2019: A new blog, and the KonMari effect.

Hello! Dia Dhuit! (Hello in Gaeilge, Irish)

My name is Lian.

Irish.

Book, Dog, Coffee, Sweets- lover.

Wife of a kind, super- organized minimalist Japanese hubby.

Mum of a little dinosaur, 10 months old, called Seán Isami.

Living in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, home of Mt. Fuji, fragrant green tea fields and Chibi Maruko-Chan.

Writing the first sentence of a brand new shiny blog feels strange.

I’m sitting at my personal computer (Do people say this in English? I’m not sure, maybe it’s ‘Japanglish’ which I have been using increasingly in the past while). My laptop.

My husband and son (Seán, just turned 10 months old) are taking a nap. I am going to seize this rare opportunity to do something productive.

I have been mulling over starting a blog since I came to Japan (8 years ago, hohoho) but never got around to it. I am that kind of person. But, for some reason, today is the day I do it. It’s my New Year’s Resolution, a month and two weeks late.

My other resolution is to get organized, having read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (Cue a surprised giggle/snort of disbelief from my Mum). I will openly admit to my unorganized nature. It is something about myself that I hate, also my tendency to worry too much. MArie Kondo is a Japanese woman who came up with a method, the KonMari method, of getting your life/head in order through decluttering, reducing your possesions by throwing away/donating the things that don’t spark joy in your heart. The book promises to change your life. I think it has worked for me thus far (read the book last week and have started implementing her methods. I’ll come back to this later. Or maybe not.

When I was a teenager, I kind of got the ‘Japan bug’, not from anime or manga (though I am a big Studio Ghibli Fan), but from reading a book called ‘Across The Nightingale Floor’ by an author called Lian Hearn.

Sidenote: I absolutely love to read, something I haven’t had much time to do recently.

Admittedly, the initial reason I picked up this particular book was that the author had the same name, with the same spelling, as me. I had NEVER met or heard of, anyone with my name! The spelling is really unusual, it is usually ‘Leanne’, ‘Lee-ann’ or some variation.

But the book fascinated me. It is a fantasy novel (acutally a trilogy) set in a fictional land with strong echoes of Japan’s feudal era, and focuses on the adventures of a hero with a strange power.

Here is the blurb (From LianHearn.com) “A land of incomparable beauty torn by civil war. An ancient tradition undermined by spies and assassins. A society of rigid castes and codes subverted by love. “

I fell in love with the story, the characters and the setting. The idea of the Nightingale Floor ( A wooden floor in a castle that ‘sings’ like a nightingale when walked on to alert the inhabitants of an intruder) was so intrigung to me. As was the beautiful imagery of the Japanese landscape, conveyed so beautifully by Hearn. I hadn’t been as enraptured with a book series since The Lord of The Rings.

The fact that this fantasy setting was based on Japan made me determined to visit someday. I watched some Japanese movies and dramas, and found that I loved the language, too.

I don’t want this first blog post to become long- winded, so I may stop here for now!

Anyway, I applied for the JET Programme in my last year of University ( where I studied Neuroscience) and was offered a place in Shizuoka Prefecture. From then, with Mt. Fuji and green tea fields as a backdrop, my life in Japan started. And the rest is history (or for another blog post).

By the way, I was blown away when I got to walk on an actual nightingale floor in Kyoto! They really exist.

Happy New Year!

And as they (we?) say in Japan, ‘Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu’ (Please treat me well/ Let’s have a good relationship).

I hope you find something interesting/ worth reading in my blog!

Love,

Lian xx

Seán’s first Sakura!