Japan/America Society of Kentucky


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Japan/America Society of Kentucky
464 Chenault Rd.
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 209-9630

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Kentucky: My Second Hometown 第二の故郷、ケンタッキー

26 Feb 2010 1:06 PM | Deleted user
Kenny Nashimoto
Hitachi Automotive Products

past_1997.jpgHave you noticed that hometowns tend to have a unique scent, reminding us that we are "home again"?  Almost two years ago I arrived at the Bluegrass Airport in Lexington for my second chance to work in Kentucky.  I seemed to recall the flavor of Kentucky, which I had missed for nearly ten years.  I felt I had "returned" to Kentucky, rather than "come" to Kentucky.  

My first visit to Kentucky was in July of 1989, just before I was married.  I became a big fan of Kentucky during this four-month stay because it was just the right season for playing outside.  However, in some ways I was shocked by the difference between Americans and Japanese.  In particular, the American lifestyle devotes significant time to family, whereas I was used to devoting most of my time to my work.  Also, there was always daylight in Kentucky long after work!

I visited Kentucky for a short time again in 1990-91 for projects in my field.  Then, in February of 1993, I was finally assigned to work as an expatriate in Kentucky.  My family felt worried when they arrived in Kentucky three months after me, especially because we had a one-year-old child.  Fortunately, volunteer English teachers and Japanese  colleagues' wives helped us very much to establish our American life.  I felt again, as in my previous visits, that Kentuckians' hospitality is very special.  This special hospitality made our family comfortable and safe during these days in the United States. 

While living in Kentucky in 1995, our second child arrived.  We remember always feeling kindness from everyone in Kentucky, especially my wife as the time came to deliver.  She always remembers the baby shower thrown for her.  In Japan, mothers stay in the hospital with their new babies for ten days or more.  We knew it was a shorter time in America but reality was a surprise when they sent us home after just two days!  I took a week off work to help give the baby baths, take care of our older son, clean around the house, etc...  All this may be natural in this country but was not common in Japan in those days.  That was good experience for me at that time.  For my wife, the opportunity to spend time in the United States gave her a boost of confidence in her life. 

The time flew by and we were assigned back to Japan in February of 1998.  Our first son had grown from one year old to five years.  Our second son was already two years old!  We were filled with great memories and Kentucky had become a second hometown to our family. 

recent_2008.jpgOn my current assignment, I have already been in Kentucky two years.  Because of my children's school, I am away from my family this time around.  But I am living comfortably, getting lots of help from Kentuckians, and enjoying your hospitality, your lifestyle, and your long daylight again. 

It is difficult to be apart from my family but they have visited here twice during holidays.  They met old friends and shared memories.  It makes me happy to see that we are all still connected to each other.  I do not know how long my current stay in Kentucky will last but I hope to keep making friends and memories in my Kentucky home.

第二の故郷 ケンタッキー

















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