Kentarou-san has asked me to write about why I came to Toyomi so that he can post it on the Cosmo Yume homepage. The first time that I came, I wrote something for the homepage, but I think my English might have been too complex. As a writer, it's difficult to express myself simply sometimes, but I'll do my best.
So, why did I come to Toyomi? This is now my third time coming here, and there are many reasons.
To start with, even though I am American, I have always loved Japan. When I was young, I had many Japanese friends, and their parents were always kind to me and supported me in many things. Since the time that I was small, I have felt comfortable with Japanese culture and art. When I was in high school, I wanted to become a mangaka, so I started to learn Japanese. Even though sometimes it is difficult, I love the Japanese language. In 2016, I came to Japan for the first time. There are still many things in Japanese culture that I do not understand, but Japan does not feel like a foreign country. For me, Japan feels like home, especially Toyomi.
For me, spiritual things are very important. I believe that everything in nature has a spirit. The plants and animals have spirits, and the mountains and rivers also have spirits. Even the dirt that we walk on has a spirit. I think that sometimes humans can feel those spirits if their hearts are open. I try to live so that my heart is open. When I came to Japan, it seemed like the spirit of nature was stronger than in America. Even in Osaka, it seemed like I could feel nature's spirits. In Toyomi, all those spirits seem to be singing happily and peacefully. It feels like they are inviting me to stay. The mountain and the river and the trees and the fields are all singing, "Come home." It's a very powerful feeling in my heart and my soul.
Also, in Toyomi, I was able to meet Makiko-san and Kentarou-san. In this world, people like these two are rare. Both of them have lively spirits and warm hearts. Kentarou-san has so much passion for his work to make the world a better place. When I heard Kentarou-san talk about his dream for Toyomi and for Japan, I thought that I would like to share this dream. Our way of thinking is the same in many ways. Makiko-san is also a wonderful person. She gives so much of herself for the sake of others, and she always seems to be full of energy and life no matter how many years go by. There is always a light in her eyes. I want to become a strong woman like Makiko-san, and I want to work to make the world a better place like Kentarou-san. I hope that I can learn from them how to make a meaningful life.
In America, I work as a preschool teacher. I
am studying how to raise babies and toddlers and how to create environments
that will help them grow and develop into strong and kind adults who can help society.
Babies and young children need to spend lots of time in nature for their brains
to develop well. I think that Toyomi could become a place where families bring
their children so that they can learn about nature and become healthy and
happy. I want to study more so that I can help make this happen. I want to use
my knowledge and my talents to help Kentarou-san's dreams become reality.
I am very grateful to the Satohs, and I want to continue to support them and learn from them.