project on silkworms. She spent a day giving me the full tour of Tokyo University, and I enjoyed many dinners and outings with her. Here we are on the train on New Year's Eve, with the picture Yuriko made herself.

Yoshi Suguwara and Naoko
I met Yoshi soon after arriving back in Australia. He was an English student at TAFE and had many adventures while he was here, including working at the olympics. You can view his web site at
Naoko was also a student at Box Hill and joined us on several occasions.
I met Megumi soon after arriving in Japan, via a magazine called 'Tokyo Classifieds'. She had placed an add for Australian friends and she came to Australia in 2000. Here we are on Puffing Billy in Belgrave.

Megumi and I met on monday nights in Ueno, Tokyo, and often went to dinner and karaoke. She is currently still living in Sydney.


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